Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who plans to leave the administration no matter how the 2012 presidential election turns out in November, is planning to take a two-year break from politics before deciding if she will run for president in 2016, according to close family friend and advisor Terry McAuliffe.
"She is going to take two years off," he told Secrets. "I can tell you that's it," he said dismissing reports that she and former President Bill Clinton are already plotting her 2016 campaign.
For the past several months, Clinton has been the topic of wild speculation that she would replace Joe Biden as vice president and also that she is mapping her course to the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. But aides and allies are stepping up their campaign to shoot down that talk.
Clinton, they note, is coming off a 33-year ride as a public servant. She has been the most-traveled U.S. diplomat in years, suffered a bruising presidential loss to President Obama in 2008, won an unexpected and successful bid for the New York Senate, served eight years as an often embattled first lady, and nearly 12 as the first lady of Arkansas.
And now she is in the middle of the Libya-Egypt anti-America crisis and managing Israel's anger at President Obama's refusal to force Iran to stop from building a nuclear bomb.
Once she leaves, likely in January, "She's going to take a well-deserved rest," said another ally.
Still, expectations are that she will consider a presidential bid and McAuliffe, her 2008 campaign chairman, said that she "would be the frontrunner, absolutely" if she tosses her hat into the ring. Polls back that up impressively, with other contenders such as New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, Biden and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley well behind Clinton.