Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that she initially had trouble making her case as a Senate candidate, and said it took time to make the switch from supporting her husband on the trail to arguing for her own candidacy.

"Totally different," she said when asked by MSNBC's Chris Matthews about how different it was to make her own case.

"I had the hardest time when I started saying 'I and me.' I'm happy to say, you know, my husband this, or candidate X or Y," she said. "But to stand up there and be the person out there, and it is a big challenge."

Matthews used the interview to ask how she came to launch her Senate campaign, and gave her credit for not hiding after President Bill Clinton's sex scandal.

"You had a difficult situation to go through, and you went through it, I think you were completely stunned by it initially, then you had to deal with it," Matthews said.

"What did you do? You didn't cry, you didn't go away and say, 'gee whiz, this is terrible, why am I going through this?' What you did is you went on and you acted like a champion for Democrats."

"I was in the news, like would she and wouldn't she, and I kept saying I'm not going to," she said about her possible Senate bid.

"And I was first lady going up to do an event in New York City to promote women in athletics. I was introduced by this young woman, I think she was like the volleyball or basketball captain," she said. "And I came up and shook her hand, and you know, I said, great job."

"She leaned over to me and said, 'dare to compete, Mrs. Clinton, dare to compete,'" Clinton added. "And I thought, wow, you know, I have encouraged so many women and girls to compete on the athletic fields, in academics, in politics, in business, and I'm being asked to compete, and stick my neck out, and it is scary."