Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is more popular than President Barack Obama, and to Dana Milbank, that must mean something:
By any measure — favorability ratings or job approval — Americans by a sizable margin have warmer views of the secretary of state than they do of the president. This is of little use to Clinton beyond bragging rights, but among Hillary ‘08 fans there is some satisfaction that the woman Obama once cut down as “likable enough” is now more liked than he is. Depending on the measure and the poll, she leads him by roughly 10 to 25 percentage points.
To understand why, look no further than their calendars for Monday. The president was in Alabama and Mississippi, trying again to change the public perception that his administration has been weak in its response to the oil spill. The secretary of state was in Washington receiving plaudits for being a “passionate leader” and for taking a “resolute and genuine” stand against human trafficking and slavery.
I’ll try to make it easy for Milbank; Hillary Clinton is more popular than Barack Obama because she isn’t the president. If the tables were turned with Obama as secretary of state and Clinton as president — faced with ten percent unemployment, a lagging economy, and an environmental disaster — then her popularity would be lagging, Obama’s would be soaring, and we’d still have to deal with this idiotic column (names reversed, of course).
One last thing: only in the Washington Post is okay to make light of human trafficking in a failed attempt to turn near-meaningless poll numbers into something worth talking about.