Talk of possible 2016 presidential contenders is already running rampant in Washington, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refuses to comment on her own future political prospects either way, telling CBS' Steve Kroft that she can't "make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next year" -- much less four years down the road.
Clinton, who is embarking on her final week as secretary of state, recently sat down with President Obama for a joint interview with "60 Minutes" that aired last night. The former political rivals, whose 2008 presidential primary campaign was a bitter, protracted, and at times personal battle, stressed the lengths their personal relationship has traveled since those days on the campaign trail.
"I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had," Mr. Obama said. "It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I'm going to miss her. Wish she was sticking around. But she has logged in so many miles, I can't begrudge her wanting to take it easy for a little bit."
Asked about the "political tea leaves" that could be inferred from their unprecedented joint appearance -- the only other person with whom Mr. Obama has shared an interview during his presidency is his wife, Michelle Obama -- Clinton quipped that "we don't have any tea."
"We've got some water here is the best I can tell," she said, looking in the direction of her water glass.
Pressed on the subject later in the interview, Clinton pointed out that she is still secretary of state -- and that "I'm out of politics. And I'm forbidden from even hearing these questions."
"You know, look, obviously the president and I care deeply about what's going to happen for our country in the future. And I don't think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next year," he said. "What we've tried to do over the last four years is get up every day, have a clear-eyed view of what's going on in the world. And I'm really proud of where we are."
Clinton, whose last day in the Obama administration will be Friday, is widely considered a top contender for the 2016 presidency -- if she decides to run. But she's not the only top Obama staffer reportedly considering a bid: Vice President Joe Biden, who also sought the Democratic nomination in 2008, appears to be positioning himself for a possible run as well.
Mr. Obama, however, refused to take the bait when asked about "the date of expiration on this endorsement" for Clinton.
"You know, Steve, I gotta tell you, the-- you guys in the press are incorrigible," he said. "I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you're talking about elections four years from now."