Reuters is reporting that a new poll released Friday finds that Hillary Clinton is the most popular politician in America, with a nationwide approval rating of 61% that beats out President Obama, Joe Biden, or any of the Republican party leaders that they were asked about.
Which is a hell of an image change for Hillary. Four years ago when Barack Obama was running against her in the presidential primary he capitalized on the impression that she was cold, aloof, and not nearly as beloved as her husband by telling her in a national debate, “You’re likable enough.” It was a sharp diss, and it stung precisely because it wasn’t true–back then Hillary had all the credentials she should have needed to trounce Obama in the primary, she just wasn’t likable enough; she was no match for Barack’s charisma.
And back then she was still a lighting rod for the vitriol of conservatives, who saw her as a nepotistic crony who used her relationship to Bill to push for things she had no business pushing for, like health care reform.
Clinton may benefit from the timing of the survey, which comes just a week after she retired as Secretary of State. Approval ratings always seem highest for politicians when they’re about to take office or after they leave—we’re never really happy with people while they’re actually doing their jobs. Which is evidenced by the other numbers in the survey: 68 percent of voters said they are “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with the current state of the nation.
Still, to come from a relatively disliked public figure four years ago and rebrand herself into the most popular politician in America—especially coming off the Benghazi scandal this fall—is pretty impressive. She probably owes at least a little credit to the Texts From Hillary guys.
Here’s how Hillary stacks up next to other U.S. politicians’positive approval ratings:
Hillary Clinton: 61%
Barack Obama: 51%
Joe Biden: 46%
Marco Rubio: 33%
John Boehner: 20%
Jeb Bush: Undecided