The Straits Times
Published on Oct 27, 2012

Hillary Clinton hints at post in a second Obama term


WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leaving the door open to continuing to serve under President Barack Obama should he win a second term that would begin in January.

One of Mr Obama's most popular cabinet members, Mrs Clinton has repeatedly insisted she would leave her office as America's top diplomat at the end of the Obama administration's first term. But she hinted at serving beyond then in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, published on Thursday. "A lot of people have talked to me about staying," Mrs Clinton said.

She said it was "unlikely" that the fallout from the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi would force her to stay on, though left that possibility open for the first time since she took office in 2009. The "terrible events" that led to the death of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were "one of the most challenging" periods of her tenure, Mrs Clinton said.

The hint not only suggests continuity in Mr Obama's foreign policy, but also broadens the president's appeal among women voters, who have backed him in the past but are increasingly supporting his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.