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President Obama now enjoys a 55 percent approval rating, Vice President Joseph R. Biden stands at 45 percent, Mr. Kerry at 44 percent. It was not always thus, however. As a junior senator from New York, Mrs. Clinton drew 49 percent.

“At a time when many political analysts [are calling her] name as a potential contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, her favorability rating outshines those of current Obama administration officials, including the president himself,” observes Mr. Dugan. “But as the past trajectory of Clinton’s favorability ratings shows, this could easily change.”


With news that Sen. Max Baucus will not seek re-election in 2014, the tea party has emerged to claim it as their own victory. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the Montana Democrat was a key author of President Obama’s health care reform, yet Mr. Baucus called the implementation of the law a “huge train wreck.”

The nation’s largest tea party umbrella group is amused.

“Yes, Obamacare is a ‘train wreck’ and unfortunately Sen. Baucus realized it after authoring and promoting this terrible law,” says Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, which represents 3,200 local groups.

“The message of our very first rally on February 27, 2009, was, ‘repeal the pork or we will retire you.’ We have made good on that promise as former senators like Saxby Chambliss, Tom Harkin, Arlen Specter and others have succumbed to the will of the American people,” continues Mrs. Martin, adding that the Patriots have opposed Obamacare on principle, framing it as a “one-size-doesn’t-fit-all big-government disaster cooked up by Washington politicians, lobbyists and bureaucrats.”

Mrs. Martin adds that “K Street is literally littered with former Baucus staffers,” 28 of them in lobbying.

“We will watch carefully to see what crony deals Sen. Baucus has for himself as he nears retirement,” she says. “We do not elect our representatives to go to Washington to create more bureaucracy and build power for themselves at the expense of our freedom and rights.”


• 47 percent of Americans approve of the way George W. Bush handled his job as president; 84 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of conservatives, 25 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of liberals agree.

• 43 percent overall approve of the way Mr. Bush handled the economy when in office; 76 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of conservatives, 22 percent of Democrats and 18 percent of liberals agree.

• 40 percent of Americans overall approve of Mr. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq; 70 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of conservatives, 25 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of liberals agree.

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