While most normal Americans are relieved the long 2012 campaign is at last over, for those who can't stop speculating about the next election are focusing on Hillary Clinton.
Since Clinton's victorious 2008 rival, Barack Obama, named her as secretary of state she’s kept quiet, always denying any interest in another run at the White House after her current boss's second term.
But two days after Obama was re-elected, Politico reported Clinton is the clear favorite among Democrats for 2016. A hypothetical poll found Clinton would take 58 percent of the vote in Iowa, where the first caucuses are held, over Vice President Joe Biden’s 17 percent and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 6 percent. Elizabeth Warren, who was just elected senator from Massachusetts, polled at 3 percent in the crucial state.
Those numbers seemed to have no effect on her position, according to an interview she gave to Marie Claire.
“I have been on this high wire of national and international politics and leadership for 20 years,” Clinton said. “It has been an absolutely extraordinary personal honor and experience. But I really want to just have my own time back. I want to just be my own person. I'm looking forward to that.”
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If that’s true Clinton, who has said she will step down for the second Obama term, could be taking time away from the national stage sooner than later. She publicly took responsibility for the political mess around the Benghazi attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, a move many perceived as Clinton falling on her sword for the president.
“I take responsibility,” Hillary said. “I'm in charge of the State Department, 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.”
Columnist Gail Collins wrote in the New York Times that by 2016 the political atmosphere could be so different the Benghazi attack might be forgotten.
“If Hillary Clinton ran for president again, she would probably be the best-prepared candidate in American history: one who’s lived in the White House, served in the United States Senate, a woman who knows virtually every head of state in the world and also has a strong opinion about the merits of the Peruvian minister of development and social inclusion.”