Hillary Rodham Clinton, today the nation’s most popular political figure, appears on three of the weekend’s top news shows.
In a Sunday morning media surge from the NATO Summit with President Obama and other world leaders in Lisbon, Secretary of State Clinton appears on NBC’s Meet the Press to talk about the recent NATO Summit, Afghanistan and the START treaty, on Fox News Sunday to answer questions about the Obama Administration’s diplomatic goals, and on CBS’s Face the Nation to address Afghanistan, terror trials, and rally support for ratification of the nuclear arms reduction agreement.
Robert Draper, the New York Times Magazine contributor whose recent profile of Sarah Palin reported the former Alaska governor is actively considering a run for the White House, follows Clinton on Meet the Press.
Clinton’s appearances come on the heels of a Bloomberg National Poll showing that the former first lady and New York Senator is the most popular political figure in the nation, with nearly two thirds viewing her favorably. America’s current first lady, Michelle Obama, came in second with a 62 percent positive rating. With a 38 percent favorable rating, Sarah Palin came in just behind Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
While the Sunday roundup focuses almost exclusively on foreign policy issues, Chris Matthews on NBC talks about the TIME Magazine cover story on the state of marriage in America, a topic that has influenced much of the public’s relationship with Mrs. Clinton.
Bill and Hillary Clinton celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary last month, an accomplishment few would have imagined a decade ago as the Clintons were preparing to leave the White House at the end of President Clinton’s second term and George W. Bush’s defeat of Al Gore in the 2000 election. As Al and Tipper Gore announced the end of their 40-year marriage earlier this year, Hillary and Bill Clinton appeared closer than ever at daughter Chelsea Clinton’s marriage to Marc Mezvinsky in Rhinebeck, New York this summer.
While TIME reports that a growing number of Americans view marriage as less important, it’s difficult to imagine the success of Bill or Hillary Clinton without the partnership they created when Bill reportedly proposed by saying, “I bought that house you like, so you better marry me because I can’t live in it by myself.”
Although Mrs. Clinton’s every comment on foreign policy is likely to be dissected and analyzed around the world, the vast majority of Americans who made her the nation’s most popular politician are likely to follow news of her marriage with equal interest.
Last year, Clinton talked about her marriage in a CBS News report: “I am very lucky because my husband is my best friend and he and I have been together for a very long time. Longer than most of you have been alive. And we have an endless conversation. We never get bored. We get deeply involved in all of the work that we do and talk about it constantly and I just feel very fortunate that I have a relationship that has been so meaningful to me over my adult life.”
In 2008, Clinton spoke about the decision to continue her marriage after her husband’s public infidelity, saying, “I really had to dig down deep and think hard about what was right for me, what was right for my family. I never doubted Bill’s love for me ever, and I never doubted my faith and my commitment to our daughter and our extended family. The momentary feelings — you know, you are mad, you are really upset, you are disappointed — all of that goes through your mind … I have found you really shouldn’t make decisions in the heat of those moments.”
While her views as Secretary of State and rumors of continued interest in another bid for the Oval Office are likely to be the exclusive focus of her Sunday appearances, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s relationship with each other will surely continue intriguing the public for years to come.