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Washington - Clinton Says She Will Step Off Fast Track "For A Little While"

Published on: January 9, 2013 01:45 PM
By: Reuters
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds up a football jersey with her name on it,  presented by Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides (2ndR), who joked that "Washington is a contact sport,"  during a weekly meeting of assistant Secretaries of State, in this handout photograph taken and released by the State Department on January 7, 2013. Clinton resumed her official duties on Monday, five days after being released from a hospital for treatment of a blood clot. The number 112 refers to the number of countries that Clinton has visited as secretary of state. REUTERS/State Department/Nick Merrill/Handout U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds up a football jersey with her name on it,  presented by Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides (2ndR), who joked that "Washington is a contact sport,"  during a weekly meeting of assistant Secretaries of State, in this handout photograph taken and released by the State Department on January 7, 2013. Clinton resumed her official duties on Monday, five days after being released from a hospital for treatment of a blood clot. The number 112 refers to the number of countries that Clinton has visited as secretary of state. REUTERS/State Department/Nick Merrill/Handout

Washington - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday she would 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.

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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.


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