Hillary: 'American Political System is Probably Most Difficult, Even Brutal, in World'

By Brittany M. Hughes | June 16, 2014 | 2:13pm EDT

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Photo: CBS)

(CNSNews.com) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there are a number of “qualified women” who could run for president in 2016 but added that, whoever runs, they need to understand that politics in America is “probably the most difficult, even brutal, in the world.”

On CBS Sunday Morning, guest host Jane Pauley displayed a long list of countries that have (or had) female leaders, including Great Britain, and said, “If not you, who? Who is the viable woman of either party who could win a primary nomination in 2016, if not you?”

Clinton, 66, said, “Well, I think there are a number of qualified women who are holding office.”

Pauley said, “I’m not saying qualified.”

Clinton then continued, “But politics is so unpredictable, whoever runs has to recognize that the American political system is probably the most difficult, even brutal, in the world.”

According to The Daily Caller, Clinton’s comment about “brutal” politics in America was criticized by Washington Post congressional reporter Ed O’Keefe, who tweeted: @Hillaryclinton tells @cbssunday that US political system is most ‘brutal’ in world. Would Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto agree?

Gandhi, the only woman to hold the office of prime minister of India, was assassinated in 1984. Bhutto, the prime minister of Pakistan, was shot and killed following a political rally in 2007.

Several other countries have a history of violent treatment of women, including against those involved in politics.

According to The Washington Examiner on May 23, at least 10 Afghan women, including politicians and law enforcement officials, have been killed for their promotion of women’s rights. The list of those killed includes Safia Ama Jan, the women’s affairs director for the Afghan government, who was shot by suspected members of the Taliban in 2006.

Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India, assasinated in 1984. (AP)

Hanifa Safi, the regional head of the Women's Affairs Ministry for Laghman Province, Afghanistan, and an avid promoter of women's rights, was killed in 2012.

Fareeda "Kokikhel" Afridi, a 25-year-old women’s rights activist and the director of the Society for Appraisal and Women Empowerment in Rural Areas in Pakistan, was shot and killed in 2012.

Thirty-five year old Najma Hanif, a member of the Awami National Party in Pakistan, was shot and killed after gunmen broke into her home in August of last year.

During the interview, Pauley went on to explain why she believes Secretary Clinton will run for president in 2016,  citing part of a T.S. Eliot poem about Christian perseverance in the drive to grow closer to God in a fallen world.

Clinton had referenced the poem, East Coker from The Four Quartets, in paraphrase, when she graduated from Wellesley College in 1969.

Pauley, apparently unaware that Clinton did not recite the poem word-for-word, nonetheless said, “You quote a poem in that [1969] speech: ‘There's only’ – this is 1969 – ‘there’s only the trying again and again and again to win again what we've lost before.' That 21-year-old girl you were will not take no for an answer, my prediction.”

The actual stanza from “East Coker” reads:

"There is only the fight to recover what has been lost

And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions

That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.

For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business."

In response to Pauley, Clinton said, "We'll see, Jane. There's a lot of food for thought in that."

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