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Is Hillary the Teflon Dame?

Is Hillary the Teflon Dame?

The enduring and inexplicable popularity of Hillary Clinton.

The title of this post may seem somewhat of an oxymoron, but let’s look at the numbers:

A clear majority of Americans, 59%, still view Hillary Clinton favorably a year after she left her post as secretary of state. Clinton’s current rating is noticeably lower than the 64% she averaged while serving in President Barack Obama’s cabinet.

The last time she had a higher unfavorable than favorable rating in the U.S. was in February 2008, when she was running for the Democratic presidential nomination against Obama. The latest findings come from a Gallup poll conducted Feb. 6-9.

At the time Clinton signed on as Secretary of State under Obama, it was hard to understand.

Those of us who thought it was a bad decision (in the political sense) on her part seem to have been wrong. She is a very smart political animal, and apparently she rightly ascertained that it was only her temporary opposition to the Great Obama that had made her look bad, and that if she joined him it would burnish her image.

And so it has, no matter what she actually did while in his Cabinet, because what she did was every bit as awful as what Obama did, and she did it as his underling.

Somehow, though, that seems to have helped her in the minds of the American public. Her favorability rating is a great deal higher than his right now.

Here’s her favorability chart over time:


Hillary’s favorability ratings have demonstrated some variability over the last two decades, but have never gotten especially bad ever since the public came to know her. Her lowest low was 47, recorded in 1996.

I was trying to think what might have been happening re Clinton back then, and I came up with her Whitewater hearing testimony, which may have been responsible.

At any rate, Clinton has remained remarkably popular for so controversial a figure, soaring into the mid-60s and remaining there during her entire tenure as Secretary of State.

No one ever said Clinton wasn’t smart. She knew exactly what she was doing. As for Benghazi – at this point, what difference does it make?

This is not to say that Hillary Clinton can’t be beaten in 2016. It’s not even 100% certain that she will run, although signs point strongly to it. And a lot can happen in two years.

But anyone who thinks that Clinton is regarded as an unpleasant or unpopular figure by Americans in general, just because she is so very unpopular with conservatives, had better think again. The American people feel they know Hillary, and are unlikely to experience a sudden and extreme reversal of feeling about her.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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DINORightMarie | February 23, 2014 at 7:56 pm

So, is her age a factor? There is some noise out there that the yoots won’t go for her – she’s too old.


    I’ve been saying this for a while. It’s basically why she lost in 2008. There are 2 major reasons she will have extreme difficulty winning:

    1) Hillary is an old, unattractive woman. (not trying to be mean or chauvenistic, just stating facts)

    America is obsessed with image and appearance – which is why things like the Kardashians exist.

    A large part of why she lost to Obama was because he was young, handsome and charismatic. On paper she should have cleaned his clock without even breaking a sweat.

    2) The young crowd won’t get out and vote for her like Obama. He won because he railed against the system and how he was going to ‘change things’ (laughable at the time, even more so in hindsight).

    Hillary can’t do that. She IS the system.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | February 23, 2014 at 8:42 pm

For me, Hillary’s age will be a factor, her politics will be a factor, her “reign” as Secretary of State will be a factor (She flunked her global test!), her attempts to force Hillarycare down on this country will be a factor, her association with the late Mr. Foster will be a factor, her put down of Bill Clinton’s victims will be a factor, all of which are greatly negative in my view.

Still, one last factor is that Hillary will be a continuation of Obama’s socialist agenda, to the extreme and that’s a major factor on top of all the other negative factors.

Two thoughts…

1. teflon is a form of plastic

2. it breaks down and becomes toxic with enough heat.

thats not what I would call her…but whatever floats your boat 🙂

None of the people I know who get their news from MSM- TV and newspapers- know anything about Benghazi and her role in it. Nor do the younger ones know anything about Whitwater and cattle futures. Or Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky et al and her role in trying to destroy their reputations in order to protect her husband’s reputation.

If you do not get your newws from the inernet, you suffer from both lack of information, and even worse, misinformation. You probably still believe that Bush was AWOL from the Air National Guard.

Of course, if you go to the wrong sites on the internet, you believe the CIA wired the WTC with explosives and brought the buildings down.

TrooperJohnSmith | February 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Hey, Stalin and Lenin are still popular, because their crimes have never been adequately vetted or acknowledged. Same with anything named Clinton.

But for the institutionally-friendly filtering of Pravda, Izvestia and the NY Times, none of these despots would have a snowball’s chance of being remembered with anything other than contempt.

Hillary is gonna have to spend the next 2 years channelling Betty Ford if she’s to sober up in time.

She gets drunk, falls down and conveniently forgets how she got 4 people killed in Benghazi

Of course her poll numbers are that high, more dems are polled that anyone else. Besides, the dems have to have it appear that they are going to win so as to discourage opponents from even trying to campaign.

Certain conservatives vastly overreacted to Hillary from day one, the same way they have overreacted to everything Michelle Obama. In some quarters, the treatment of Sarah Palin is seen as mere payback for the treatment of Hillary.

Sarah Palin’s kind words for Mrs. Clinton were a refreshing change, that showed Mrs. Palin’s political chops. The bottom line is, it will be much easier to get people who are not already in your camp to agree with you, if you sound more like Sarah Palin than Newt Gingrich’s mother.

1. Well, Obama beat her: Obama, who has won his elections through a combination of dirty pool and luck; Obama, who lost the only race he ran against a competent opponent (Bobby Rush).

2. In 2000, iirc, the betting odds gave Giuliani a 70% chance of beating her in their Senate contest, just before he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and dropped out.

3. Just because Hillary is not invulnerable does not mean she’s a pushover.

4. On the contrary, if she is nominated, conservatives and the GOP will have to seriously elevate their post-Reagan game to defeat her. Too many conservatives seem more interested in acting out for each other than in winning elections and governing. Maybe this is a learning phase for the Tea Party. If so, best they learn quickly.

    Paul in reply to gs. | February 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Metaphorically speaking, the Dem candidate needs to be beaten over the head with a brick. That’s the way the progs play it.

When you have multiple publicists spanning all the different types of media spewing her praises and hiding her faults 24/7 365, it’s not hard to see why her pol numbers are so large.

And the MSM has been pushing her candidacy since the end of Clinton’s term.

She should never have lost in ’08 but for the color of her opponent’s skin.

Now she may lose because of her age and lack of connection with younger voters but it’s still possible.

The MSM is determined to push any candidate that they approve of (especially from the protected classes they have created) into the White House.

Probably the only threat now to Hillary being nominated would be a LGBT candidate. But I’m not sure if enough guilt is there to nudge enough voters into doing that.

    NavyMustang in reply to jakee308. | February 24, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I think that Hillary is eminently beatable. She has all the negatives of her hubby and none of the positives (and no matter what you think of Billy Jeff, he is a BRILLIANT pol).

    Hillary just comes off as condescending and arrogant. She has all the charisma of a wet sponge.

    I do think there is one person who, if they declared for the Pres, would make Hillary wail in despair…and whip her behind.

    Michelle Obama.

    Sounds laughable now. And it would be a catastrophe for the country, but….

    Didn’t we say the same things about her husband?

    Think about it. First woman President and the double whammy, first BLACK WOMAN President. Whew! Talk about historic!

    God help us if it happens!

There are boatloads of people who are just itching to cast the 1st vote for a female presidential candidate. At least as many as cast a vote for the 1st African American presidential candidate. These people are what we call immune to learning.

They are way too smart to know “there is no education in the 2nd kick of a mule.” They are lined up and asking for another.

Hillary is popular with women (as much as any woman can be) because of her suffering with her husband. Some women will identify with her and vote for her no matter what.

The real point is the public loves Hillary when she is NOT running for President. Then, not so much.

She’s no Eleanor Roosevelt or Margaret Thatcher or Indira Gandhi. She doesn’t inspire anyone except those diehard radical feminists who are inspired by anyone with a vagina, as long as it is original equipment.

The woman has never been able to offer any reason or rationale for running for office. It’s hard to win without something to run on.

There is something very basic that the Right often misses about people like Clinton: She’s endured because she’s endured. The Right blew their wad on both Clintons so early and so often that no one listens any more. They really don’t. Benghazi matters if something new comes up. But the Right went so ballistic so quickly that it felt like the same old Clinton bashing and people tuned out. Benghazi won’t matter – not because it DOESN’T matter – but because the shrill hysteria on the Right became background Clinton white noise with in 2 news cycles. It won’t change one single vote in 2016. It will come into play, but it won’t change any votes. Honestly, the best thing the Right could do if they wanted to stop Clinton is to simply shut up about her and him for a few years. Stop screaming “socialist!” or digging up pretend murder conspiracies. Cuz unless there is a smoking gun on Benghazi it’s all annoying noise.

Also – The contempt for Obama on the Right over shadowed just how savvy Clinton’s move to State was. Here’s what she did not do for half of the BHO years: GET TOUCHED BY A SINGLE DOMESTIC ISSUE… you know… the ones people vote on…. She left the Senate and did not have to vote on ANY of the stuff that makes up opposition to Obama ads. Not Obamacare, not the stimulus, not any taxes on anything, nuthin. She did not vote on any Obama domestic issues. The move to State was extremely smart. And she had a stage. A big one. For 4 years.

    Merlin in reply to johnsmart. | February 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Hillary serving as SoS was the price she had to pay for having her $39M 2008 campaign debt retired. She was effectively neutered by the Obama Administration on all matters domestic as you suggest, but she was also unable to build the domestic political capital vital to any future runs at the WH. She did no favors, campaigned for nobody, fundraised for nobody, lobbied for no corporate concerns, raised no future campaign cash for herself. Bill has half-heartedly cruised the party’s campaign circuits seeking cash for the Clinton Global Initiative, not building political capital for Hillary.

    As in all things, follow the money. CGI’s growth nets Hillary wealth and power Obama can only dream of as he occupies the WH. The Clinton’s will certainly have to maintain celebrity status in order to grow CGI and chatter of Hillary’s possible presidential aspirations effectively does that, but both of them have already seen their best days in American politics and moved on.

NC Mountain Girl | February 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm

A large segment of the Democrat party wants to put the Clintons behind them. That’s the reason they flocked to Obama in 2008. They now have a huge problem. The Clintons are still here, there is no Obama waiting in the wings and the Clintons have long memories about who betrayed them in 2008.

The problem is what Democrat wants to descend into the anaerobic lagoon to take Hillary on? Because every Democrat candidate for statewide or national office has to refrain from doing anything that might antagonize Black voters into staying home, Hillary was forced to hold back on going negative on Obama in 2008. That won’t happen in 2016 even against a Black candidate because this will be her last chance.