Hillary Clinton Jokes That She's Running for President -- of Malta

By Susan Jones | April 25, 2012 | 11:21 AM EDT

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CNSNews.com) - "Thank you very much. Thank you all. Thank you and welcome to my announcement to run for president of Malta."

Hillary Clinton's comment at a Time magazine event in New York City Tuesday night prompted laughter from the audience, and she drew applause a short time later when she mentioned that women have proved they "can run the world in heels and pantsuits."

On Tuesday night at the Lincoln Center, Time honored Clinton and 99 other people named to the magazine's 100 "most influential" list, including the NFL's Tim Tebow and the NBA's Jeremy Lin.

Clinton said she's delighted that Tebow and Lin, two of New York's newest residents, made the list: "And if you want any advice, if you need a little help getting your bearings, I’ve put together some ideas for a Listening Tour – and if you just travel around, you’ll hear all kinds of things from New Yorkers," she said.

Clinton launched her U.S. Senate run with a “listening tour” in New York in 1999.

In her remarks Tuesday night, Clinton noted that N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, also made the "most influential" list: "And the two of them and I have ended up on some other lists this past couple of months," she said -- a reference to vice presidential and presidential speculation.

Clinton gave a "shout-out" to German chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Miller, and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who also made Time's list: Clinton said those women "prove once again that you actually can run the world in heels and pantsuits, because the day is over when women leaders could only aspire to a supporting role."

On January 26, Clinton said that after 20 years of "being on the high wire of American politics," she would step down as secretary of state at the end of President Obama's term. "It would probably be a good idea to just find out how tired I am," she said. "I don’t want to think about what might come next," she added, saying that she would remain focused on diplomacy to the end of her tenure as secretary of state.

But speculation about her future political plans began immediately.

Clinton has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Vice President Joe Biden on the 2012 ticket -- and as a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

Last week, CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Clinton, "If the president of the United States says ‘Madame Secretary I need you on the ticket this year in order to beat Romney,’ are you ready to run as his vice presidential running mate?”

“That is not going to happen," Clinton responded. "That’s like saying if the Olympic Committee called you up and said, ‘Are you ready to run the marathon would you accept?’ Well, it is not going to happen.” But she didn't answer the hypothetical question.

A number of Democrats, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have said they'd like to see Hillary Clinton run for president in 2016. Although Clinton repeatedly has said she has no plans to get back into politics, her husband said he'd be happy if she does:

“It’s entirely up to [Hillary],” Clinton told ABC's “Good Morning America” on April 2. “I believe that she’s being absolutely honest with you when she says she doesn’t think she’ll go back into politics. But if she comes home and we do this foundation stuff for the rest of our lives, I’ll be happy; if she changes her mind and decides to run, I’ll be happy.”

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