CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – “It is great being here at the U,” Hillary Clinton said with a smile, making a “U” gesture with her hands as she took the stage at the University of Miami’s Bank United Center Wednesday night.
Right away, she mentioned the Arizona Governor’s veto of anti-gay legislation.
“Thankfully, the Governor of Arizona has vetoed the discriminatory legislation that was passed, recognizing that inclusive leadership is really what the 21st century is all about,” said Mrs. Clinton.
Then Mrs. Clinton went on to talk about Venezuela as U.M. President Donna Shalala reminded her old friend and guest that many in the audience were from South America.
“We must be more involved in the America’s,” she said, calling for “positive and peaceful change,” in Venezuela. “It is a country that is not being well governed. It’s a democracy, no one would argue that it isn’t, but a democracy doesn’t just mean an election,” said Mrs. Clinton. “A democracy means a free press, protecting the rights of opponents, protecting a free economy, and having an independent judiciary.”
Mrs. Clinton also touched on Syria, the Affordable Health Care Act, and renewable energy before getting the question the entire nation is asking. While a new CBS News/New York Times Poll shows more than 80-percent of Democrats say they want her to run in 2016, Mrs. Clinton politely side stepped an answer.
The question, posed by U.M. President Donna Shalala, was couched on Mrs. Clinton’s Twitter Bio, which lists every position she has ever held, saying her next job is “TBD,” or too be determined.
“Can you give us some insight into how the TBD in your Bio will play out,” Shalala asked. The crowd burst into applause, as Mrs. Clinton grinned and weighed her words.
“Well, I’d really like to, but I have no characters left,” joked Mrs. Clinton. “I will certainly ponder that, uhm,” she said with a smile, then made a “U” symbol with her hands and said she would love to come back and visit again.
President Shalala said Mrs. Clinton was paid a fee for her speech that she described as “deeply discounted.”
Shalala would not give an exact figure but said a U.M. donor had agreed to foot the bill.
Mrs. Clinton, who is wrapping up work on a book due out later this summer, typically charges around $200,000 per appearance which is paid to the Clinton Foundation.
Clinton is mulling a second presidential run after coming in second in 2008 to President Barack Obama. If Clinton decides to run, she would likely win the Democratic presidential nomination in a landslide setting her up for a tough general election fight in 2016.
In a January poll from Quinnipiac University, Clinton was a favorite among Florida voters in a hypothetical matchup against either former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio.
Clinton leads Bush 49 percent to 43 percent and Rubio 51 percent to 41 percent. Her lead among other potential Republicans is wider.