(CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested Wednesday one term as the nation's top diplomat just may be enough for her.
Speaking on NBC's Today Show, Clinton notably avoided answering directly whether she would be willing to stay in the high-profile position should President Obama win a second term, instead making clear she is looking forward to returning to private life.
"I am very pleased to be working in this position now, but I've said on many occasions I am looking forward to retuning to private life, something I haven't had the experience of for a long time now," said Clinton, who has without pause in the last three decades been the first lady of Arkansas, the first lady of the United States, a U.S. senator, a presidential candidate, and now secretary of state.
"I am proud to serve this president. I think we have made a real difference in restoring American leadership and credibility around the world," Clinton added. "But I do look forward to having a little more spare time and a few more hours just to take a deep breath."
Asked directly if she would consider sticking around for a second Obama term, Clinton said: "That is not something I am in any way committing to or even thinking about."
It's not the first time Clinton has suggested she doesn't want to remain in her current post beyond four years, telling PBS last year that she "really can't" see herself in the position for eight years. She's also said - to the disbelief of many political observers - that she does not see herself running for president again.
And late last year, Clinton poured cold water on the suggestion, raised by veteran Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, that she was angling to switch roles with Vice President Biden in a second Obama term.
"I don't believe what I read," Clinton said of Woodward's claims in October. "I have absolutely no interest and no reason for doing anything other than just dismissing these stories and moving on."
Should Clinton ultimately step down as Secretary of State, it would not be out of the ordinary. The constant travel and stresses of the job have taxed many who have come before her. In fact, the last Secretary of State to last more than one term was George Schultz who served under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1989.
Meanwhile, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday shows Clinton favorable ratings are high - 66 percent give a thumbs up to the Secretary of State.
Noooooo don't go!! we need you!!
She's not the only one who will be a one-termer!
good the sooner she leaves the government feed bag the better
It would be a sad day for America if Sec. Clinton were to leave her post in 2012. Hillary Clinton is without any doubt the most important, significant, and skillful Secretary of State since Cordell Hull.
She's a very smart, very strong woman who has given a lot for this country. I hope she stays, but understand the need for some time to do other things.
I totally understand her wanting to step down. Her job is extremely stressful. I wish she would run for President again, but I believe that she does not want this, especially since the republican's have a majority. I wish her well in whatever she chooses to do.
I would like to see Hillary as Secy State for another term, or even as Obama's running mate in 2012 (Sorry Biden, I like you, but I think Hillary would be better), but hey if the lady just wants to take a break or retire, then she has the right to do so....She certainly deserves it.
Return to private life???Sure...and write a book...and go on a book tour...then a speaking tour...then begin twittering like mad about whatever happens on any particular day...and then...at the last minute...oh, okay, I'll go ahead and run for president...
See maybe if she had won the 08 presidency perhaps she wouldn't be running again in 12.
Thank you Secretary Hillary Clinton for all you have done for our country. You will always have my support. Clinton Delegate, California Congressional District 10th.
CNN, This should be a headline not buried under the ticker. Hillary Clinton is in one of the most important positions in the country. News about her staying on in the position is major news. And it isn't even headlined on the cnn.com main page for the Ticker. Instead, there's yet another headline about Palin – as there is most days. Please reconsider your headline priorities.
If Chelsea have a baby – then we can KISS Clinton goodbye for sure. She would have some SPOILING to do!! I think HIllary would be like a fish out of water if she quits. It has been a long time though and she deserves to have a BREAK!!
'In fact, the last Secretary of State to last more than one term was George Schultz who served under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1989.'
Exactly. So where is the news? Why try to push this as anything surprising?
restored credibility...exactly where did we restore our credibility?
I am sure Hillary has no intention of serving as Secretary of State after 2012. Why would she want to work for a Republican?!?!
Careful, Hill I agree it is too early to commit a second term as SOS since it is not clear that President Obama will win re-election, but if you start filp-floppin' on some of these comments about public office vs. private, soon you will look a whole lot like that con Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who now has NO credibility.
the whole world, not just the US would loose a great Diplomat and Politician. She will be greatly missed when she steps out of the public arena. Until then, keep doing what you do so well !
Why wait until 2012? Do it now! The sooner this manipulative monster leaves public service the better off our nation will be. She's mastered the art of talking out of both sides of her mouth... and lying out of each.
I think it is wise idea for her to get out early and plan a run.It would be a certain way for the Democrats to retain the White House unless our side comes up with better Presidential material than has been out there lately.
Thank you Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton for all you have done for our country and the world.
Please know you have our support always.
Clinton Delegate, California Congressional District 10th
I've already seen "GoHillary16" bumper stickers on car windows. I don't think she really plans to return to "private life" for very long.
She needs to do the American people a great justice and be President in 2012. All she would have to do is run. No on except the illegals and AAs will vote for Obama now.
This woman has given excellent and honest service to our country. I think if she wants to relax for the rest of her life than she should do so. Like her husband, and unlike some other retired politicians who gravitate to the lobby scene, she will spend the rest of her life helping the AVERAGE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
I think that Sec. of State Clinton is one of the best qualified people to become President after President Obama. Run for President Hillary!
The title made it sound like she was leaving next week. Maybe she plans on dueling Palin to the death after the 2012 election. Who knows?