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Friday 19 September 2014

Will it be Madam or Mrs President, girl (6) asks Hillary

Raf Sanchez in Murrysville, Pennsylvania

Published 11/04/2014 | 02:30

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Former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton
Former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has so far artfully dodged questions about her 2016 presidential ambitions from the press, her supporters and potential Democrat rivals.

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But a question from a six-year-old girl appeared to leave her, for once, without an answer.

"In 2016, would you prefer to be called Madam President or Mrs President?"

Mrs Clinton grinned sheepishly as the audience in liberal Oregon leapt to their feet in a full minute of sustained cheering and applause. The former secretary of state looked genuinely embarrassed as she walked offstage without answering, pausing to offer a comic shrug before disappearing into the wings.

Although the next presidential election is more than two-and-a-half years away, America still burns with questions over Mrs Clinton's future and the prospect of a second bid to become the country's first female commander-in-chief.

Her official line is that she has not yet decided and will take the rest of 2014 to make up her mind.

"The hard questions are not, 'Do you want to be president?' 'Can you win?'" she said this week. "The hard questions are, 'Why? Why would you want to do this?' and 'What? What could you offer that could make a difference?'"

But those versed in the Clintons' methods say there is little doubt she is building up towards another presidential campaign.

Jonathan Allen, author of the recent book 'HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton', said: "She's running for president unless and until she stops. It's not a question of when she starts to run, it's a question of whether she decides not to at some point."

Ready for Hillary, a group formed by her former aides and allies, said it raised $1.7m (€1.22m) this year from donors. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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