Public opinion and Hillary Rodham Clinton
Public Opinion Quarterly
Burden, Barry C.~Mughan, Anthony
Copyright (c) 1999
Abstract: Hillary Rodham Clinton is a political figure as well as a public one. Once in the White House, she reclaimed her birth name and became the point person in the most important proposed piece of domestic legislation (health care reform) of her husbandís first term. The break from the past was seismic. A decade and a half earlier, First Lady Rosalynn Carter had stirred controversy by merely attending cabinet meetings. If there has been a move in the direction of a joint presidency, what are its implications for the dynamics of US political opinion? Two scenarios suggest themselves. First, the husband and wife occupants of the White House are seen as two sides of the same coin so that their popularity levels are interdependent. Second, the first lady has emerged as a force in her own right so that the question of what drives her public popularity is still a puzzle to be solved. These contrasting scenarios are put to the test by examining the dynamics of public opinion toward Hillary Rodham Clinton during the first 5 years of the Clinton Administration.