Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Clinton Hints That She May Stay into Obama's Next Term If He Wins

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Clinton Hints That She May Stay into Obama's Next Term If He Wins

Article excerpt

In a Wall Street Journal interview with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, some observers see a shift from her insistence that she would leave when President Barack Obama's first term ends in January.

Hillary Rodham Clinton hinted in an interview published on Thursday that she might stay on in office for a brief period if President Barack Obama was re-elected, a shift from her insistence that she would leave when his first term ends in January.

A spokesman said on Thursday that this represented no substantial change from Mrs. Clinton's previous plans. But analysts suggested that it might reflect a concern by the secretary of state that her legacy might have been seriously harmed by criticism over the handling of the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

"A lot of people have talked to me about staying," Mrs. Clinton told The Wall Street Journal in an interview early this month. Asked whether current events, including the Benghazi attack, might cause her departure date to slip, the newspaper said she called this unlikely, but for the first time left open the possibility.

Mr. Obama said more recently that he had asked Mrs. Clinton to stay on but been unable to persuade her.

"She's done a wonderful job," Mr. Obama told the television show host Jay Leno during an appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show" taped on Wednesday. "I would love for her to stay."

But he said that despite his "begging," Mrs. Clinton seemed determined to spend more time with her family.

One possible explanation for Mrs. Clinton's hedge about staying is that one of the leading candidates to succeed her, the American ambassador to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice, might face a more difficult confirmation hearing after the dispute over her characterization of the attacks on the American mission in Benghazi.

Until the attack on Sept. …

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