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Hillary Clinton rules out run for presidency -- is she actually happy in her work?

October 13, 2009 |  7:27 am

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Britain Oct. 11, 2009

For years, even decades, she was the feminist emblem of ambition, a political figure whose smarts, work ethic and connections (largely through her husband, political rock star Bill Clinton) marked her for historic firsts.

And she has certainly piled them on -- the first former first lady to become a U.S. senator, the first female candidate with a serious shot at the presidency.

But now, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insists that she is not planning to run for president again. Ever.

Asked about a future bid during an interview on NBC's "Today" program, Clinton laughed. ''No,'' she said. ''No, I mean, this is a great job. It is a 24/7 job, and I'm looking forward to retirement at some point.''

It is tempting for some to cling to hope, and their Hillary for President buttons. But most commentators see in the statement a glimmer of inner peace, as if Barack Obama's former rival for the presidency has actually found contentment in her role as the chief diplomat in his administration.

"It’s as if she has checked out of that tiresome phallic competition and acknowledged what’s different — and valuable — about her own female nature, wrote one of her biggest fans, the Daily Beast's Tina Brown.

And if you listen to her words, Clinton does, as one Australian outlet put it, give "a pretty good impersonation of a person who is happy with her lot."


Asked about reports that she's been marginalized at the State Department, she called them "absurd" and added, "Maybe there is some misunderstanding which needs to be clarified. I'm not one of these people who feels I've got to have my face in the front of the newspaper or on TV every moment of the day. Maybe that is a woman's thing. Maybe I'm totally secure and feel absolutely no need to go running around for people to see what I'm doing. It's just the way I am.''

A woman's thing? Happy in life? Not running for president again?

We take her at her word. After all, this could be the first time she's even raised the prospect of retirement.

Still, not everyone agrees. Said hotair.com: "Dude, she's totally running."

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo credit: Getty Images

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