Speaking with NBC's Ann Curry on Monday morning, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected revelation: She will not run for president again.
"No," she said with a laugh, responding directly to a question regarding her political aspirations. "This is a great job, it is a 24/7 job and I'm looking forward to retirement at some point."
"Clinton, who will turn 62 at the end of the month, would be nearing 70 by the time of the 2016 election, the next in which President Obama is not expected to run," The Washington Post noted.
The secretary had explained to Curry that the notion she has somehow been marginalized in the Obama administration was "absurd." She also took time to defend the president's long-expected decision on whether or not to send more U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan.
"I want to not only guarantee you but guarantee all of your listeners that this process will result in a very well-thought-out approach," she said. "And the number of troops will reflect how we are going to implement the strategy. Now, I know there are many Americans who say, 'Get out of Afghanistan, bring 'em all home.' And there are others who say, 'put in hundreds of thousands more.' But, I think neither extreme is focused on the situation as we are."
The secretary also took issue with The Washington Post's recent assertion that she had become "largely invisible on the big issues that dominate the foreign policy agenda."
"Why are you not more out in front on these very important issues of our time?" Curry asked.
"I honestly don't have any reaction to something like that, which is so at variance with what I do every day," Clinton said.
"What do you say to the people who are concerned that you have been marginalized?" Curry followed-up. "That you, that the highest-ranking woman in the United States, having to fight against being marginalized."
"I just, I find it absurd," she said.
"So, you're not?" Curry asked.
"I find it beyond any realistic assessment of what I'm doing every day," Clinton replied. "I think there is such a -- you know, maybe there is some misunderstanding which needs to be clarified. I believe in delegating power. You know, I'm not one of these people who feels like I have to have my face in the, you know, front of the newspaper or on the TV every moment of the day.
"I would be irresponsible and negligent were I to say, 'Oh no, everything must come to me.' Now, maybe that is a woman's thing. Maybe I feel totally secure and feel absolutely no need to go running around in order for people to see what I'm doing. It's just the way I am. My goal is to be a very positive force to implement the kind of changes that the president and I believe are in the best interest of our country. But that doesn't mean that it has to be me-me-me all the time. I like lifting people up."
This video is from NBC's Today Show, broadcast Oct. 12, 2009.