Former President Bill Clinton gave a rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, formally nominating Barack Obama for a second term as president. His wife Hillary, however, was nowhere to be found in the convention hall.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was actually halfway around the world in East Timor on an official diplomatic trip, one stop in her 11-day, six-nation Asia-Pacific tour. It is customary for sitting secretaries of state to skip the politics and pomp of conventions—"This is the first convention I've missed in many, many years," Clinton said from East Timor—but the former first lady and senator's absence in Charlotte was noticeable.
Clinton has become widely popular in her role as secretary of state, and many Democrats are hoping she'll run for president in 2016. After a bitter race against Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2008, the two were able to reconcile their differences and Obama appointed her to his cabinet. While in office, Clinton has visited more countries than any other sitting secretary of state and is well respected as America's top diplomat. She has decided that she will not serve a second term as secretary of state, announcing earlier this year that she will step down.
Conventions often serve as showcase for party members who have future presidential aspirations. Obama's 2004 convention speech left people speculating as to whether he'd be the nation's first African-American president, and addresses by Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio at last week's Republican National Convention produced similar rumors that they were testing the waters for their own future presidential bids.
Clinton has repeatedly denied that she'll run again in 2016, and her absence at this year's convention doesn't allow her to set the stage. Her husband said he wasn't there for that purpose either:
"We're not kids anymore. I don't have any idea if she'll ever run again. She says she won't," said former President Clinton.
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