Clinton doesn't answer question about possible 2016 run during Portland visit

Clinton doesn't answer question about possible 2016 run during Portland visit

PORTLAND, Ore. -  One of the most influential women in the world made a stop in downtown Portland on Tuesday night.

Hillary Clinton spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Keller Auditorium, part of the World Affairs Council of Oregon’s International Speaker series.

But it’s what Clinton didn’t say about a potential 2016 presidential run at the end of her talk that made the loudest statement of the night.

Maria Wulff, the president of the World Affairs Council of Oregon moderated a question and answer session with Clinton after Clinton’s speech. 

Wulff told Clinton, and the audience, the question came from a six-year-old girl who attends Glencoe Elementary School in Southeast Portland.

"And she says, ‘In 2016 would you prefer to be called Madame President or Mrs. President,’" said Wulff.

At that point, the more than 3,000 people in the audience at the Keller Auditorium stood up and started cheering, and chanting, for Clinton.

Clinton smiled, and started laughing at the question.

“That's great! That's so great,” Clinton said to Wulff.

But Clinton never directly answered the question.

Instead, as the crowd cheered for close to a minute, Clinton stood up, taking in the applause, waved at the audience and walked off stage.

Earlier Tuesday, in San Francisco, Clinton kicked off a three-state speaking tour of the West Coast. Her appearances are not campaign appearances.

She was a little more direct about a possible 2016 run for the White House to the San Francisco crowd.

“I am obviously flattered and deeply honored to have people ask me and people encourage me. And I am thinking about it. But I am going to continue to think about it for a while,” Clinton said.

Before that final question in Portland about a run in 2016, Clinton talked also talked about same-sex marriage in Oregon. She said she believes it should be in the state constitution.

"You know some people say ‘it's only symbolic.’ Well, yes, but symbolism is important, and it can also be a great message that can lead to actions that can further equality. If you can have that kind of debate in this state you might be starting something beyond your borders,” Clinton said.

Clinton also talked about the Ukraine, trade with China, and Syria, relating each of those topics to her experiences serving as Secretary of State for four years during the Obama Administration.

She spent most her time, however, talking about women's equality around the world, an admitted life-long passion. 

“Women are now poised to become full participants in their countries and economies…too many still face ceilings that make it hard,” Clinton said.

She continued, “Ceilings don’t just keep down women and girls, they hold back entire economies... The most important unfinished business of the 21st century is making sure women have opportunities, education and health care.”

Clinton is headed to Las Vegas next. She'll speak there on Thursday. She’ll wrap up her West Coast tour in San Jose on Friday.