(NEW YORK) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has emphatically stated she plans to step down from her post and retire from politics regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s s election. But as she casts her vote on Tuesday, political pundits and fans will undoubtedly begin the speculation over whether the next presidential vote she casts in four years will be for herself.
Clinton has repeatedly said she has no desire to run for president again, and will leave politics after serving her one term as Secretary of State.
Just last month, The Wall Street Journal published an in-depth profile where the former first lady and Senator said she had ruled out another presidential campaign.
“It’s important for me to step off this incredibly high wire I’ve been on,” she said, “to take stock of the rest of my life.”
It’s a refrain Clinton has repeated in nearly every interview given over the last year, but that hasn’t stopped the political guessing game. As Secretary of State, Clinton has enjoyed her highest popularity ratings in her more that 20 years of public life. Websites are devoted to following her career and encouraging her to run, and before the 2012 election is even over, there’s even someone selling Hillary 2016 sweatshirts online.
Clinton is popular globally as well. The Journal writes that during her last visit to Beijing in September, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo joked with the 65-year-old over dinner, telling her, “You will still be young when you are president.”
She’ll be 69 in November of 2016.
Former President Bill Clinton told ABC News’ Jake Tapper back in April that no matter what his wife decides to do next, he will support her.
“I’ll say what I’ve said all my life. When I met her, I thought she was the most gifted person in my generation for public service. I still feel that way. I’m immensely proud of her,” said President Clinton. “But if she comes home and we do this foundation stuff the rest of our lives, I’ll be happy. If she changes her mind and decides to run, I’ll be happy. But that’s light years away.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio