His wife Hillary, who earlier this year stepped down as US secretary of state, has not yet said whether she plans another presidential run after her failed 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination.
“I hope we have a woman president in my lifetime, and I think it would be a good thing for the world as well as for America,” Clinton said at a conference organised by the respected Chinese financial magazine Caijing.
“But I do not know if she’s going to run, and there is no such thing as a sure thing in politics,” he added.
In a question-and-answer session before a standing-room-only crowd in a Beijing hotel ballroom, Clinton, who was president from 1993 to 2001, was asked whether he envisages becoming a “first husband” in the future.
“You know, if I knew the answer to that, I couldn’t say,” he responded. “But I can give you an honest answer: I have no idea.”
He called his wife “the ablest public servant I have ever worked with” and said that he would support her whatever decision she makes on a White House run.
“If that’s what she wants to do, I will support her,” Clinton said. “But if she decides for whatever reason she doesn’t, I will support that.”
“It’s very interesting for us; we still feel young and we still feel healthy,” he added, noting that compared with several decades ago, he believes his wife now is “less motivated… by a fear of failure”.
Clinton was in Beijing for meetings with China’s President Xi Jinping as well as to promote the work of his New York-based philanthropic organisation, the Clinton Foundation.