Rep. Nancy Pelosi has caught Hillary mania, which is sweeping the media and political class during the Republican circus lull, while everyone nods off until Mitt Romney can squeeze 1144 out of wingnut primary voters.

I’d heard about this exchange, with Buzzfeed posting the video late yesterday.

“I would love to see Secretary Clinton become the nominee for President in 2016,” Pelosi said during an appearance in the 92nd Street Y in New York City Sunday night.

“I do think the Secretary should entertain the thought of running in 2016,” said the former Speaker of the House, who was formally neutral in 2008 but was widely viewed as tacitly supporting Senator Barack Obama, then Clinton’s bitter rival. “Hasn’t she been a magnificent Secretary of State?”

The speculation continues where my book leaves off. The question won’t be answered until we get a lot close to the next election, after Hillary Clinton has some much deserved rest.

What you won’t see is Secy. Clinton on the campaign trail. Never thought otherwise, but Sam Stein reported confirmation from Administration officials yesterday.

Pres. Bill Clinton talked about Hillary running in 2016 with Jake Tapper, as well as others. He’d be happy with whatever she decides, foundation or another presidential run, which will be an odds-maker in Vegas soon enough.

Beyond the buzz, one thing that was very interesting is Secy. Clinton’s recent handling of Rush Limbaugh. Having written the book on Hillary’s 20-year rise in politics and her interaction with traditional and new media, the confidence and diplomacy showed through honest assessment of the wingnut radio blowhard is worth noting.

Clinton talking to the grande dame of NBC, Andrea Mitchell, via Politico:

“I thought the response [to Limbaugh] was very encouraging. The response from the public, the response, in particular, from women cutting across all kinds of categories, the response from advertisers.”

“I think we need to call people out when they go over the line. They’re entitled to their opinion but no one is entitled to engage in that kind of verbal assault. Let’s keep it to the issues,” she said.

“We, as a nation, have every right ““ and in fact I welcome it ““ to engage in the kind of debate and dialogue that is at the root of who we are as Americans,” Clinton said. “But lets not turn it into personal attacks and insults. We’re beyond that. We’re better than that and people in the public eye have a particular responsibility to avoid it.”

The maturity, calm and confidence Clinton illustrates in this comment is a long way from the ’90s trademark “right wing conspiracy.” It’s expected from someone in the national political arena now for 20 years, but also coming from a secretary of state who has seen what she’s seen across the world. A woman who has nothing more to prove.

It makes gnats like Rush Limbaugh much easier to flick away at this point.

Secy. Clinton has never been stronger, more secure or sure of her power than she is today. With some rest and reflection and some holiday time, too, considering she’s tired but healthy, there’s no reason to think she won’t reconsider her Shermanesque statements on running a second time for the presidency.

However, no one should be surprised if living her life exactly as she chooses, without the constraints of the political arena, won’t satisfy her fully. I’m just not sure people will let her. There’s a real hunger for Hillary to run in 2016 and it’s only 2012. It’s only going to get louder from here.

Everyone knows the U.S. is poised to elect a female president as soon as a competent, charismatic woman, who also can be seen as commander in chief, shows up. The thought that it could be an anti-women’s rights conservative is unthinkable to most.