Clinton addressed an audience of 5,800 at Hamilton College in upstate New York Friday, the (Albany) Times Union reported.
"We watch what's happening in Washington with a certain amount of bewilderment and disgust. The rest of the world watches it closely," she said.
Clinton said the shutdown forced President Barack Obama to miss Friday's East Asia Summit, while Russian and Chinese leaders were there.
Polls suggest Clinton would be the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination if she runs in 2016. She did not address the possibility directly but appeared open to becoming a candidate as she responded to pre-screened questions.
Earlier Friday, in a speech to the Long Island Association, a business group, Clinton said she will make her decision some time next year, Newsday reported.
"I am not going to begin to think seriously about it until sometime next year," Clinton told the business group at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, N.Y. "I will think about it because it's something on a lot of people's minds. And it's on my mind as well."
At Hamilton, she talked about the qualifications of presidential candidates.
"The people who I know who have run successfully for president ... believed they had something unique to offer the country," she said. "They believed they were up to the job and they believed that they could govern once they had won."
Speaking of her own dealings with Republican leaders, Clinton she and President George W. Bush were able to cooperate on helping U.S. businesses abroad when she was in the Senate.