(CNSNews.com) - The selection of North Carolina Sen. John Edwards as the Democratic vice presidential running mate sparked more curiosity Tuesday about the political future of former first lady and current New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
According to Clinton's former press secretary Karen Finney, the former first lady was never interested in being Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's running mate. "She said it fairly consistently," said Finney. "She has been very consistent on that. She was fairly consistent about not running in '04, and then she didn't run in '04."
Dr. Mahmood Monshipouri, professor of political science of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, believes that Mrs. Clinton is interested in the presidency but will run only when the time is right.
"I don't believe she is not interested in the position. She is interested in politics. She enjoys politics. She probably calculated and became convinced that this is not the right time to run," Monshipouri said.
He added that Mrs. Clinton may have seen the war on terrorism as a discouraging factor to mounting a candidacy this year.
"She felt like if she gets in this race then her hands will be tied up in terrorism, and that will put enormous pressure on the way she wants to run the country," Monshipouri said, adding that Clinton wants to run a country where she can "shift the debate from foreign policy to domestic policy."
There is growing speculation about whether Mrs. Clinton wants Kerry to win this year's presidential election because of the fact that a Kerry win in 2004 would almost certainly eliminate her as a candidate in 2008.
But Finney said the New York senator "is happy to do whatever it is John Kerry will ask of her in terms of campaigning to support the ticket." She said Mrs. Clinton is a devoted senator and, for the time being, is focused only on serving the people of New York.
"She is as excited as all Democrats today about the announcement of John Edwards added to the ticket. And I know she is committed to serving her time in the Senate and representing the people of New York State. That is what she said she's been committed to doing and that is what she's been doing," said Finney.
But Hillary Clinton's political future is unlikely to be limited by her job on behalf of the Empire State, according to Monshipouri.
"By being senator from the state of New York, I think she has intentionally given the impression that she wants to stay at the center stage of American politics," he said. "I see her right in the thick of the American politics. She will always work on an opportunity to step in when the time is right, according to her calculations," added Monshipouri.
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