Politics

Clinton Knocks Down Speculation About Moving to Defense Post

Jan. 19: China's President Hu Jintao, center, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and Vice President Joe Biden, left, toast together with guest, during a luncheon at the State Department in Washington.

Jan. 19: China's President Hu Jintao, center, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and Vice President Joe Biden, left, toast together with guest, during a luncheon at the State Department in Washington.  (AP2011)

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeking to tamp down speculation that she's in line to move to the Pentagon as secretary of defense. 

Clinton tells CBS television that she respects and admires Secretary Robert Gates and hopes he stays in the job a long time. There have been reports that Gates may step down. The secretary said, "As far as I know, these are just rumors. I'm happy to stay where I am." 

Clinton says she committed herself to serving President Obama for at least one term, but says there's no such promise if he's re-elected. She also repeated recent assertions she's not any longer interested in elective office. 

Clinton lost to Obama in a hard-fought fight for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2008.