Hillary Clinton eyes end to time on the political ‘high wire’

President Obama greets Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

After 20 long years in the public eye, Hillary Rodham Clinton can see the finish line.

Sure, there likely will be talk all year about her running with President Obama as his running mate. And no matter who wins the presidency this fall, there’s always 2016 to think about.

But the secretary of state said Thursday that after decades of “being on the high wire of American politics,” it’s about time for some R & R.


“It would be probably a good idea to just find out how tired I am,” she joked. Then she teased: “Everyone always says that when they leave these jobs.”

Clinton, during an event with State Department employees, had been asked, “What could we do to persuade you to run for vice president?” Clinton said she has enjoyed her time as the nation’s top diplomat and would continue to serve only as long as it takes for a replacement to be selected and confirmed after the election.

The reflective moment came precisely 20 years to the day after Clinton made one of her earliest and most high-profile public appearances -- sitting with her husband, then a presidential candidate dogged by allegations of infidelity, for an interview on “60 Minutes” that aired after the Super Bowl.

A year later, she was the first lady. Before the end of her husband’s second term, she was in the U.S. Senate representing New York. And after a marathon Democratic primary fight with Obama in 2008, she was a surprise pick to serve in his Cabinet.

She conceded Thursday that it was a bit odd for her “to be totally out of an election season” now, since she is barred from political activity.

“You know, I didn’t watch any of those debates,” she said.

Even as she eyes the finish line, she spoke of the importance of finishing strong.

“The election is going to, I’m sure, suck up a lot of the attention from following areas that we think are so important,” she said. “But the good news is, you know, maybe we can even get more done if they’re not paying attention.”