Clinton says she will step off fast track "for a little while"

WASHINGTON Wed Jan 9, 2013 3:53pm EST

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds up a football jersey with her name on it, presented by Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides (2ndR), who joked that ''Washington is a contact sport,'' during a weekly meeting of assistant Secretaries of State, in this handout photograph taken and released by the State Department on January 7, 2013. REUTERS/State Department/Nick Merrill/Handout

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds up a football jersey with her name on it, presented by Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides (2ndR), who joked that ''Washington is a contact sport,'' during a weekly meeting of assistant Secretaries of State, in this handout photograph taken and released by the State Department on January 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/State Department/Nick Merrill/Handout

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday she would step off the fast track "for a little while" when she leaves the State Department but she gave no hint as to whether she may ultimately run again for U.S. president.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since a stomach virus, concussion and blood clot kept her out of public view for nearly a month, Clinton said she wanted to ensure a seamless transition to Senator John Kerry, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed her.

"Obviously, it's somewhat bittersweet," Clinton, who came back to the office on Monday, said of her final few weeks as secretary of state, saying she had "the most extraordinary experience" as secretary of state.

"I am very much looking forward to doing everything we can these last few weeks to resolve and finish up wherever possible and then to ... have a very smooth, seamless transition to Senator Kerry to continue the work," she said.

Asked if retirement came next, Clinton replied: "I don't know if (that is the) word I would use, but certainly stepping off the very fast track for a little while."

Clinton fell ill with a stomach virus in early December. She then became dehydrated and fainted, leading to a concussion. During a check-up after that, she was diagnosed with a blood clot, hospitalized and treated with blood thinners.

The 65-year-old former first lady and U.S. senator ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 but was defeated by Obama. Clinton is often mentioned as a potential White House candidate again in 2016, although last month she sought to play down that possibility.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Will Dunham)

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Comments (3)
timebandit wrote:
Clinton has logged more out of country travel miles, esp. to global hotspots, than any other SoS. She’s earned a well-deserved break from not just diplomacy and politics but the public eye. Her bandwidth brain power has long been enviable, but so is her stamina. I’m far younger and could not keep up that sort of schedule, even with a team of assistants. Imagine it will be grandly rejuvenating to spend some time with feet up, a cat on lap, cup of tea in one hand and book or sudoku puzzle in the other. Doubt she’ll actually do much sitting around, but I sure as heck would.

Jan 09, 2013 1:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bohemianbill wrote:
Eliot Spitzer my 2016 choice for President, Hillary great job, is it not time to start enjoying the golden years. Surely you do need this pace of life anymore.

Jan 09, 2013 6:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
justinolcb wrote:
wait – does she have her memory back yet?

Jan 10, 2013 7:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
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