"Before I retire, I need to have financial stability," said Hutchison, 64, raising the option of leaving public service after being asked about the always-swirling speculation about her political plans. "I could certainly see another career in the private sector. ... I certainly would like to make money. I think I've given up a lot of earning potential being in public service."
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Hutchison said she loves public service but she also likes business. She has a law degree, was a television reporter, worked in banking and owned a candy company, besides serving in the state House and then state treasurer before the Senate.
"Say it's Hillary and (Sen. Barack) Obama," said political scientist Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. "I doubt the Republicans would want to put forward two white males."
He said Hutchison is the only Republican woman in a high office who is well-positioned for the vice presidential spot.
GOP consultant Royal Masset said, "She's probably the most credible female we have in the nation."
It doesn't do for officeholders to look like they're campaigning to be vice president. But Hutchison sounds sincere about not wanting it.
"No. Nooooo," she said. "I do not want to be on the ticket for vice president ... I'm not interested in it. I don't want to be asked.
"There was a time when I thought maybe I would be interested in running for president but not now," she said. One factor: "I could never run for president with two 6-year-olds."