US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds up a football
helmet with the State Department logo on it, presented to
her during a weekly meeting of assistant Secretaries of
State. REUTERS/State Department/Nick Merrill/Handout
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she will step off
the fast track "for a little while" when she leaves the State
Department but she gave no hint as to whether she may
ultimately run again for U.S. president.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since a stomach
virus, concussion and blood clot kept her out of public view
for nearly a month, Clinton said she wanted to ensure a
seamless transition to Senator John Kerry, who has been
nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed her.
"Obviously, it's somewhat bittersweet," Clinton, who came
back to the office on Monday, said of her final few weeks as
secretary of state, saying she had "the most extraordinary
experience" as secretary of state.
"I am very much looking forward to doing everything we can
these last few weeks to resolve and finish up wherever
possible and then to ... have a very smooth, seamless
transition to Senator Kerry to continue the work," she said.
Asked if retirement came next, Clinton replied: "I don't know
if (that is the) word I would use, but certainly stepping off
the very fast track for a little while."
Clinton fell ill with a stomach virus in early December. She
then became dehydrated and fainted, leading to a concussion.
During a check-up after that, she was diagnosed with a blood
clot, hospitalized and treated with blood thinners.
The 65-year-old former first lady and U.S. senator ran for
the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 but was
defeated by Obama. Clinton is often mentioned as a potential
White House candidate again in 2016, although last month she
sought to play down that possibility.