Clinton as Obama’s running mate in 2012? Not going to happen.

Would Secretary Clinton be up for being President Obama’s running mate in 2012, replacing Vice President Joe Biden? An article this week in Politico, written by former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder, an Obama supporter in 2008, states it would be "both needed change and audacious" if Obama were to select Clinton as his running ...

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images from Oct. 20, 2008
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images from Oct. 20, 2008
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images from Oct. 20, 2008

Would Secretary Clinton be up for being President Obama's running mate in 2012, replacing Vice President Joe Biden?

An article this week in Politico, written by former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder, an Obama supporter in 2008, states it would be "both needed change and audacious" if Obama were to select Clinton as his running mate for his 2012 reelection campaign. He praises Clinton, writing:

Clinton has been nothing but a team player who has earned good marks since being asked to serve as secretary of state. She has skillfully navigated the globe and been tough and commanding when the moment called for it (with Iran) and graceful and diplomatic when situations required (navigating complex relations with Russia, Pakistan and China). 

Would Secretary Clinton be up for being President Obama’s running mate in 2012, replacing Vice President Joe Biden?

An article this week in Politico, written by former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder, an Obama supporter in 2008, states it would be "both needed change and audacious" if Obama were to select Clinton as his running mate for his 2012 reelection campaign. He praises Clinton, writing:

Clinton has been nothing but a team player who has earned good marks since being asked to serve as secretary of state. She has skillfully navigated the globe and been tough and commanding when the moment called for it (with Iran) and graceful and diplomatic when situations required (navigating complex relations with Russia, Pakistan and China). 

Wilder asks the rhetorical question, "Has she ended these 18 months with the stature of someone ready and able to be president were the moment to call for it?" He firmly responds, "The answer, unequivocally, is ‘yes.’"

But, would Clinton want to be vice president? Based on what she has said when asked about any presidential ambitions for 2016, it seems like she’s ready to transition out of government after serving as secretary of state. When asked by Tavis Smiley Reports in January about what she plans to do next, Clinton said:

"[T]here’s so many things I’m interested in — I mean, really going back to private life and spending time reading, and writing, and maybe teaching, doing some personal travel, not the kind of travel where you bring along a couple of hundred people with you. Just focusing on, on issues of women, girls, families, the kind of intersection between what’s considered ‘real politique’ and real-life politics, which has always fascinated me."

And when Smiley asked her whether she plans to run for U.S. president again, she firmly responded:

"Absolutely not interested."

Also, as much as Clinton is giving her secretary-of-state job 110 percent — not even appearing to ever suffer from jet lag — she has hinted that keeping up such a demanding schedule is wearing her out and not something she wants to do in post-secretary life. She told Smiley:

"I’m honored to serve — I serve at the pleasure of the president — but it’s a, it’s a 24-7 job, and I think at some point, I will be very happy to [laughs] pass it on to someone else."

She told the Washington Post something similar:

"It is a really hard job … a 24-7 job," and "I feel the weight of it pretty significantly."

After Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, shadowed her through an exhausting day for Parade magazine, he wrote:

She has to be perpetually onstage. But what I think I glimpse beneath the unflagging smile and constant concentration is a very tired person — tense, frustrated, but absolutely determined to make her tenure as Secretary of State a success and to accomplish important things.

Sounds like Clinton wants to transition to private life, still working on important issues such as empowerment of women and girls, but not having to be, as Gelb put it, "perpetually onstage."

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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