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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Will new Politico poll encourage more Democrats to challenge Hillary Clinton for 2016 nomination?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,Democratic Party,Politico,Hillary Clinton,Bill Clinton,2016 Elections

A new Politico poll suggests that Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign may be over before it's officially announced because she is the political equivalent of being famous for being famous.

The problem is the lack of substance in the former first lady's tenure in public office, most recently as President Obama's secretary of state.

This is not a new problem for Clinton, however, as similar concerns about her tenure as New York's junior senator framed her unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.

Big empty at Foggy Bottom

Politico asked its survey respondents about Clinton's four years at State. A mere 14 percent of respondents rated her performance as "excellent" and only 28 percent as "good."

By contrast, 21 percent rated Clinton's performance as "fair" and 32 percent as "poor." In other words, more than twice as many view her performance as poor than view it as excellent.

An even bigger problem is how independents rate Clinton's time as America's top diplomat: "60 percent viewed her performance as 'fair' or 'poor,' compared with just 33 percent who answered 'excellent' or 'good.'"

Politico notes this morning that a February 2013 Quinnipiac Poll produced results that were almost exactly the opposite. The difference is likely due to the continued debate about what happened at Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.

Still the Empty Pantsuit?

A Nov. 21, 2007, post on Daily Kos captured the prevailing criticism of Clinton's Senate tenure, calling her the "Empty Pantsuit" because of her failure to gain passage of significant legislation:

"Hillary Clinton's leadership over her seven years in the Senate has been marginal, and her effectiveness over her Senate terms has been extremely poor.

"In fact, she has a remarkably poor track record at turning her sponsored legislation into law, to the extent that she's an outlier among her Democratic colleagues.

"Of 337 bills that Hillary has introduced, only 2 have become law. These numbers are always lower than you'd think — it isn't easy to get a bill passed — but Hillary's batting average is especially poor."

Famous for being famous?

In other words, Hillary Clinton is famous primary for being ... Hillary Clinton. She was first lady because of her husband.

She was elected to the Senate because she faced a relatively weak GOP opponent and benefitted from a protective press.

And making her secretary of state was Obama's way of keeping her under control during his first term, thus blocking any thoughts of a 2012 primary challenge.

Don't be surprised if the Politico poll emboldens more Democrats to start talking about making a 2016 run for the White House.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Monday's Editorial: How oil and gas fracking fractures the Democratic Party.

Sunday's Editorial: Dark money fuels Democrats' push against dark money in politics.

Columnists/Hugh Hewitt: Don't be surprised if Mitt Romney is on the GOP's 2016 primary ballot.

Columnists/James Jay Carafano: The CIA's Twitter #fail.

Columnists/Michael Barone: Obama dragged down by chaos at home and abroad, not by the economy.

OpEds/Rep. Mike Coffman: Iraq's crisis requires a political solution.

OpEds/Rep. Doug Lamborn: Veterans Affairs reform must include clear standards for care.

OpEds/Melanie Sturm: Where are America's leaders who are willing to confront real problems?

Legal Newsline/Supreme Court's False Claims Act decision will affect Purdue Pharma whistleblower.

Video Morning Examiner: Morning Examiner with Steve Doty for July 21.

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CBS News: Putin called a "thug" after shootdown of Malaysian airliner.

Righty Playbook

The Weekly Standard: A no-brainer for the House GOP.

National Review Online: Tenured partisans.

The American Spectator: MH17 vs KAL 007, Obama vs. Reagan -- leadership then and now.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Can anti-corporatist populism save the GOP?

Lefty Playbook

The Daily Beast: Did the U.N. give rockets to Hamas?

Salon: The day I was nearly arrested for having an autistic son.

The UTNE Reader: The Exosuit opens new frontiers for science.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Inside the AIDS conference reeling from MH17 losses.

Blog Right

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Blue Collar Perspective: As if you needed more proof Obama orchestrated the border flood.

Hot Air: ISIS begins purging of Iraqi Christians.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Fox host tells Cruz he may be making "the perfect the enemy of the good."

The Democratic Strategist: Will black voters make history in November?

Crooks and Liars: Fiorina tells Obama how to handle Putin.

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Author:

Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner

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