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Top of the Ticket

Hillary Clinton's popularity tops Obama's

A Gallup poll ranks the secretary of State's popularity among her highest ever. Also: Harry Reid's campaign ads, and Meghan McCain's tank top flap.

October 18, 2009|Johanna Neuman and Ashley Powers

Finally, Hillary Rodham Clinton has bested Barack Obama in a head-to-head matchup at the polls.

One year after their grueling fight for the Democratic nomination, Gallup reports that the secretary of State is now posting a 62% approval rating, compared with the president's tally of 56%.

"Clinton's current favorable rating ranks among her best in the 17 years Gallup has polled Americans about her," said the organization. Her highest-ever rating? That was 67%, right after her husband, President Clinton, was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Maybe she has found a job worthy of her ambitions -- delivering America's message to nations around the world.

The other day, Clinton seemed to rule out a run for the presidency again. "No, no, no," is how she put it to NBC. "This is a great job. It is a 24-7 job. And I'm looking forward to retirement at some point."

But given the new numbers, the New York Daily News couldn't resist noting that HRC has about $3 million in her political coffers.

Meghan McCain's tank top flap

Meghan McCain, 24, the daughter of former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, caused a stir on her Twitter page Wednesday night with a photo that can only be described as, well, titillating.

She seemed surprised at the furor caused by the voluptuous tank-top display. Maybe she didn't get enough attention for her support of gay marriage. When conservatives complained, she threatened to quit Twitter. Or, as she put it, "I'm getting the . . . off Twitter."

"When I am alone in my apartment, I wear tank tops and sweat pants," she explained. "I had no idea this makes me a 'slut.' I can't even tell you how hurt I am."

If she's hurt by the reaction, you can only imagine how her parents feel.

Later, she apologized.

But, as one commenter suggested, perhaps she could "put a pink bow over this photo and call it a tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month."

Not the best week to be a Reid

Last week in Nevada, you couldn't go anywhere without being reminded that a Reid is running for office. Papa Harry, the Senate majority leader and a top Republican target, aired his first two commercials.

"Hard Work" is a fairly traditional reminder of his up-from-Searchlight youth: Dad was a miner, Mom did laundry for a brothel and Harry hitchhiked to high school.

"Nevada Jobs" is a little more unusual: Jim Murren, the CEO of MGM Mirage, talks about how Reid rescued the CityCenter project from bankruptcy. It reminds us of a reality-show confessional, though more staid than those on "The Real World: Las Vegas."

The underlying message: Nevada, I'm a mover and shaker. You want to go all South Dakota and give that up? Not the best idea, not in this economy.

Harry also announced that he's raised $12 million, so expect a lot more commercials.

Recent polls show him in deep, deep trouble.

Sue Lowden, former head of the state GOP, could beat him right now. Danny Tarkanian, son of a famous basketball coach, could beat him. We're sure Garth Brooks could beat Reid too, though his status as a Nevadan is about as shaky as John Chachas'.

Then there's Reid's son Rory, who's widely considered smart and thoughtful, but who apparently inherited his dad's (lack of) charisma and his terrible polling. As of Wednesday, Rory was officially running for governor. Already, he's blamed unpopular GOP Gov. Jim Gibbons for not securing enough stimulus money, to which a Gibbons aide essentially retorted: It's your dad's fault!

This could get real ugly for every Reid involved.

--

ashley.powers@latimes.com

Neuman writes for The Times.

Top of the Ticket, The Times' blog on national politics ( www.latimes.com/ticket), is a blend of commentary, analysis and news. These are selections from the last week.

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