Ms. Popular

In Gallup's latest polling, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's favorable ratings are one point off her all-time high:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's favorable rating from Americans is now 66%, up from 61% in July 2010 and her highest rating to date while serving in the Obama administration. The current rating is just one percentage point below her all-time high rating of 67%, from December 1998.

...The latest results are from a March 25-27 Gallup poll conducted while the United States was actively involved in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, a policy Clinton reportedly advocated. The same poll finds Clinton rated more positively than other top administration officials. Obama receives a 54% favorable rating, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, 52%, and Vice President Joe Biden, 46%.

Clinton enjoys extraordinary popularity among women, and particularly women 50 and older. She also receives support from a solid majority of independents and 40% of Republicans.

Underscoring that views of Clinton and Obama are not one and the same, Clinton is seen in a favorable light by 45% of those who separately say they disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president. Naturally, she is also viewed favorably by 89% of those who approve of Obama's job performance.
I find it interesting, but not surprising, that Clinton appears to be held to different standards re: the unpopular Libya intervention than the President and the Secretary of Defense.

One might argue that she's the beneficiary of the soft bigotry of low expectations, that the numbers are reflecting the prejudice that she's a woman and thus can't be held responsible for hawkishness. But I'm guessing whatever influence that might have, it's counterbalanced by her being the target of claims that Obama is being manipulated by his female advisers, a cadre of warmongering harpies led by Clinton.

My thought instead is that Clinton's long career of advocating for the marginalized, alienated, and dispossessed has created a context for her advocacy that Obama and Gates do not enjoy. (And this high-larious anecdote does not make her seem a hawk, but a rebel ally.) If one believes that it is, in fact, eminently possible to support military intervention in good faith, I believe that good faith is being (quite understandably) extended to Secretary Clinton.

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