Hillary Clinton…

Hillary Clinton 2012: Obama’s foreign policy shield

Of course, there are limitations. As secretary of state, Clinton is barred from taking an active political role in the campaign. And the two days she spent in Jerusalem this month on her most recent trip haven’t erased any of the complaints about Obama’s failure to make his own trip there since taking office.

(PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton’s world travels, 2009-2012)
Democratic and many independent voters still have an unmatched, visceral connection to her — unlike any other modern secretary of state. She’s the best-known member of the administration, and her high 60s approval ratings put her far ahead of Obama and make her the most popular political figure in the country.
Though Obama praised her Thursday at a Cabinet meeting for “logging more miles than any secretary of state in history, dealing with a whole range of problems and opportunities around the globe,” his campaign doesn’t mention her. But it doesn’t have to — Republican and Democratic strategists agree that Obama’s chief ambassador abroad is inherently also the best ambassador for promoting the foreign achievements back home.
“She’s widely recognized by a very high percentage of persuadable voters for having done a terrific job as secretary of state,” Democratic consultant Steve Murphy said. “Having Hillary Clinton as part of the equation certainly strengthens Barack Obama’s argument on foreign policy and national security.”

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