State Dept: Hillary Will Step Down Despite Obama Win

By Melanie Arter | November 7, 2012 | 1:31 PM EST

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the White House on Sept. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

( – State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Wednesday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton still plans to step down after her successor is chosen despite President Barack Obama winning a second term.

“I don’t think the secretary’s plans have changed. You’ve heard her say many times that she intends to see through transition of a successor and then she will go back to private life and enjoy some rest and think and write and all those things,” Nuland said.

“For the future, can we now talk about the top foreign policy priorities going forward, and more specifically, perhaps, what are the secretary’s plans?” a reporter asked.

Clinton told the Wall Street Journal in October that she plans to take a break from politics and “take stock” of her life and has ruled out another run for office.

"I have ruled it out. It's important for me to step off this incredibly high wire I've been on, to take stock of the rest of my life," she said, adding, "I will always want to be in service to my country."

She tops the list of possible Democratic contenders for president in 2016. Vice President Joe Biden’s name is also being bandied about for a presidential run in 2016.