Clinton: “I think I’ll serve as secretary of state as my last public position”

As noted by the Telegraph’s Nile Gardiner, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has told an audience in Bahrain that the post will likely be her last in public office.

Clinton was speaking at a town hall meeting in Bahrain, where she’s attending a Gulf security summit hosted by Bahrain’s International Institute for Strategic Studies, where Yemen and Iran are expected to dominate the agenda.

“I think I’ll serve as secretary of state as my last public position, and then probably go back to advocacy work, particularly on behalf of women and children and particularly around the world,” Clinton, who will begin her third year in the position in January, said at a town hall meeting.

As Nile Gardiner points out

The timing of her statement was highly significant, coming just days after Wikileaks published hundreds of thousands of confidential State Department cables with the aid of several newspapers across the world, including The New York Times. Mrs. Clinton has been given the unenviable task of trying to repair the huge damage which the leaks have inflicted upon the trust America’s allies traditionally place in Washington. She has already been directly in touch with dozens of world leaders in an effort to soften the blow to America’s standing.

Indeed, the Secretary of State has led the US administration’s attack on Wikileaks – and is acting as a firebreak for President Barack Obama.

But having signed off on intelligence directives to US diplomats directing them to, in effect, spy on senior UN staff and delegates, Hillary Clinton may have little choice in the matter.

CBS notes an interesting aside from the US Secretary of State

In addition to personal passions, Clinton also noted the strain of the job of president as a deterrent towards seeking further election.

“Every president, if you watch what they look like when they come into office, you can see their hair turn white because it’s such a hard job,” she said.

And it’s not a magical unicorn fairyland white either.

Of course, when Hillary Clinton goes it’s likely her the US economic envoy will go too.

So best make the most of him while he’s here…

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  • pippakin

    Hillary Clinton won’t retire. I wish!

  • Alias

    It’s always better to announce your retirement before the electorate retire you as a one-term incumbent. That way, at least, you can later say you’re doing what you wanted to do rather than only doing it because you got thrown out on your ear…

  • anonymous

    a politician who announces she is “returning to advocacy for children around the world” is running for office. Wonder how she forgot to mention little puppies and apple pie.

  • andnowwhat

    Is there not a precedent where an ex president ran again, some years after an earlier term, and became president again?

    I would be well chuffed, if this still held, if Bill was to go for it again.

    Sure, he was a bit rogue, but I have a lot of time for a smart rogue

  • pippakin


    “Sure, he was a bit rogue, but I have a lot of time for a smart rogue”

    They used to say that about Haughey, Ahern and Cowen, they don’t look so smart now and neither do we.

    I think you’re right though Clinton (Bill) could run again, but Obama will probably at least try for a second term which almost certainly means at least eight years before either Clinton can try.

  • RepublicanStones

    The sooner Lady Macbeth goes the better.

  • Pete Baker


    Bill’s gone. He’s not coming back.

    And Hillary wasn’t elected. She was appointed.

    By Obama. Who will likely be the Democrats’ candidate for a second term.

    And he’ll probably lose.

    Whether Hillary stays at State for the full term is the question.

    But she’s clearly saying that that will be it.

    And why would the next US Secretary of State appoint another economic envoy here?

    Are we special?

  • pippakin

    Well the British may not be as special as they thought but everyone knows the Irish are very special indeed.

    Hillary and Bill had planned to get the third term, neither of them will give that up easily. Obama is so unpopular now it has been suggested that he might not run for a second term. If he does run he will lose unless he makes radical changes and he does not appear to be the changing type.

  • Pete Baker


    The Irish are in an even worse economic position than we are. 😉

  • pippakin

    Pete Baker

    That’s debatable! Germans laughing at Ireland. Don’t know if you have seen this link its about the debt we owe and how long it will take Ireland to pay it off and those nasty Germans laughing at the greedy gombeen Irish government/s.

    The British owe much more and ok there are more of them and they have their own currency to play with but it is still a lot more than we owe and as far as I can see they are running out of options.

  • Pete Baker


    The point is that Northern Ireland will no longer merit special attention.

    But please. Bill’s not coming back.

    And Hillary is saying that she’s stepping back from public office.

    The Clinton era is at an end.

  • pippakin

    Pete Baker

    It may have slipped your notice but envoy or no envoy Ireland north or south has not merited ‘special’ attention since Obama got in. He is not interested in finding some long lost Irish ancestor, there are very few votes in it for him. He sees the US as Pacific oriented and anyway he doesn’t like Europe. He doesn’t like the British either but they are small fry compared to Europe.

    Of course it could all change if he is as ambitious to stay in office as most other Presidents.

  • Pete Baker


    It hasn’t slipped my attention.

    But it may have some others.

  • anonymous

    >Is there not a precedent where an ex president ran again,
    >some years after an earlier term, and became president again?

    Yes, Grover Cleveland did this, but the US Constitution has been amended since then to ban anyone from being elected more than twice, so Bill Clinton is ineligible.

    Because they face that limit anyway, US Presidents rarely step aside for the good of the party, as a leader in a parliamentary system might do. The last example of that was sure-loser Lyndon Johnson in 1968. The most likely scenario by far is that Obama runs for reelection. Unless Sarah Palin reveals that her husband a woman and Mitt Romney converts to Islam, Obama will likely lose.

    As for the child-advocating Ms Clintony, she’d be a loser right now, just as she was in 2008. She has high negative polling left over from the personal abuse the Repubs piled on her during the BC presidency. That said, 2016 is six years away, and US politics, lacking any real ideological or policy differences between the parties, is very much dominated by short term news cycles and publicity stunts. Six years is a long time.

  • Pete Baker



    I think you have your dates/countries confused.

    The US Presidential term is 4 years.

    And Obama’s started in January 2009.

  • anonymous

    PB, HRC won’t run against Obama in 2012. The election in which she would run, if she does, will take place in November 2016. The term starts in 2017.

  • Pete Baker


    But she’s said she will not run for the presidency.

    You seriously think that she will step out of electoral politics, only to return to mount a campaign for the presidency in 2016?

    Come on.

    Time to take the blinkers off, guys.

    And look at the here and now.

  • joeCanuck

    “Six years is a long time”

    According to Harold Wilson, in politics, a week is a long time. He wasn’t too far off the mark with that quip. Especially now in the age of ADHD.

  • JJ Malloy

    Obama will be tough to beat in 2012. Jeb Bush may be on the one to do it though.

  • joeCanuck


    Do you have any other good one liners?

  • RebVolley

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is joint Obama/Clinton tactics. She announces her step down, only to be courted by Obama to be Vice President on the 2012 ticket, a female counter balance to any possible Palin involvement. Having begrudgingly, yet nobly, agreed to do her bit for party and country, she’d be presumptive Democratic candidate in 2016.