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Hillary Clinton Denies Presidential Ambitions (Again)

MATTHEW LEE   11/ 5/10 03:14 AM ET   AP

Hillary Clinton President
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures during a news conference with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, unseen, at the Parliament Complex on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010 in Wellington, New Zealand. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is again slapping down speculation that she harbors ambitions for another presidential run.

In New Zealand on Friday, Clinton told a pair of television interviewers that she won't run for president even in the aftermath of this week's congressional midterms that saw Republicans take control of the House and make big gains in the Senate. Some have suggested that Clinton should take advantage of President Barack Obama's unpopularity to make a new bid.

She said she is very happy doing what she is doing as America's top diplomat and would not be the first female president of the United States.

She told one interviewer that the United States "should be" ready to have a woman as commander in chief. Yet, when asked if that could be her, she answered: "Well not me, but it will be someone."

Asked by another interviewer if she would rule out a White House run in 2016 or before, she replied: "Oh yes, yes."

Clinton is in the midst of a two-week, seven-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific and was in Malaysia for Tuesday's elections. She told reporters in Papua New Guinea on Wednesday that she hoped to work with the new Congress and in a bipartisan manner and believed that foreign policy and national security transcend party lines.

In her interviews on Friday, Clinton, who is barred from partisan political activity as secretary of state, lamented the poor performance of her fellow Democrats but said the election results followed a trend in which the president's party losing seats in Congress after his first two years in office.

"Yeah, it's big, but it's not out of the pattern of historical political elections," she said.

"That doesn't make it any easier, and it is deeply saddening to see good people lose their congressional seats, but it is part of a historical pattern," she said. "And certainly I know that (the president) is going to work hard the next two years to build a strong relationship with the Congress, with the new leaders to get things done for our country."

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Filed by Adam J. Rose  |