Reporting from Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a foreign audience this week that she is done with politics, ruling out the possibility of making another run for the White House in 2012 or 2016.
In New Zealand as part of an extended foreign trip, Clinton was quizzed about domestic politics in interviews with local media who were interested in the plans of the former senator and first lady.
Asked by TV3 if she still would rule out a presidential run, even as far as six years off, Clinton said, "Oh yes, yes. I'm very pleased to be doing what I'm doing as secretary of State."
Guyon Espiner of TV New Zealand asked Clinton if the United States was ready for a woman president.
"Well, I hope so," she said.
"Could that be you?" Espiner asked.
"Not me, but it will be someone," Clinton said. "And it is nice coming to countries that have already proven that they can elect a woman to the highest governing positions that they have in their systems."
New Zealand and Australia, the next stop on Clinton's trip, have both elected female prime ministers in recent years. New Zealand's Helen Clark left office in 2008, and Australia's incumbent is Julia Gillard.
Clinton was overseas Tuesday as her party suffered historic losses in Congress – which President Obama called a "shellacking." The foreign outlets wondered how a nation that so enthusiastically supported Obama just two years ago could have turned on him so quickly.
"Well, of course, we have a historical pattern of this happening, that the party of the president loses seats in the first midterm election," Clinton told Espiner, adding that it happened to her husband during his presidency in 1994.
"That doesn't make it any easier and it's deeply saddening to see good people lose their congressional seats," she said. "Certainly I know that, as the president said in his press conference, he's going to work hard the next two years to build a strong relationship with the Congress, with the new leaders to get things done for our country."
Clinton told TV3 that Obama made decisions that were "essential for the well-being of the American people," even though they "may not have been popular."
"These things take a while for people to feel them, and I think the president recognizes that we're just all going to have to redouble our efforts," she said.