CNN Poll: High marks for first lady; mixed reviews for Cabinet members
December 26th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN Poll: High marks for first lady; mixed reviews for Cabinet members

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's Cabinet - currently undergoing a mid-presidency shuffle - receives mixed reviews in a CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday.

But the president's wife, first lady Michelle Obama, still gets high marks as she prepares for another four years in the White House alongside the president.

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Seventy-three percent of Americans approved of the way Michelle Obama was handling her job as first lady, compared to 20% who disapproved. Among the causes the first lady has championed since 2008 is the "Let's Move!" program, designed to combat childhood obesity by encouraging healthier eating habits and exercise.

She's also taken on unemployment among America's military veterans through the "Joining Forces" program, which matches servicemen and women with job search resources.

In the poll, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also received high marks - 66% of Americans approved of the job she's doing, compared to 30% who disapproved. The poll was taken almost entirely ahead of a scathing report reviewing the September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead. The report cited "systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" at the department Clinton heads.

Clinton is on her way out as the nation's top diplomat, a move she has long planned. While many speculate she's considering a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, she has consistently claimed she's out of politics for good, and will use her post-State Department life to relax.

Last week Obama nominated U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to succeed Clinton, and Kerry is expected to be confirmed easily by his colleagues in the Senate.

Another Cabinet member, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, received lower marks in the CNN poll released Wednesday. Thirty-six percent of respondents approved of the job Geithner is doing at the Treasury, compared with 42% who disapproved and 21% who were unsure.

Most recently, Geithner had been tasked with negotiating with congressional Republicans on a solution to the year-end fiscal cliff, a package of tax increases and spending cuts that will automatically trigger if a deal to cut the federal deficit isn't struck. No deal currently appears to be on the horizon.

Geithner has also been a crucial adviser to the president on global economic woes, U.S. recovery from recession, the auto bailout, and efforts to toughen Wall Street regulation and deal with shaky credit and housing markets.

Like Clinton, Geithner has said that he would step down for a second Obama term, but not before the fiscal cliff crisis is resolved. Potential successors at Treasury include Obama's current chief of staff, Jack Lew.

Vice President Joe Biden's approval rating in Wednesday's poll stood at 54%, with 40% disapproving of how he's handling his role. That was in line with approval ratings for Obama, who was at 52% approve-43% disapprove.

The CNN/ORC International poll was conducted with 620 Americans by telephone from December 17-18. The sampling error was plus or minus four percentage points.

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    Michelle is great but Hillary will be the next US President!

    December 26, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. Pappy

    Not surprising high marks for Morons, this boozey has wasted a ton of tax payers money, why is That david greogery not in jail for the gun laws the pres and his goofy wife like, must be an obammy friend, got to love these fixed b.s. polls

    December 26, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. California Gary

    In spite of the picture the GOP tried to paint of Michelle as being radical and un-American prior to the election of 2008, I think few would argue now that she hasn't been an exceptional First Lady. She has made America proud and will no doubt continue to do so.

    December 26, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Frank

    Michelle is Great, Hilary is great. Michelle is the perfect First Lady. Hilary would be the perfect President. But it does not mean one is better than the other. It means that either one could do what the other does best.

    December 26, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Funny that the most popular cabinet member and the First Lady are both women.
    Could it be that we have had it with the cojones less men in politics?

    December 26, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Barry

    hillary must run for POTUS. I will be voting for her..

    December 26, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. ug

    What high marks is that...that she has huge hips and can be used as a pack horse...

    December 26, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. rafael

    Hillary will be the first woman as president of USA,she will win with around 65% of the votes,Republican will have to wait
    at list 12 more years to try to have a shot at the white house.

    December 26, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Bobbie

    It is truly amazing how many people are fooled by MSM. MO has always been, and is to this day, a classless cow!!!

    December 26, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Robert Camacho - Clinton Delegate from California

    I am proud of this Administration and all the hard work they have accomplished in this first term to get our country moving FORWARD in the right direction.

    Thank you President Obama, Secretary Clinton and all the Administration.

    December 26, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. MikeJ

    I'd be curious to know what the 20% of the people polled did NOT like about the FLOTUS. What has she ever done except be gracious and a positive force? I think I can guess the real reason.

    December 26, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. gar

    Michelle is great.

    December 26, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Nathan

    Bobbie wouldn't know class if it walked into her trailer. Michelle Obama is the essence of class. She is a tireless advocate for veterans and children. Anyone who sees anything different is looking through tinted glasses.

    December 26, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Paul

    The "righties" will start getting their "ammo" (pun intended) for Hiliary. They are scared to death that she will be the first woman president. The Republican method is to start demonizing anyone they see as a threat and start early. I can just imagine all the "backroom" meetings going on right now, figuring out a way to bring down Hilliary. Heads are exploding.

    December 26, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. mperta

    Michelle Obama represents class, yet at the same time she's down to earth - it's obvious she hasn't lost her midwestern roots. Hillary Clinton was the hardest working first lady of my lifetime (I was born when Jackie Kennedy was first lady.) Just look at her book "Invitation to the White House." She did a masterful job. I admire both ladies. It's clear that women seem to be winning our hearts in politics over the men. I always felt this would be a better world if more women were in charge.

    December 26, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Marie

    Michelle Obama is class with a capital "C". Same with Hillary whom I hope to be voting for in the next presidential election. Now if we could just get Nancy Peolis back as a real speaker of the house then we might see something akin to getting work done and not the foolishness that has pushed our country to the brink.

    December 26, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. jorge washinsen

    I hope she has regained all of her memory and gets the testifying over with before running for president.

    December 26, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. mperta

    Michelle Obama represents class, yet at the same time she's down to earth - she hasn't lost her midwestern roots. Hillary Clinton was the hardest working first lady of my lifetime (I was born when Jackie Kennedy was first lady.) Just look at her book "Invitation to the White House." She did a masterful job. I admire both ladies. I always felt this would be a better world if more women were in charge.

    December 26, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. batjones

    I am disappointed that CNN does not provide us with a comprehensive poll. The poll provided approval ratings for only two Cabinet members, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Treasury. Where is the reporting on Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veteran Affairs, and Homeland Security? It would be helpful if CNN took a look at the full bench of the Obama team.

    December 26, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. TheVoice2

    I am big supporter of Hillary but I don't think she is going to run again. Unfortunately. But we do have who I believe will be the first woman and next President of the U.S. :

    Elizabeth Warren 2016!!

    December 26, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. myviewis

    Okay, now that Mrs. Obama has the food under control and has stopped obesity among children let's see her start a campaign against Video games that are also the cause of obesity and encourage parents to turn off the computer and video game and have kids go outside to play.

    December 26, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. PJ

    Right about "Bobbie" and that goes for "Pappy" too. Like they say "ignernce is bliss".

    December 26, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. GianniRomeo

    Michelle Obama will go down as well as one of the most beloved First Ladies of all time. For those who disrespect her, shame on you. She is the epitome of grace, realness, and positive energy, and her devotion to her many causes is admirable. Michelle also is a great mother and wife, and I am proud to have her in White House representing our nation.

    December 26, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Oh boy

    20% disaprove, that's about as many uneducated, hicks, racists and extreme right wing nut jobs that support Grover et al, funny thing is, they are also the ones most dependant on government hand outs.

    December 26, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. Joan

    I not only approve of The First Lady, I think she is an evolved woman!!! She sets an amazing example for women!!!

    December 26, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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