Evan Vucci, Associated Press
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner greet President Barack Obama after the president delivered his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she is paying no attention to the Republican presidential primary debates and is again tamping down speculation that she might stay in government if President Barack Obama wins a second term.

Clinton told State Department employees Thursday that she is ready to step off "the high wire of American politics." She said she wants to find out just how tired she really is after 20 years as first lady, senator, aspiring presidential candidate and top U.S. diplomat.

As secretary of state, Clinton is barred from partisan politics and she acknowledged that it was a bit odd not to be participating this time. But, she said she is enjoying being away from the fray and hasn't watched any of the GOP debates.