Hillary Clinton told BBC Radio 4’s “Woman’s Hour” on Tuesday that she would not make another bid for the presidency.
“No, I’m not going to run again,” said the former secretary of state and two-time presidential candidate.
The comments came after Donald Trump tweeted last week, “I was recently asked if Crooked Hillary Clinton is going to run in 2020? My answer was, ‘I hope so!’”
But this is not the first time Clinton has said she wasn’t going to make another bid for the White House.
In 2009, she told NBC’s Ann Curry an emphatic “no” in response to Curry’s repeated questions about whether she would run for president again after losing to Barack Obama in 2008’s Democratic primary election.
“This is a great job,” Clinton told Curry of her then-position as secretary of state under Obama. “It is a 24-7 job. And I am looking forward to retirement at some point.” At the time of the interview, Clinton was approaching her 62nd birthday; in 2020, she would be 73 years old.
The former senator and first lady reiterated her stance in 2012 after Obama won election to a second term.
“I’ve said I really don’t believe that that’s something I will do again,” she told Barbara Walters during an interview from Walter’s annual “10 Most Fascinating People” episode.
“I just want to see what else is out there. I’ve been doing this incredibly important and satisfying work in Washington as I say for 20 years. I want to get out and spend some time looking at what else I can do to contribute,” Clinton added.
Despite her protestations, political heavy hitters like Newt Gingrich and Nate Silver both predicted in 2012 that if Clinton did run for president in 2016, she would be one of the race’s frontrunners (she was).
“[Clinton] seems like Democrats’ best bet, perhaps by some margin, to extend their winning streak to three or more terms in the White House. If she ran even a point or two stronger than a “generic” Democrat, the odds would shift meaningfully in her favor, holding other circumstances equal,” Silver said in December 2012 on his blog, FiveThirtyEight.
The same month, Newt Gingrich told NBC’s Meet the Press: “First of all, she’s very formidable as a person. She’s a very competent person. She’s married to the most popular Democrat in the country; they both think [it] would be good for her to be president. It makes it virtually impossible to stop her for the nomination.”
Some in the media were quick to rebuke those who were speculating that Clinton would run in 2016. “[We aren’t] listening to her, maybe because we think we know better,” said Alexander Abad-Santos in an article from The Wire.
But perhaps they did know better: In September 2013, she told New York Magazine that she was “wrestling with the idea” of running again in 2016, and ultimately announced her candidacy in April 2015.
For die-hard Hillary supporters, this might be the hope they need that she will rise up and challenge Trump in 2020 despite her protestations. On the other hand, maybe this time she is finally ready to retire.