Hillary Clinton ‘Strong, Honest, Likable:’ Pew Survey

Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Hillary Rodham Clinton on Feb. 26, 2014 in Coral Gables, Florida.

Hillary Clinton is tough — 69 percent of those surveyed say so.

For all the criticism about that Russian “reset button” emerging from the flare-up in U.S.-Russian relations over Ukraine, two-thirds of those surveyed say the former secretary of sate who delivered that symbolic button to Moscow did a good job as America’s chief diplomat.

Most — 56 percent — also say she is honest.

These are among the findings of a survey by the Pew Research Center and USA Today.

If there were people who didn’t like her when she ran for president in 2008 — 51 percent of those surveyed then called Clinton “hard to like” —  it would appear there are fewer of those people today. Now, 36 percent call her hard to like, and most, 57 percent, say that phrase does not describe her.

(It was the winner of that ’08 nomination, then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, who famously told the senator from New York, “You’re likable enough, Hillary,” Pew reminds us today. Obama liked her enough that he made her secretary of state.)

If Republicans want to make Clinton pay for the fatal attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on her watch — should she run for president again in 2016 — they may not have much to work with: As respondents were asked in their own words to name the most negative thing about Clinton’s career, the most frequent response recorded was “Benghazi” — cited by 15 percent of those queried.

The survey of 1,002 adults was run Feb. 27-Mar. 2, with a 3.6 percentage point possible margin of error.

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