Program note: Hillary Clinton will discuss her memoir "Hard Choices" in a town hall meeting at the Newseum in Washington at 5 p.m. ET on June 17. The former secretary of state, senator and first lady will take questions from moderator Christiane Amanpour, CNN's Chief International Correspondent, and members of the audience. The town hall will be simulcast on CNN International and CNN en Espanol.
Washington (CNN) - With her much anticipated memoir hitting bookstores on Tuesday, coverage of Hillary Clinton is exploding this week, from the broadcast networks to cable news to social media.
Polling indicates that the former secretary of state, who says she'll probably decide next year whether she'll make another run for the White House, would instantly become the overwhelming frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
While those numbers are very clear cut, here's what other polling on the former senator from New York and first lady tells us:
Clinton as secretary of state: "Hard Choices" is Clinton's look back at her four-year tenure as America's top diplomat. When she stepped down in early 2013, her approval ratings were sky high - she stood at 66% in a CNN/ORC International poll and 68% in an ABC News/Washington Post survey.
While those numbers have deteriorated a bit, they remain high: 59% of people questioned in an ABC New/Washington Post poll conducted a week ago gave a thumbs-up to the job Clinton did at the State Department.
The poll also asked about Clinton's personal attributes.
Two thirds said Clinton is a strong leader; six in 10 said she was honest and trustworthy; and majorities said Clinton understood people like them and had new ideas for the country. The numbers on Clinton's personal qualities matched a CNN/ORC poll conducted earlier this year.
Of course, there was a partisan divide on all of these questions.
Take her approval rating as secretary of state: Nine out of 10 Democrats said they approved of the job Clinton did. Her approval rating dropped to 54% among independents, with only 27% of Republicans questioned giving a thumbs up to Clinton. Another example: 94% of Democrats, but only four in 10 Republicans, said Clinton was a strong leader.
Clinton vs. Obama: What's also striking is that while Clinton's numbers remain high, Americans don't remain enamored of how her former boss is currently handling foreign policy. President Barack Obama's approval rating on foreign policy in the ABC News/Washington Post poll stood at 41% and the President's approval on foreign affairs stood at 40% in a CNN/ORC International survey conducted at the beginning of the month.
The President's numbers on foreign policy dropped during his second term, as the bloody civil war in Syria continued to rage, and with the return to Cold War-like attitudes with Russia, thanks to Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and tacit support for Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine fighting for separation from Kiev.
Since leaving the State Department, Clinton has mostly avoided saying anything critical of the President. But while she praises him in her new memoir, she does put a bit of daylight between herself and Obama when it comes to international flashpoints that remain ongoing. Most striking is her disagreement with the President over whether to arm the rebels battling Syrian government forces.
"The President's inclination was to stay the present course and not take the significant further step of arming rebels," Clinton writes. "No one likes to lose a debate, including me. But this was the President's call and I respected his deliberations and decision. From the beginning of our partnership, he had promised me that I would always get a fair hearing. And I always did. In this case, my position didn't prevail."
New polls asking about a former secretary of state's tenure remain rare.
"This is really uncharted waters for pollsters, because we rarely - if ever - have had any reason to ask a retrospective approval rating for a former secretary of state," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "The last former Secretary of State to run for president was Al Haig in 1988, and before Haig, you probably have to go all the way back to 1916 when Philander C. Knox and Elihu Root were both running for the GOP nomination years after they had headed the State Department."
Benghazi still hurts: Much of the Republican political firepower directed at Clinton focuses on the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.
"It's clear Hillary Clinton is testing the waters for a 2016 run for the White House but questions continue to surface about her failed record at the State Department from Benghazi to the Russian Reset and Boko Haram," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement Monday.
Clinton testified last year about the attack in front of House and Senate hearings. But Republicans say there are still questions left unanswered. And the GOP-controlled House is launching another investigation.
Around half the public says it supports another congressional investigation into the Benghazi attack, which was the first time in more than 30 years that a U.S. ambassador had been killed while on duty.
According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, 51% said they supported another congressional investigation, with 42% saying the incident has been investigated enough already. As you can imagine, there was a wide partisan divide: 72% of Republicans questioned said they back the new investigation, but that number dropped to 52% among independents and just 31% among Democrats.
As for Clinton, half of those questioned said they disapprove of how Clinton handled the attack, with 37% saying the approve. Once again, there was a partisan divide, with 78% of Republicans, 58% of independents, but only 22% of Democrats giving the former secretary of state a thumbs-down on how she handled the incident.
2016: Just about every national and state poll has indicated the same thing: If she runs, Clinton's the overwhelming favorite for her party's presidential nomination.
Sixty-four percent of Democrats questioned in a CNN/ORC poll conducted in early May said they would likely back Clinton. That number stood at 66% in the new ABC News/Washington Post survey, with Vice President Joe Biden a very distant second, at 12% support.
But Democrats don't want a coronation. Fifty-five percent in the ABC News/Washington Post poll said they don't want Clinton to run unopposed for the nomination. Even among Clinton supporters, a majority want to see some competition.
As for the general election, Clinton maintains a large single digit to small double digit lead over possible Republican opponents in surveys of hypothetical 2016 general election matchups.
The latest example: Clinton topped Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, 53%-43%, in the new ABC News/Washington Post survey.
One caveat, of course: Take all these polls with a grain of salt.
"Of course, polls conducted more than two years before an election are kind of like looking at a scoreboard at the bottom of the first inning of a baseball game. It shows us who is ahead right now, but there are still eight more innings to play," Holland added.