Hillary Clinton said at a conference Thursday that she would like to see a female president before she dies — and had a little fun with the chatter she knew it would provoke.

"Well, let me say this: Hypothetically speaking," she said wryly, "I really do hope that we have a woman president in my lifetime."

The crowd applauded.

Clinton was speaking via video feed to a women's lecture series in Toronto. She urged women to step forward and be a part of the process, which she admitted requires thick skin.

"You have to step up. You have to dare to compete. You have to get into the process," Clinton said. "And then as a country — our country has to take that leap of faith."

Backers of Clinton have already launched a super PAC laying the groundwork for a potential 2016 presidential campaign, but the group hasn't been without its detractors.