10/12/2009 at 11:00 AM EDT
Usually, politicians with presidential ambitions choose their words more carefully, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has left herself no wiggle room.
Asked on the Today show whether she will ever run for president again, the former First Lady and U.S. senator, who fiercely battled Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic nomination, laughed heartily and replied: "No. No. No. I mean, this is a great job. It is a 24-7 job. And I'm looking forward to retirement at some point.”
She also addressed pundits who say the Executive Branch's highest-ranking woman has been marginalized in the debate over two big national security threats: Afghanistan and Iran.
"I find it absurd," Clinton told NBC’s Ann Curry in the interview from Zuirch, Switzerland, adding that maybe it is a "woman thing."
"You know, I’m not one of these people who feels like I have to have my face in the front of the newspaper or on the TV every moment of the day," Clinton said. "I would be irresponsible and negligent were I to say, 'Oh no everything must come to me.' "
"Maybe that is a woman's thing," she continued. "My goal is to be a very positive force to implement the kind of changes that the president and I believe are in the best interests of our country. But that doesn't mean that it all has to be me, me, me all the time.”