By Balitang America Staff and Rodney Jaleco, ABS-CBN North America Bureau | 02/09/2013 11:27 AM
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may be out of a job, but she is now more popular than President Barack Obama.
Clinton is the most popular national political figure, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
Her favorability rating is at 61-percent, much higher than Obama’s 51-percent.
Clinton’s ratings top those of Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner, Republican senator Marco Rubio from Florida, and even her successor, current Secretary of State John Kerry.
FILIPINOS FOR CLINTON 2016
Clinton’s Filipino supporters in Washington said they’re ready to swing into action if she does decide to throw her hat in the next presidential elections in 2016.
In the days leading to her retirement, she was asked constantly about her plans but she demurred.
“I sent her flowers,” said New York-based Fil-Am leader Loida Nicolas Lewis after a health scare when Clinton collapsed and doctors found a clot in her head that was eventually removed without surgery.
“We’re staying back and waiting for her to make a decision without any pressure,” Lewis said.
Lewis actively campaigned for Clinton during the 2008 Democratic nomination race that then Sen. Barack Obama won.
In 2009, when rumors swirled in Manila that then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would try to “steal” the 2010 presidential elections by manufacturing a national emergency, a delegation of Fil-Am community leaders sought and got a public assurance from Clinton that the US frowns on any plot to block elections, virtually warning off the Arroyo administration.
And when Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario flew to Washington D.C. following confrontations with China over a lingering territorial spat, Clinton laid down the US position – the strongest assurance given yet for its longstanding treaty ally.
She also demonstrated her brand of diplomacy during a visit to the Philippines, acting like a candidate campaigning for Filipino votes than the 4th highest ranking official in the US government.
But while she seemed to relish shaking hands with ordinary folks, Clinton was also quick to slap those from offenders – speaking out against extrajudicial killings, abuses and human trafficking.
Clinton has built a legion of Filipino admirers here and in the Philippines, including Lewis who says she still hopes Clinton would become the 1st female president of the United States.