On the recent CBS’s Face the Nation, the anchor, Bob Schieffer asked former President Bill Clinton about whether his wife will run in next election:

“Mr. President, I have to ask you about your wife. She’s getting ready to wind up her term as Secretary of State. Do you think she will run for president next time out? A lot of people think she ought to if Barack Obama’s reelected.”

What does out mean in the line, “she will run for president next time out”? What extra nuance is added to by adding out to “next time,” which can be self-complete?

I found the phrase, “next time out” in the lyric of Flogging Molly’s “Cruel Mistress":

Next time out to sea, bring enough soil to bury me. For I don’t want my final jig in the belly of squid,

but out as used in “Run for president next time out” and as used in “Next time out to sea” must be different.

What does the speaker gain by adding out to “next time”?

2 Answers 2


Without reference or other support for the whole phrase, I think it may be derived from out of the gate, a horse or doge racing reference.

There are many analogies in American politics to horse racing (nothwithstanding its charactierization as the "sport of kings"). This seems to be one of these. The full phrase would seem to mean

Do you think she will run for president next time out [of the gate, that is, in the next race]?

  • True. If I parse the text by adding “on the race” after next time, I can smoothly understand and accept the flow of “She will run for president next time out.” Sep 25, 2012 at 8:58

a) next time-out= next break. Here time-out must be considered as a compound noun, separated by a dash ( - ) and it means a break, a suspension of an activity, in this case her activity as a Secretary of State. So they want to know if she will run for President after being a Secretary of State because her term as a Secretary of State is winding up (ending).

  • 3
    I don't think this is correct. "Next time out" means the same as "next time around" or simply just "next time" and means here "in the next elections, i.e., the 2016 elections".
    – Jim
    Sep 24, 2012 at 1:00
  • @Jim. All dictionaries I’ve checked spell timeout (or time-out) in one word when it implies break time. But I still wonder if “out” is absolutely necessary in “she will run for president next time out,” when you say "Next time out" means (the same as "next time around" or) simply just "next time." What is the extra rhetorical value that the writer gains by adding to “out” there? Sep 24, 2012 at 1:44
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    @YoichiOishi- It is unnecessary. This was on 'Face the Nation' and so was a spoken exchange, and things said in conversation do not always get the benefit of reflection and refinement like written material does. Bob Schieffer could have just said "next time" without any difference in meaning. I personally feel that by adding "out" he was trying to take the edge off the question by using a slightly more conversational turn of phrase. "Next time out" reminds me of horse races and "next time out of the gate" so Bob was trying to establish a "one gambler to another" type of atmosphere.
    – Jim
    Sep 24, 2012 at 1:56

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