Total Pageviews

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bill Clinton Unsure of Wife\'s 2016 Plans


WASHINGTON â€" Former president Bill Clinton said Sunday that he had “no earthly idea” whether his wife might decide to run for the presidency in 2016, but that he had never met a more qualified public servant and that she would have his full support no matter what she decides.

So if it was not a “yes” or a “maybe” from the former president - who just might be expected to have some inside knowledge of the matter - it was certainly not a “no.”

The future career path of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a matter of fervid speculation since she made clear that she planned to step down at the end of President Obama's current term. Mr. Clinton's strong defense of Mr. Obama in his speech at the Democratic national convention fueled a sense that he might be helping keep the Clinton brand before the public eye, and not just for his own sake.

Asked on CBS's “Face the Nation” about his wife's plans, Mr. Clinton replied, “I don't know.” After eight years in the White House, eight years as New York senator and now four years as secretary of state, he said, “She's tired.”

(He did not mention the many months she spent battling Mr. Obama for the 2008 presidential nomination.)

Mr. Clinton went on: “She's really worked hard. I think she's done a fabulous job. I'm very proud of her. But she wants to take some time off, kind of regroup. Write a book. I hope we'll be working together,” presumably on the charitable and philanthropic efforts of his Clinton Global Initiative.

Asked by CBS's Bob Schieffer whether Mrs. Clinton was in fact the most qualified person to run in 2016, Mr. Clin ton at first deferred to what he suggested was a large potential field of Democrats, including “bright young governors” and members of Congress.

But then he turned back to his wife.

“I know I'm biased,” he said, “but I think she demonstrated as senator and as secretary of State that she has extraordinary ability, a lot of commonsense, a lot of, you know, stick-to-itiveness. She'll push a rock up a hill as long as it takes to get it up the hill.”

So “whatever she decides, I'll support it.”