Student to Hillary Clinton: If you don't represent women as president, who will?
NATIONAL NEWS (CNN) — It's inevitable at every event. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been asked about running for president so many times that The New York Times did a story earlier this month on all the different ways the question has been posed.
But until Saturday night, it hadn't been asked quite this way.
The moment came during the closing session of the Clinton Global Initiative University conference at Arizona State University in Tempe. Clinton was sharing the stage with husband Bill and daughter Chelsea, in a forum hosted by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.
Minutes before the end, a student from University of California-Berkeley approached the microphone. She noted that Manal al-Sharif, the women's rights activist from Saudi Arabia, had been on stage the night before and had been encouraged during the session to run for office there some day, with the question: "If you don't represent women in Saudi Arabia in politics, who will?"
The student then turned the question on Hillary Clinton, saying, "Mrs. Clinton, if you don't represent women in politics in America as future president, who will?"
Clinton beamed and laughed as the crowd cheered loudly.
She first responded, "You have done your education well. That was very well asked and presented."
"I appreciate the sentiment," Clinton said, telling the student, "I am very much concerned about the direction of our country." She added, "It's not just who runs for office, but what they do once they get there."
Pushed by Kimmel for a more direct answer, Clinton said she was getting to it. But the best the crowd got was, "I'm obviously thinking about all kinds of decisions."
When Kimmel jokingly asked if the decisions included another child for her and the former president, she said, "I wouldn't mind one of those grandchildren I hear so much about."
Chelsea Clinton immediately chided her mother: "Shameless. Unapologetic pressure in public and private."
Hillary Clinton's public remarks are always closely watched for any signs of her decision-making or just her thinking. And in Tempe, there was an interesting exchange earlier in the session as the Clintons discussed the importance of trying hard and being involved.
"Too many people think somehow if they don't get what they worked for right away, that either they have failed, or it wasn't meant to be. Or they give up because they can't bear the energy and the disappointment of going on -- when in fact that is often the best time to learn about yourself and what you're capable of doing," Hillary Clinton said. "Certainly, the first time Bill ran for office, he lost ... and he could very easily have drawn a different conclusion. Instead, he thought, OK, what did I do wrong, what should I do more."
She added, "I never thought I would run for office, but when I started to, I was elected to the Senate twice."
Kimmel interjected, "You won!" and then said to her husband, "See that? She won right off the (bat). It's called rubbing it in."
Hillary Clinton responded, "But then I had a big loss that we all remember."
CNN's Conor Finnegan contributed to this report.