Hillary Wants Out

Katie Pavlich

11/12/2012 10:15:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Last week we heard rumors of Attorney General Eric Holder making an exit and we saw a resignation from CIA Director David Petraeus. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton very well may be next on the out list, with a presidential race in her future.

 As everyone knows, Clinton’s remaining time in the cabinet is limited. She long ago told President Obama that she wanted to leave after his first term was up. “Obviously, if he wants to get somebody confirmed I’d be sensitive to that. But it’s not going to be much longer.”

It’s more than two months until this inauguration. But the speculation is already roaring. On Friday, Politico reported that Public Policy Polling had a new survey showing that if the Iowa caucuses were held today — there’s a terrifying thought — Clinton would get 58 percent of the vote. Joe Biden limped in with 17 percent.

Every day, people approach Hillary Clinton and tell her she has an obligation to run and give America its first woman president. “Yes, they do!” she laughs, with the trademark H.C. chortle. Being asked to run for president is a kind of side career all by itself.

Clinton gives many variations on the theme of don’t-think-so. (“Oh, I’ve ruled it out, but you know me. Everybody keeps asking me. So I keep ruling it out and being asked.”) Also a thousand different forms of beats-me. (“I have no idea what I’m going to do next.”) What she does not do is offer the kind of Shermanesque if-nominated-I-will-not-run language that would end the conversation.

Instead, she veers off into a discussion of all the things she’ll do when she’s no longer secretary of state, and there’s time. That led to a mention of her favorite television shows, which are all about house buying and home improvement.

So who will replace her?

Following in the footsteps of Clinton, one of the best-known and most well-respected politicians/diplomats in the world, is no easy task. (Clinton continues to play somewhat coy about what she’ll do after State but has left little doubt she’s leaving as the country’s top diplomat.)  Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry clearly pines for the job, but to pick Kerry would mean a special election to replace him in the Bay State in early 2013 with soon-to-be former senator Scott Brown (R) lurking. Democrats’ surprising gains in the Senate may give Obama the wiggle room to pick Kerry — special election be damned! — but it’s clearly a consideration.

Clinton was scheduled to testify this week before Congress about the 9/11 attack in Benghazi but won't due to a scheduling conflict.