BERLIN, July 6 Former U.S. secretary of state
Hillary Clinton called Chancellor Angela Merkel "the greatest
leader in Europe" during a visit to Berlin on Sunday and said it
was high time America had a woman leader too, though without
confirming she would seek the job.
Clinton also referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as
a "tough customer with a pretty thin skin" in an appearance at a
Berlin theatre to promote her new book, "Hard Choices".
The former senator and wife of ex-President Bill Clinton is
widely expected to run for the White House in 2016 and has cited
Merkel as a good argument for the United States having a woman
"I think we are ready for a woman to break through the glass
ceiling," Clinton said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag
newspaper, adding that she would decide whether to run for
president "at the end of this year or early next year".
Clinton joked at the Schiller Theater about her and Merkel's
shared taste for pants suits and voiced admiration for the
chancellor's leadership of Europe in the euro zone debt crisis.
"I say in the book I think she is the greatest leader in
Europe, I think she is a great leader globally, I think she
carried Europe on her shoulders and it wasn't easy," she said.
(Reporting by Stephen Brown and Reuters TV, editing by William