Clinton says she won't commit to serving second term at State

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she hasn't committed to serving a second term in the Obama administration and is looking forward to an eventual return to private life.

"That's not something that I'm in any way committing to, or even thinking about," Clinton, President Obama's foe in the 2008 Democratic primary, said on NBC's "Today" show when asked if she would serve another term.

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Clinton said she had committed only to serving as the nation's top diplomat during the president's first term.

Some administration officials — mostly advisers in the White House — have announced their departure, part of the customary turnover halfway through an administration. But most Cabinet members have stayed so far. The exception is Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who is set to retire sometime this year.

Clinton said she hoped that Gates would stay longer.

"I am very pleased to be working in this position now, but I've said on many different occasions that I'm looking forward to returning to private life," Clinton said. "I do look forward to having a little more spare time, and a few more hours to take just a spare breath."


Some pundits have speculated that Clinton might return to public life, perhaps even as Obama's vice presidential nominee in 2012. She's denied that scenario.

She also repudiated former Vice President Cheney's assertion earlier this week that Obama would be a one-term president.

"I am pleased that former Vice President Cheney is healthy and resuming public activities, but I could not disagree with him more," Clinton said of Cheney's one-term claim. "I think President Obama has been playing the hand that he was dealt by the Bush/Cheney administration very well indeed."


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