Washington (CNN) - We're still a long way away from 2016, but the picture of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sitting side by side in a prime-time television network interview is creating a lot of buzz.
While some people are speculating that by sitting for an interview for the first time with someone other than his wife, the president was some how signaling support for any possible White House bid by Clinton (very doubtful), the real campaign news from the interview appeared to be the outgoing secretary of state's leaving the door open to a 2016 run.
Asked her political future in a "60 Minutes" interview that ran Sunday night on CBS, Clinton said "the president and I care deeply about what's going to happen for our country in the future, and I don't think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or... or the next year."
The comments seem to be a change of language from last year when Clinton seemed to dismiss any talk of making another run president.
"Look, I'm flattered. I am honored," she told CNN's Wolf Blitzer last April about calls by other Democrats for her to consider another run in 2016. "That is not in the future for me, but obviously I'm hoping that I'll get to cast my vote for a woman running for president of our country."
The joint interview was the president's idea.
"I just wanted to have a chance to publicly say thank you, because I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had. It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I'm going to miss her," Obama told CBS's Steve Kroft.
But don't read anything more into the interview than that, says a Democratic strategist close to Clinton.
"The interview was President Obama's way of putting a capper on Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, and of taking some credit for it," says the adviser, who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely. "The president's very proud he went this route of appointing his chief rival top an extremely important and high profile cabinet position and he sees her years as secretary of state as an important part of his legacy."
When asked about 2016, the president chuckled, saying "you guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally... (laughs) ...inaugurated four days ago, and you're talking about elections four years from now."
Obama and Clinton battled each other in tough and historic 2008 Democratic nomination battle, with Clinton dropping out in June of that year, at the conclusion of the primary and caucus calendar. After winning the general election that November, Obama asked his former rival to serve as secretary of state.
The joint-interview came at the beginning of what will most likely be Clinton's last full week as America's top diplomat. Sen. John Kerry, the president's choice to succeed Clinton as secretary of state, is expected to be confirmed Tuesday by the Senate Foreign Relations committee, the panel Kerry's headed the past four years.
Kerry, the Democrat's 2004 presidential nominee, took over as Foreign Relations committee chairman after Sen. Joe Biden stepped down from his seat after his 2008 election as vice president.
Biden is also considering a 2016 bid. The vice president met with Democratic Party delegates last week, capping a number of moves he made over inauguration weekend that could be considered early signals that Biden may be laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 run for the White House.
Biden, who served nearly four decades as a senator from Delaware, unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination in 1988 and 2008. On Election Day 2012, when asked if it was the last time he'd vote for himself, the vice president said "No, I don't think so."
But when asked last week in an interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger if there were any reasons why he wouldn't run in 2016, Biden said "there's a whole lot of reasons why I wouldn't run. Um, I haven't made that decision. And I don't have to make that decision for a while."
A Democratic strategist close to Biden sees the Obama-Clinton interview as a parting gift to the secretary of state, and doesn't see the teaming up on TV as any threat to Biden. The strategist also asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely.
According to a CNN/ORC International poll conducted last month, 85% of Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democratic Party said they'd be very or somewhat likely to support Clinton if she makes another bid for the Democratic nomination, with two-thirds of Democrats questioned saying they would be very or somewhat likely to support Vice President Joe Biden if he runs. Other possible 2016 candidates mentioned in the survey trailed Biden by at least 10 points.
Biden, who was a tireless campaigner last year, was back on the trail this past weekend, helping raise money for Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who could face a strong Republican challenge in next year's midterm elections.
The strategist close to Biden says expect to see the vice president "absolutely active" on the campaign trail in the 2014 cycle. Helping fellow Democrats in the 2013 and 2014 elections could pay dividends for the vice president if he decides to run for the White House in 2016.
It will most likely be a different story for Clinton, who's about to return to life as a private citizen for the first time in years. The adviser close to Clinton says don't expect to see her in traditional retail political events anytime soon.