A day after President Barack Obama was re-elected, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman announced that the U.S. Secretary of State will step down from her current role soon after the President’s second inauguration in January 2013.
The spokesman declared that Clinton intends to ensure continuity and realizes that the appointment of a new Secretary of State will take multiple days after the inauguration.
It is assumed that one of the most likely candidates that Obama could propose as the new Secretary of State would be Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, who is currenty the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the losing Democratic Presidential Candidate in the 2004 presidential race. Other potential candidates include Bill Richardson, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. during Bill Clinton’s mandate, and Samantha Power, currently serving as Special Assistant to President Obama and running the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights as Senior Director of Multilateral Affairs on the Staff of the National Security Council.
As President Obama faces a two-term limit, many Democrats expect that Clinton’s departure from the Secretary of State position is a preparation for a second White House run in 2016. According to Public Policy Polling, she is three times more popular than her nearest rival Joe Biden in securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidential bid. For the moment, however, Hillary Clinton claims that she does not intend on running for the presidency again.
In fact, during the last round of this year’s presidential race, when all eyes were turned to the U.S. political scene, the U.S. Secretary of State kept a low profile, as last week she toured the Balkans, meeting representatives in Serbia, Albania, Croatia and Kosovo. Next week, Clinton is expected to participate in an international summit in Australia, though this has yet to be officially confirmed.