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Hillary Clinton has a few things to say about whining

Oct. 21, 2012 at 10:31 AM ET

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Hillary Clinton

Don’t even consider whining about or lamenting Hillary Clinton’s decision not to run for President in 2016 – she can’t stand whining.

The November issue of Marie Claire features an article with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which highlights that she’s leaving her post in January and says she won’t be making another run at the White House. 

"I can't stand whining," Clinton told Marie Claire. "I can't stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into because they're not happy with the choices they've made. You live in a time when there are endless choices ... Money certainly helps, and having that kind of financial privilege goes a long way, but you don't even have to have money for it. But you have to work on yourself ... Do something!" 

According to the New York Times, Clinton was responding to a question from the article's author, Ayelet Waldman, referring to J.D. Salinger's seminal book about teenage angst, "The Catcher in the Rye." The book's main character, 17-year-old Holden Caulfield, is one of the most enduring characters in American literature, partly because he is a symbol of teenage rebellion and disenchantment with becoming an adult. He is a child of privilege who is lashing out against the conventions of the grown-up world he is about to enter.

While Clinton may have a problem with privileged people whining about their choices, she does believe that workplaces should try to be flexible and accommodating for women. 

"It's important for our workplaces ... to be more flexible and creative in enabling women to continue to do high-stress jobs while caring for not only children, but [also] aging parents," Clinton said in the Marie Claire interview. 

Clinton has shown that, when it comes to motherhood and a successful career, some women can have it all. But, she acknowledges that it’s not without sacrifices. “I have been on this high wire of national and international politics and leadership for 20 years," Clinton told Marie Claire. "It has been an absolutely extraordinary personal honor and experience. But I really want to just have my own time back. I want to just be my own person. I'm looking forward to that." 

For now, it appears that Clinton won’t be our first female president, but she does hope to see that happen. “I hope to be around when we finally elect a woman president. That would be a great experience for me, to be up there cheering," she said. 

Dana Macario is a Seattle-area writer.

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