CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ruled out running for president in 2012 or 2016 on Friday, saying the United States should be ready for a woman president but it would not be her.
In interviews in New Zealand, the failed 2008 presidential candidate made clear she had no plans to run again despite talk — fueled partly by her fellow Democrats’ losses in Tuesday’s U.S. mid-term elections — she might embark on a new race.
Asked by TV3 New Zealand whether she ruled out standing for the top U.S. office through 2016, Clinton, according to a U.S. reporter, replied: “Oh yes, yes. I’m very pleased to be doing what I’m doing as secretary of state.”
In a separate interview with TV New Zealand, Clinton said she hoped the United States was ready for a female president, adding “it should be.”
Asked if it might be her, she replied: “Well, not me. But it will be someone and it is nice coming to countries that have already proven that they can elect women to the highest governing positions that they have in their systems.”
New Zealand — whose former prime ministers include Helen Clark and Jenny Shipley — is the second-to-last stop on a nearly two-week Asia-Pacific tour that Clinton wraps up in Australia, whose current prime minister is Julia Gillard.
In Tuesday’s election, Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives, where the Republicans gained at least 60 members. As of Thursday, Democrats held on to the Senate with a 51-seat majority but the Republicans gained six seats there.
The Democrats’ poor showing has been widely interpreted as a referendum on U.S. President Barak Obama, raising questions about who the party may field as its candidate in 2012, when he would be expected to run for re-election, and 2016.
Editing by Sugita Katyal