WASHINGTON: Former US president Bill Clinton has not ruled out that his wife Hillary may run for president in the future.
The 64-year-old US secretary of state was defeated for the Democratic nomination by Barack Obama in 2008 and has since said repeatedly she would not again seek to be America's first female president.
But Mr Clinton, interviewed by broadcaster CBS and asked whether his wife might run in four years' time, hinted it was a possibility.
"I have no earthly idea what she will decide to do," Mr Clinton said.
He said his wife was tired after all her hectic years of public service - eight as first lady when he was president from 1993 to 2001, then eight more as a senator representing the state of New York and now as secretary of state.
Ms Clinton has said she would step down from her current job whether Mr Obama wins re-election on November 6 or not.
"She wants to take some time off, kind of regroup, write a book," Mr Clinton told CBS.
"I think we ought to give her a chance to organise her life and decide what she wants to do," he added.
While Ms Clinton has remained generally outside the political fray during this election season, her husband has seized a prominent role in campaigning for Mr Obama's re-election.
Even so, Hillary Clinton is herself known as one of the Democratic Party's most influential and best-networked insiders.
Mr Clinton said that no matter what, there would be a strong crop of Democrats interested in running for the Oval Office in 2016, including governors and members of congress.
"We've got a lot of able people in our party who want to be president," he said.
However, he said that with his wife's experience in the White House, where she led an unsuccessful effort to overhaul the US healthcare system, on Capitol Hill and in the administration, there would be no-one more qualified than her to run.
"She's the ablest - I know I'm biased - but I think she demonstrated as senator and as secretary of state that she has extraordinary ability," Mr Clinton said. (AFP/Reuters)