Clinton ready to leave State in 2012?
January 19th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
12 years ago

Clinton ready to leave State in 2012?

(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.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. AC

    Class lady, I wish her well. Palin look at this lady, that's the way you should act, not like a clown. But, alas, its too late for you, your a quitter.

    January 19, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Rose

    I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton but I don't blame her for not continuing for a second term. It is a tough job and she is never home. At this point in her life she deserves some private time, maybe she will become and Grandmother in the near future and that will bring her more joy than anything the Government can offer her.

    January 19, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. Yaya

    You will be missed

    January 19, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Taking Back America; One Vote At A Time

    What do the Rats do when the ship is sinking?

    January 19, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Neal

    Hillary does not look well. And now she has to fly around the world and apoligize for things we have said and done. She makes up stories and that trip at the top of the plane steps recently after a slow walk up the stairs tells much. Husband Bill is not well either and good luck to them.

    January 19, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. jpmichigan

    Hopefully she will reconsider running for President, since the Obma administration is now trying to govern as Bill Clinton did.

    January 19, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is one strong, smart and worldwide respected woman. She's juggled raising an educated and respectful daughter while in the spotlight and kept her family affairs in tact. She's never used the hateful rhetoric we hear today because she educated and intelligent enough to know when and how to get her message across. We need more women in politics like Hillary.

    January 19, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Randy

    I screwed up in 2008 and would like to vote for Hillary in 2012.

    January 19, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. Scot

    In a world that needs this type of stateswoman it would be a huge loss to have her step down. I shutter the thought of what the republicans would have as a Sec of State if they win the presidental election.

    January 19, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Taking Back America; One Vote At A Time

    Oh No.....Posturing for a 2012 run against Obambi!

    January 19, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. seebofubar

    Well, since everyone else bailed on Obama it was only a matter of time before Clinton wised up. Every rat eventually abandons a sinking ship.

    January 19, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. Obama momma

    It should say....Clinton ready to be president in 2012...tirerd of hearing Sarah Palin 2012.

    January 19, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    Mrs.Clinton is a great Lady,and I hate to see her step down,but I have been expecting it in some ways.She HAS had a very long haul in constant motion,and very public life.Maybe,with their daughter just getting married,she would like to have some years of "regular"life while she can enjoy them.Certinly cant blame her for that~and the job she has now has to be one of the most stressful in government.

    January 19, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Mary

    Secretary Clinton has been an extraordinary Secretary of State and would be missed if she did not stay. Having said that, I can certainly understand her wanting time to spend with her family and friends and pursuing other interests. She has served her country well but I do hope she serves out the entire four years – who knows she may change her mind and decide to stay for the eight years assuming President Obama wins again, (i hope so) but if not, then job well done.

    January 19, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It would be great for her to stay for a year into the first year or so of the next Obama term if he is re-elected. This would give him time to get someone else lined up.

    January 19, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. GOP Taliban Victim

    Proof yet again that Obama was the right choice in '08. He is young enough to handle the stress. Clinton is not. Thank you for your service. I hope you consider returning to the Senate...we need your leadership there.

    January 19, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Norm

    Hilary has been there and done it all.
    Maybe she just wants some time to herself.
    Quite the American patriot. Just a few years ahead of her time on the whole POTUS thing.

    January 19, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Bob

    It doesn't matter if she's qualified to be President or not in 2016. It's who the media loves better. If you don't believe that then just ask Hillary herself!

    January 19, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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