U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued a statement saying that she will be stepping down from her position following her first term and President Obama's January 2013 inauguration. Speculation abounds that Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is the most likely successor for Clinton's post. Clinton's spokesperson Philippe Reines issued a statement via an email confirming the vacancy. It read "The Secretary has been honored to serve as President Obama's Secretary of State, and has loved every minute of leading this Department and being part of the state family. But yes, you can confirm yet again that she's been clear about her intention to leave after the first term."
Reines went on to clear up any remaining issues with "[Clinton] has said that she wants to ensure continuity, and realizes the confirmation of her successor might take a period of days before that." Political insiders suspect that Susan Rice will be selected by President Obama though the final decision likely won't be made until a few months into his second term. Administration officials believe that Rice's "passionate" defense and support of President Obama's foreign policy combined with her "strong personality" make her the most likely preferred choice over Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry and national Security Adviser Tom Donilon.
As for Mrs. Clinton's plans for the future, she offered during a recent interview: "I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur, but I think that after 20 years of being on the high-wire of American politics and all of the challenges that come with that, it would be probably a good idea to find out how tired I am." She also stated she intends to think, write, and rest.