Hillary Clinton will not seek a rematch with Donald Trump. The popular-vote winner from 2016 told reporters for News 12, a Hudson Valley station in New York, that she is not a going to be a candidate in 2020: “I’m not running,” Clinton said — but quickly added: “I’m going to keep speaking out. I’m not going anywhere.”
Speculation about a Clinton 2020 bid had quieted in recent weeks after former campaign manager John Podesta said a run was not in the cards, and after top fundraisers and loyalists like Esprit co-founder Susie Tompkins Buell moved early to back the 2020 campaign of Sen. Kamala Harris.
But this interview is the first time Clinton has personally, on the record and on camera, ruled out a third bid for the White House. Without naming Trump, Clinton decried the state of the nation, offering that the extreme polarization in America is “deeply troubling” to her, and describing a country driven into “opposing camps” unlike anything she’s seen in her adult life.
Clinton also warned that the rights of women and LGBTQ citizens are not assured. “There are still forces at work in our own country,” she said, “that would turn progress back for both women and the LGBT community.” On a brighter note, Clinton said she was thrilled by the “exciting, dynamic women” who were elected to Congress last fall and are “already making their mark.”
While she will not join their ranks, Clinton offered some advice to the crowded field of 2020 contenders vying to take on Trump: “Don’t take anything for granted.” Although many Americans are realizing Trump sold them a “bill of goods” Clinton said, “we need to work really, really hard to make our case to the American people.” That includes Clinton herself: “I’m going to do everything I can to help Democrats win back the White House,” she insisted.
Clinton, who won 65.8 million votes in 2016, laughed off a question as to whether she’d ever consider a run for a state or local office like governor of New York, or mayor of New York City, saying: “Oh, I don’t think so.”
Reflecting on her often bruising career as First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee, Clinton insisted that others should look not at her battle scars but her accomplishments, and choose to heed the call to public service: “It is worth it,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that it’s easy. And you have to have really thick skin. But there’s such a sense of gratitude and satisfaction,” Clinton said, “when you can be part of helping people.”