Book: Obama Didn't Want Hillary to Resign

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Thursday, 31 Oct 2013 11:55 AM

By Courtney Coren

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President Barack Obama begged Hillary Clinton to stay on as secretary of state, asking her repeatedly if she would help him out for the first year of his second term, a new book reveals.

He made his plea as the pair flew to Southeast Asia on Air Force One less than two weeks after he had won re-election.

"Would you reconsider, perhaps stay another year? Obama asked," according to an excerpt released Thursday from the forthcoming book "HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton"

"No, Hillary said. It was time for her to leave office."

The book due to be released in February is written by Amie Parnes of The Hill and Jonathan Allen of Politico.

"Hillary had long since told Obama that she didn't plan to stick around for his second term. But now after winning re-election, he didn't want to let her go," the two authors wrote.

One of Obama's concerns was losing both his secretary of state and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the same time, Politico reports. Panetta had told Obama on Election Day that he was resigning at the end of the president's first term.

"Even though he had refused repeatedly to take no for an answer in getting her to take the job in the first place, Obama pressed just once more, lightly, asking if she might stay just a little longer," Allen and Parnes wrote. "That didn't suit her, either. Obama gave up."

Clinton is the top potential presidential candidate for the Democrats in 2016, and polls show her well ahead of all potential rivals.

The former first lady and New York senator has been increasing her profile lately by making more public appearances. She recently stumped for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, which marked her first political speaking engagement since leaving office.

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