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Clinton says he has no plans for office
Updated: 2004-03-10 15:45

Former U.S. President Clinton said Tuesday he has no plans to seek another elected office, preferring to remain in private life because having one Clinton in politics is "probably more than enough."

Clinton's name has occasionally been mentioned for political office since he left the White House in 2001. Some Democrats have wondered recently whether he could join Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's presidential ticket as vice president.

But Clinton said he would rather leave politics to his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

"I can't imagine the circumstances under which it would be something I would consider," Clinton told business leaders at a breakfast meeting in Manhattan. "I think Hillary's doing a good job, and one of us in politics is probably more than enough."

In response to a question from the audience, Clinton said he would not run for mayor of New York next year.

"I'd love to be mayor of New York. It's probably the second-best job in America, but there are lots of good people who want to be mayor of New York, and they should have their chance," Clinton said.

Clinton said he prefers to dedicate his time to his presidential foundation projects that promote economic development, education and AIDS initiatives.

"I like being out of office. ... I get to talk to people the way they talked to me for 30 years," he said. "It's a hoot."

Clinton is also trying to finish his memoirs at his home in Chappaqua, N.Y., a suburb of New York City.

"It's a strange thing," he said. "It was hard enough living my life the first time." The memoirs could be published next year.

Clinton is expected to campaign for the Democratic presidential nominee and said he wants to see smart, rigorous political debates without name-calling.

"I hope they have brawling arguments, but I hope that it clarifies the choice instead of demonizing the candidate," he said.

Clinton said he's not optimistic that the Bush administration will meet its June 30 deadline for returning control of Iraq to Iraqi authorities. But he urged patience as the process moves forward.

"If this political campaign is about what we were told about weapons of mass destruction, that's a legitimate political issue, but we are where we are," he said. "And if the president cannot keep the timetable that he said, I don't think we ought to give him any grief about it. I think we ought to say, 'Let's just follow through.'"


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