As I drove on the Belt Parkway the other day leaving Brooklyn and approaching the Verrazano Bridge on my way back to Washington, there was a large sign reading, "Fuggedaboudit."
It aptly sums up the speculation that New York’s former junior senator is thinking about leaving her job at the State Department to run again for elective office either by challenging Barack Obama for the 2012 nomination or swapping jobs with Vice President Joe Biden. Speculation may increase as the president appears increasingly weak, with New York’s 9th District sending him a nasty note by electing its first Republican in neary a century.
Fuggedaboudit, said Hillary Clinton.
The latest one to give currency to such speculation is former Vice President Dick Cheney, who dropped that gratuitous advice in interviews while hawking his memoir. His goal is selling books, of course, and creating dissention in Democratic ranks is just a bonus.
Clinton laughed off the suggestion in an interview last week, telling CNN the chances she’s swap jobs with Biden are "below zero."
She is getting good marks around Washington and around the world for the job she has, and she rejected Cheney’s suggestion, saying she’s happy where she is.
“One of the great things about being secretary of state is I am out of politics. I am not interested in being drawn back into it by anybody. I have a big job to do, and I’m honored to do it every day representing our country,” she told CNN’s Alison Kosik.
In an interview last March with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer she made it quite clear she has no plan to challenge Obama in 2012, does not intend to run for President in 2016 or ever again and is not interested in being Vice President. Watch it here.
What she does plan to do, she said, is retire at the end of this term. "I have the best job I could ever have" and she is not interested in any other one, she explained.
But that doesn’t stop the speculation. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a longtime Clinton supporter, predicted "It’s going to be Hillary Clinton in 2016," but added that’s just a gut feeling and admits he’s heard nothing from Hillary or her husband to back that up.
"Take her at her word," advises Democratic strategist Mark Mellman.
"Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she is not running against Barack Obama and that Secretary Of State is her last public office," Mellman said. "Running against Obama would destroy the Democratic Party Hillary Clinton has labored so long, hard and successfully to build. She won’t do that. Joe Biden is doing a fantastic job as Veep and no one will take his place. And while I would love to see her continue in some public office in the future I take her at her word,"