By ANDREW KOHUT
January 06, 2014
There’s no question that Hillary Clinton would make a formidable presidential candidate. She routinely polls as America’s most admired figure, and voters gave her high marks during her tenure as the country’s top diplomat. But Hillary Clinton has a potential problem. His name is Barack Obama.
While she had to contend with “Clinton fatigue” in 2008, “Obama fatigue” is her potential stumbling block this time. Should dissatisfaction with the state of the nation and disapproval of Obama persist as 2016 approaches, the former secretary of state may well struggle to position herself as an agent of change.
For now, she is once again the early frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Public views of her are much like what they were as she looked ahead to her first presidential run. In fact, Clinton’s current Pew Research Center favorability rating is almost identical to what it was in 2005. The profile of her most enthusiastic fans resembles her initial constituency, before Obama emerged as a viable candidate. And when tested, she is the hands-down favorite to become the Democrats’ standard-bearer in 2016. For the moment, there’s simply no other contender in sight.
But at the same time, disillusionment with Obama could significantly undermine her current standing. The president’s approval numbers at the start of 2014 are in the low 40s in both the Gallup and Pew Research Center polls—10 points lower than in January 2013, and markedly lower than Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton’s ratings as they entered their eighth years in office. More ominously for Democrats, Obama’s personal image has slipped. Over the course of 2013, the percentage of the public viewing Obama as “able to get things done” fell from 57 percent to 43 percent, and those regarding him as “trustworthy” slipped from 59 percent to 50 percent.
Kohut goes on to explain that H.W. Bush's campaign in 88 suffered until Reagan's numbers, which had fallen, improved in the summer.
It's just a given that if a candidate is associated with a sitting president, the president's popularity--or lack thereof--will affect the candidate's standing with the public. Gore suffered from "Clinton fatigue" in 2000 and McCain, though not in Bush's administration, suffered merely from being a Republican after the smoking ruins Bush/Cheney left behind.
Unless Obama has a better year, we will most likely have a Republican president, no matter who the Dems run.
But there’s little indication that Republican criticisms of her handling of last September’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have seriously eroded her public standing. The Washington Post polling unit noted that the dip in her polls this year was concentrated among conservatives, and “despite the modest erosion in what was sky-high support, Clinton remains among the most popular secretaries of state in recent history, matching or exceeding Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright’s popularity and far more popular than Donald Rumsfeld, Warren Christopher and Alexander Haig.”
A dip in popularity among conservatives means nothing because they won't vote for her anyway. But she is likely to be vulnerable nevertheless if the country has a strong case of Obama fatigue in 2016 because she was in his cabinet. The Dems may be better off fielding a complete outsider..... But I think that voters may care more about experience this time around. If so, she'll be in a good position.
Read more: http://www.politico....l#ixzz2pjFYeWUq