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Comedian Jon Stewart tells Hillary Clinton 'you've declared already'

By Eric M. Johnson

(Reuters) - Hillary Clinton has faced relentless speculation over her White House aspirations, but it took "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart a matter of minutes on Tuesday night to conclude using a satirical "career-aptitude test" she was campaign-ready.

Stewart's comedic grilling as the former secretary of state appeared on Comedy Central's late-night program to promote her new book, "Hard Choices", came after she had dodged many direct questions on 2016.

Stewart, picking up a clipboard as a prop, quizzed Clinton on her work habits, such as her preferred shape in a home office, to assess "if you even want this job."

"Would you like that office to have corners, or would you like it not to have corners?," Stewart said, referring indirectly to the iconic Oval Office of U.S. presidents.

"You know, I think that the world is so complicated, the fewer corners (the better)," Clinton said.

"Do you enjoy constant, nonstop criticism?" Stewart continued.

"Enjoy is probably the wrong word. Expect. Survive. It just sort of comes with the territory, yes," she said.

"So it sounds like, if I may, you've declared already," Stewart said, drawing a roar of laughter and applause from the friendly studio audience.

Despite Stewart's gimmicks and wit, Clinton did not declare herself a Democratic contender for president in 2016, but the pair did touch on more serious topics, such as rising income inequality in the United States.

Clinton has drawn fire after telling media last month that her and husband Bill had been "dead broke" after leaving the White House in 2001.

"Well, you know, that was an in-artful use of words, obviously," Clinton told Stewart later in the segment, before quickly saying she was worried about the hurdles young Americans face in getting ahead.

"You know what was kind of awesome that says to me that you're running for president? How easily you pivoted from that into income inequality in America," Stewart said, to audience laughter.

"That says to me you're running for president."

(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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