WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that she is "not inclined" to run for president in 2016 but left the door open for what is widely considered her likely return to politics after she steps down as secretary of state.
"I'm not thinking about anything like that right now," Clinton smilingly told a questioner. "I am looking forward to finishing up my tenure as secretary of state and then catching up on about 20 years of sleep deprivation."
Clinton, who steps down Friday as one of the best-known secretaries of state, is also among the world's most admired women and the object of intense speculation about her future.
At the Newseum in Washington, in a wide-ranging online question-and-answer session with students from around the world, Clinton said she will write a memoir and work on causes dear to her.
That includes the cause of women in politics, she said, even as she sidestepped a question posed by a young woman in London about whether she will reprise her 2008 run for the Democratic nomination for president.
"I do want to see more women compete for the highest positions in their countries," Clinton said, "and I will do what I can, whether or not it is up to me to make a decision on my own future.
"I right now am not inclined to do that, but I will do everything I can to make sure that women compete at the highest levels not only in the United States but around the world," she said.
Clinton was interviewed via satellite Tuesday by young people and journalists in Lebanon, Japan, India, Nigeria, Colombia and the United Kingdom. The one-hour event also included questions submitted via social media.