Now two years in Barack Obama's second term much speculation has started in perhaps every corner of the political spectrum in the United States (U.S) around who will run next. The new national survey published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY showed a positive perception for former secretary of state to potentially make a bid for the White House.
After an unsuccessful run for the presidency in 2008, Clinton has continued to build an impressive political career and legacy. Nevertheless, a second attempt to run for president has allowed much of the public opinion to shift the opinion of her.
In the survey, 67 percent of Americans approved of the job she carried out as a senior official. She is perceived as tough (69 percent) and honest (56 percent). The notion back in 2008 that described her as ‘hard to like’ was a significant 51 percent. Today, the number is down to 36 percent, which indicates an acceptance for Clinton to be a viable commander and chief.
“And while Clinton’s performance at the State Department is viewed positively, her handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate at Benghazi, Libya registers as a negative aspect of her background,” according to the Pew survey.
In addition, 15 percent of respondents indicated the most negative aspect of Clinton’s career is Benghazi. This is a theme reverberated time and time again by Republicans. This will be one of the weaknesses to pay attention to during the campaign trail in the event of a possible announcement to formally run for President.
In other views, the handling of the Monica Lewinsky scandal by Bill Clinton is viewed as positive, but not statistically significant; A eleven percent of those who identified themselves as Democrats and four percent of Republicans. However, seven percent of Democrats and ten percent of Republicans elsewhere view this personal scandal as the most negative aspect for both of their careers.
Is there an overwhelming share of liberals who want to see her run? The answer of course is yes. A resounding 87 percent want to see her run and there is a very strong chance (83 percent) they will vote for her.
Gender has become an irrelevant factor for important positions in government today. With women increasingly occupying more and more prevalent high profile positions in the public sector the notion of gender has absolutely no bearing anymore. On the other hand, being a woman is considered an asset (33 percent) and would not hinder her possibilities.
There are still two years left for Obama to complete his term and the economic struggles are far from fixed. The debate on what type of economic and healthcare policies she may present will certainly liven up the dialogue.
The survey was conducted Feb. 27 to Mar. 2 with a total sample of 1,002 adults age 18-years-old who participated. The interviews were administered in English and Spanish. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.