Former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has said she is "ready to come out of the woods".

The former secretary of state was speaking at the 19th annual St Patrick's Day Dinner held by the Society of Irish Women in Pennsylvania. She told the audience not to allow politics to divide them.

Clinton said in comments carried by The Hill: "I do not believe that we can let political divides harden into personal divides.

"We can't just ignore or turn a cold shoulder because we disagree politically. We have to listen to each other and learn from each other.

"I am ready to come out of the woods and to shine a light on what's already happening around kitchen tables at dinners like this to help draw strength to enable everyone to keep going."

The Democrat's comments came as rumours circulated that she was mulling a plan to run for office once again – this time as mayor of New York.

The showbiz website TMZ suggested that the career politician had another role in mind following her defeat by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

According to a source who was at a social gathering with "some politically connected people", Clinton has not ruled out the possibility of running. Her aides played down such rumours when they first surfaced at the beginning of the year.

Clinton, pictured at a fashion event in February, is 'ready to come out of the woods'. Reuters