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. Hilary fan

    Noooooo don't go!! we need you!!

    January 19, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. jim

    She's not the only one who will be a one-termer!

    January 19, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. Joe

    good the sooner she leaves the government feed bag the better

    January 19, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. Publius13

    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.

    January 19, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. GI Joe

    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.

    January 19, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  6. Shari from Madison

    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.

    January 19, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. XWngLady

    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.

    January 19, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. knucklehead61

    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 the last minute...oh, okay, I'll go ahead and run for president...

    January 19, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. bj

    See maybe if she had won the 08 presidency perhaps she wouldn't be running again in 12.

    January 19, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. NameRobert

    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.

    January 19, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Positive

    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 main page for the Ticker. Instead, there's yet another headline about Palin – as there is most days. Please reconsider your headline priorities.

    January 19, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    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!!

    January 19, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. Peter E

    '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?

    January 19, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. marcamp2

    restored credibility...exactly where did we restore our credibility?

    January 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Four and The Door

    I am sure Hillary has no intention of serving as Secretary of State after 2012. Why would she want to work for a Republican?!?!

    January 19, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. GOP = Greed Over People

    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.

    January 19, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. larry

    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 !

    January 19, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Dayga

    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.

    January 19, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. jorge washinsen

    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.

    January 19, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Robert Camacho

    Thank you Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton for all you have done for our country and the world.

    Please know you have our support always.


    Robert Camacho
    Clinton Delegate, California Congressional District 10th

    January 19, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Desert Denizen

    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.

    January 19, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Patriots Salute the Flag! Traitors don't!!!

    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.

    January 19, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Margie

    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.

    January 19, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. edward

    I think that Sec. of State Clinton is one of the best qualified people to become President after President Obama. Run for President Hillary!

    January 19, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Simon

    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?

    January 19, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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