Clinton plans exit 'after inauguration'

Oct. 26, 2012 at 4:30 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she will stay in office until a successor is in place but she plans to leave "after the inauguration."

One day after The Wall Street Journal reported Clinton may stay in her post for a while if President Barack Obama is re-elected, she told The Washington Post she hasn't had an opportunity "to sit down and talk to the president yet because he's trying to win an election."

She said, as she has in the past, she intends to leave the State Department whether Obama is re-elected nor not.

"I'm aiming to leave shortly after the inauguration; that's my plan," she said.

The Sept. 11 death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at the consulate in Benghazi have left a cloud on Clinton's tenure at the State Department, the Journal said Thursday.

Her job approval rating was near 70 percent before the consulate attack and there had been speculation she might run for president in 2016, when she will turn 69. Clinton turned 65 Friday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday Obama has said "very explicitly what an excellent job she's done as secretary of state and how he would, of course, like her to stay on."

Clinton then told the Post: "I'm not really open to staying longer but I also know that we have to be conscious of the work that has to be done. And again, I'll have to talk to the president."

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