Bill Clinton to Keep His Mouth Shut

09/04/2002 at 11:00 AM EDT

Bill Clinton's talk show is a little like Lance Bass's space trip -- on one moment, off the next.

Speaking to Larry King Tuesday night, the former president threw in the towel on the project.

"I think I'll leave that to you," Clinton, referring to the interviewer's job, told King during an appearance on CNN (which, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner).

Earlier this year, Clinton, 56, held pow-wows with NBC executives in L.A. about a potential talk show. Clinton then followed with talks with CBS.

But as for becoming the new Oprah: "I don't think so," Clinton said. "You know, maybe sometime later in my life I'd like to do it. It would be intriguing to me because I like to talk to people. I'd like to have (former rival Bob Dole) come on my show and tell me what I did wrong about things."

Besides, said Clinton (who also has been reported to be months behind on penning his $11-million memoirs -- if he has even started writing at all), he isn't ready for the day-to-day work required for a talk show.

"A lot of the work I do requires me to travel," he said. "You know, I'm going to Africa later this month. I'm going to India at the end of November. And I really believe I should always spend more than half my time on public service, so I just don't see how I can do it."

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