Clinton Positions Herself For 2016 White House Bid Despite Weaknesses

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is positioning herself early for a 2016 White House bid, but she will be dogged by issues including the Benghazi attack and how to connect with ordinary Americans, experts said.

Clinton, widely viewed as the next Democratic candidate in the 2016 White House race, is kicking off an unofficial public relations campaign with the recent release of her new book, "Hard Choices," which was followed by a nationally televised interview on Sunday.

But her support ratings have dropped significantly in the last few years, falling from a high of 59 percent in February to 54 percent this week, signaling an end to the era in which she consistently ranked above 60 percent as secretary of state, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released earlier this week also found 50 percent of Americans disapprove of Clinton's actions on Benghazi, compared to 37 percent who approve of her actions.

Clinton, then secretary of state, has been criticized for her handling of the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the deaths of four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Hillary Clinton was accused of showing that side in an interview earlier this week when she said she and the former president were "flat broke" after leaving the White House.

"That interview we saw with Dianne Sawyer shows exactly how rusty Clinton is right now," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell.

"It's that sort of elitism that causes Americans to step back," O'Connell told Xinhua.

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Analysis & Political Strategy