Clinton doesn't believe she'll run in 2016

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 13 2012 08:20 AM | Updated as of Dec 13 2012 04:20 PM

WASHINGTON - Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said again Wednesday she has no plans to make a second bid to be America's first woman president.

"I've said I really don't believe that that's something I will do again," she told Barbara Walters from ABC News.

"I am so grateful I had the experience of doing it before," she added, alluding to her 2008 White House bid, in which she was defeated for the Democratic Party nomination by then senator Barack Obama.

However, in good diplomatic fashion Clinton, who remains the most popular figure in the Obama cabinet, said "all doors are open" in the future.

"I've been, as you know, at the highest levels of American and now international activities for 20 years, and I just thought it was time to take a step off -- maybe do some reading and writing and speaking and teaching."

She confirmed to Walters, who had selected the nation's top diplomat as one of her "10 Most Fascinating People of 2012," that she plans to step down as soon as her successor is sworn in and there has been a smooth transition.

But having just turned 65, Clinton ruled out age as a factor in determining whether she would run in the 2016 presidential election.

"I am, thankfully, knock on wood, not only healthy, but have incredible stamina and energy," she said.

"I just want to see what else is out there. I've been doing, you know, this, this incredibly important and satisfying work here in Washington, as I say, for 20 years. I want to get out and spend some time looking at what else I can do to contribute."

Ironically, the interview was filmed before the normally indefatigable Clinton was felled by a stomach virus which she caught on her return from a trip to Europe and which has kept her out of the public eye since the weekend.

Clinton also joked with Walters about people's fascination and obsession with her hair, admitting she doesn't travel with a hairstylist, and so has let it grow longer.

"I'm not very competent myself. I've been admitting that for years, which should be obvious to everyone," Clinton joked. "And so it became simpler to just grow it so that I can pull it back, and I can stick rollers in."

Since taking up her post almost four years ago, Clinton has kept up a relentless pace, visiting some 112 countries and is on track to rack up a million miles on the job, making her the most traveled secretary of state ever.

© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse