Outgoing secretary of state says she "cares deeply" about America but could not make predictions about the future.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton coyly batted away questions over any White House succession plan during a mutually appreciative interview on Sunday.
The rare double appearance in front of the cameras gave ample opportunity for the once bitter rivals to bury any lingering doubts that the acrimony of the 2008 primary campaign was long behind them.
During the course of CBS's 60 Minutes interview, recorded on Friday but aired on Sunday, the president referred to Clinton as a friend, who will go down as "one of the finest secretaries of state" America had known.
It sounded like an official stamp of approval for Clinton, who may or may not be eyeing a run at the White House in 2016.
But asked directly over whether the warm words were tantamount to an endorsement and if so how long it would last, both interviewees laughed away any such suggestion, without dismissing the idea out of hand.
"You guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally inaugurated four days ago, and you're talking about the elections four years from now," offered Obama.
Clinton likewise gave an answer that could be interpreted any number of ways: "Obviously the president and I care deeply about what's going to happen for our country in the future. And I don't think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next year," she said.
The comment will do little to either bolster or knock down speculation that Clinton's upcoming hiatus from Washington politics will end with a run at the top job in 2016. But they will continue to fuel the rumours.