High marks for Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton in CNN poll

Washington, Dec 27: President Barack Obama’s outgoing cabinet received mixed reviews in a new poll, but his wife, first lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, still got high marks.

Seventy-three percent of Americans approved of the way Michelle Obama was handling her job as first lady, compared to 20 percent who disapproved, according to CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday.

Among the causes the first lady has championed since 2008 is the “Let’s Move!” programme, 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” programme, which matches servicemen and women with job search resources.

In the poll, Clinton also received high marks – 66 percent of Americans approved of the job she’s doing, compared to 30 percent 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 State department Clinton heads.

Another cabinet member, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, received lower marks in the CNN poll, possibly because of the uncertain economic situation in the country. Thirty-six percent of respondents approved of the job Geithner is doing at the Treasury, compared with 42 percent who disapproved and 21 percent who were unsure.

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

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

IANS