Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told PBS yesterday that she plans to leave the Obama administration at the end of the current term. Speculation as to what that means has begun.
It’s hard for many politicos to imagine Hillary Clinton being content with “going back to private life and spending time reading, and writing, and maybe teaching, doing some personal travel,” as she told Smiley. Though she lost the 2008 campaign, Time Magazine annointed her the “symbol of a movement that has come to represent the hopes and frustrations of millions of working-class Democrats.” Should Democrats’ discontent with the policies of the Obama administration increase, so may the speculation about her chances in 2012. Politically speaking, Clinton’s acceptance of Obama’s invitation to become Secretary of State was a brilliant move. Without stepping out of political life, Clinton has avoided a Congress where lawmakers have been forced to cast stigmatizing votes on health care, cap-and-trade, bailouts and stimulus bills. Whatever the results of the increasingly uncertain 2010 campaign season, she will likely walk away unscathed.
Did these factors play a part in her acceptance, and will her departure reveal further political ambitions? Might we see ‘Clinton 2012: I Told You So’ signs in the Democratic primary? No matter how many quotes there are to the contrary, the speculation may prove too tempting to resist. In the meantime, the Secretary of State seems focused on three more years of hard, important work.
You just know the PUMA sites are going crazy today.