Hillary Clinton mused aloud about the significance of U.S. electing first woman President. Left unsaid: whether she might try again to be the one.

Ms. Clinton told a Canadian audience that she hoped the U.S. would elect a woman because it would send “exactly the right historical signal” to men, women and children. She said women in politics need to “dare to compete” and the nation needs to “take that leap of faith”.

“Let me say this, hypothetically speaking, I really do hope that we have a woman President in my lifetime,” she said at a women’s conference in Toronto. “And whether it’s next time or the next time after that, it really depends on women stepping up and subjecting themselves to the political process, which is very difficult.”

Should she run in 2016, she would emerge as the Democratic Party’s leading contender , but has not said whether she will do so. Ms. Clinton has taken many steps that could enhance a presidential bid, speaking to a variety of groups around the country, working on a book and outlining her agenda at the foundation started by her husband, ex-President Bill Clinton.

In remarks during an interview at the “Unique Lives and Experiences” conference, Ms. Clinton avoided identifying herself as the leading prospect. The event was not open to the media, but a person in attendance posted a clip of the speech on YouTube .

In an interview with Samantha Nutt, the founder and executive director of War Child Canada, a nonprofit that works with war-affected communities to help children,Ms. Clinton cited former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who had said that women in politics needed skin as “thick as a rhinoceros”.

“I think there is still truth to that, so you have to step up, you have to dare to compete, you have to get into the process and then the country, our country, has to take that leap of faith.”

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