Wouldn’t you if you were her? What could she possibly accomplish in a second term if she stayed? The crucible for U.S. diplomacy over the next few years will, as usual, be the Middle East, yet American influence there has never been lower. Iran will build its bomb come what may. The Saudis and their Sunni clients will crush any opposition going forward, having learned from Mubarak’s demise and Qaddafi’s survival that friendly relations with Washington is momentarily more of a liability than an asset. Obama’s dealings with Israel have been frosty practically since day one and are likely to stay that way, so there’s no peace deal with the Palestinians in the offing anytime soon. Which means State’s agenda in the region circa 2013 will be … what? Shepherding Egypt towards liberalization? That’s a dubious possibility to begin with, but even if there’s a chance of making it happen, Hillary Clinton is almost uniquely poorly positioned to oversee it.
So, like I say, why stick around? They can make any time-serving functionary SoS to go sit in dreary six-party meetings with North Korea or get jerked around by Iran in discussions about nuclear “energy.” Frankly, she’s a sport for sticking it out as long as she has. What a horribly useless job it’s become.