President Obama and soon-to-be-former Secretary of State Clinton, reminisced — and dodged speculation — during their first sit-down interview together on CBS’s 60 Minutes. Indeed, it was another first for the president: he has yet to sit with anyone other than his wife for a joint interview.
The bond the once-bitter rivals, have forged over the past four years seemed unimaginable in the Democratic primaries in 2008. And now, celebrating her successful tenure as the most-traveled (112 countries) secretary of state in U.S. history with an astonishing 69 percent approval rating, it now seems unimaginable to most Americans that Clinton will no longer be holding public office.
But for how long? Even while she was running for senate in New York tongues wagged that she may run for the White House, and no sooner had she thrown her weight behind then-candidate Obama after her defeat in the primaries, than Clinton acolytes speculated endlessly what her next move would be. When the New York senator was offered the position of secretary of state, her fans cheered then immediately wondered if she and Vice President Biden would swap positions before the next election.
When Steve Kroft asked why the president agreed to the interview he answered that he “wanted to have a chance to publicly say thank you, because I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we’ve ever had. It has been a great collaboration over the last four years.”
“I’m going to miss her,” he said. “I wish she was sticking around, but she has logged in so many miles I can’t begrudge her wanting to take it easy for a little bit. A lot of the success we’ve had internationally have been because of her hard work.”
Her rivals are also well aware that Clinton would be a formidable opponent in the next election. Recently even former Speaker of the House Gingrich admitted “If the competitor in ‘16 is going to be Hillary Clinton, supported by Bill Clinton, and presumably a still relatively popular President Barack Obama, trying to win that will be truly the Super Bowl — and the Republican party is incapable of doing that.”
Rumors will continue to swirl over Clinton’s future ambitions, but don’t expect her to choose Obama as her running mate in a Putin/Medvedev maneuver, as some have dreamed: the Twelfth Amendment — more or less — forbids it.
In this point in the game, it appears highly likely that Clinton will run but don’t expect an endorsement quite yet from Obama. Vice President Biden, whom many have dismissed as a future presidential candidate, may now step into the limelight as Clinton’s shadow recedes.
It would also be prudent to recall that when Clinton was first mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, no one had even heard of Barack Obama.
But is the last time we see of an Obama/Clinton comradeship? The dream scenario for most Democrats would be an image of President Hillary Clinton watching on as future Supreme Court Justice Obama is sworn in. President Taft, after all, so loved being the Chief Justice that he once remarked he could scantly recall his days in the White House. Obama, as a two-term president and Constitutional scholar would be an excellent choice.
Clinton’s last day as secretary of state is officially Friday, February 1st. The possibilities — for both Obama and Clinton are numerous — and if she is too weary of another campaign and decides to bow out, there is still hope left: one of those long black robes would look quite fetching on Supreme Court Justice Clinton. Or perhaps she will run, win, and appoint the forty-second president to the highest judgeship in the land — her husband.