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US elections

Bill Clinton hints Hillary could run for the White House


If the door to a possible run for the White House in 2016 has been closed tightly in the past by Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, yesterday cracked it open again. "I have no earthly idea" what she was thinking, he said in a television interview. "Whatever she decides to do, I'll support it."

That Ms Clinton will retreat from public service, at least for a while, seems to be a given – even if Barack Obama wins a second term as President. But it is what she does four years from now that has been prompting parlour gossip in Washington, especially in the aftermath of Mr Clinton's hit speech to the Democratic convention.

Indeed, the Clinton brand is hardly on the wane. Since that speech Mr Clinton has found himself deployed as arguably the most powerful advocate for Mr Obama's re-election.

And yesterday he also opened this year's gathering of his own Clinton Global Initiative in New York, with a list of speakers that includes Mr Obama and Mitt Romney. David Cameron may also appear at the conference on Tuesday.

Yet he apparently did not mind sharing the spotlight yesterday with his wife. "I know I'm biased," he told CBS when asked flatly if he thought she might seek the Democratic nomination in 2016, "but I think she demonstrated as senator and as Secretary of State that she has extraordinary ability, a lot of common sense, a lot of, you know, stick-to-itiveness."

As for now, as the first Obama administration draws to a close, he said: "She wants to take some time off, kind of regroup. Write a book."

He added: "I hope we'll be working together," possibly referring to plans for her to join him in the Global Initiative, which supports programmes fighting poverty and diseases such as HIV-Aids.