Hillary Clinton

Focus Group Democrats Like Hillary Clinton's Record, but Can't Name Any Accomplishments


Hillary Clinton in Cedar Falls, Iowa / C-SPAN

A small but perhaps telling detail from a Bloomberg Politics/Purple Strategies focus group of 10 Iowa Democrats: They all profess to liking all-but-certain Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and a couple of them even say that they like her record, her policies, and her ability to get things done.

Yet when asked to name Clinton's specific accomplishments as Secretary of State, nothing really comes to mind. 

Here's what two of the group's participants said when asked how they felt generally about Clinton as a leader and a person:  

"She's not perfect," said Charlie, 24, a graphic designer. "She's been in the eye for a long time, in the public's eye, and you're going to have some stuff on her. But she has great policies and she knows how to get stuff done."

"There's definitely some trust issues there," added Bill, 55, a chef. "But like everybody else has said, her record pretty much speaks for itself. She is eminently qualified to run this country, and I think she'd probably do a pretty good job."

So Clinton's "record speaks for itself." And what record would that be? The question is put to the group, and yet… 

While the group agreed that Clinton possessed the experience and policy positions required to be elected president, the participants were less confident when it came to naming the former secretary of state's actual accomplishments.

"I really can't name anything off the top of my head," said Ryan, the event planner.

Following a brief silence, a 22-year-old student named Amanda added, "I honestly can't say I followed along [with] everything that was going on."

A video of the exchange features a few more responses—but no one really manages to come up with an actual accomplishment. Which is fair enough, I suppose, given that when Clinton herself has been asked about her accomplishments at State she has generally responded with vague, roundabout answers like, "I think we really restored American leadership, in the best sense." Is there a worst sense? 

Granted, Hillary Clinton isn't exactly running on her record of specific diplomatic accomplishments. Instead, to the extent that she is running on what she has already done rather than what she intends to do, she's running her record of having held various positions of political power (Senator, Secretary of State) and her status as the most prominent politically active Democrat in the nation who is not currently occupying the White House. It is a record of being more than a record of doing, but as the focus group suggests, for many Democratic voters, that may be enough. 

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  1. It is a record of being more than a record of doing, but as the focus group suggests, for many Democratic voters, that may be enough.

    Thank for tuning into National Geographic, where we are showing you the Low Information Voter, in the wild…

    1. Hey, can you blame them? As far as I can tell, this headline would be true as well”

      Focus Group DemocratsHillary Clinton Like[s] Hillary Clinton’s Record, but Can’t Name Any Accomplishments

    2. If celebrities are people who are famous for being famous, what do we call politicians whose record consists of running on their record?

      1. Um… “Hillary Clinton”?

  2. Can’t say i’m surprised at all

    “…she has great policies and she knows how to get stuff done.”

    “… her record pretty much speaks for itself. She is eminently qualified to run this country, and I think she’d probably do a pretty good job.”

    In the words of Professor Farnsworth: I don’t want to live on this planet anymore

  3. What do you get when you cross a lying lawyer and a crooked politician . . . a daughter names Chelsea.

  4. Survey says – She’s got the retard vote wrapped up.

  5. I’m a bit of a political junky – and can’t name any of her “policies”, other than standard Democrat boilerplate.

    Any concrete plans or is she going to run on vaporware?

    1. Her policies are a vague fluid

      1. At least until the check clears.

    2. She’d better run on vaporware. Even with the assistance of the Media, she’d be hard put to win on a platform of “I’m gonna feather my nest every chance I get, tell you people as little as I can get away with, and take credit for anything good that happens on my watch.”.

      Hillary has one thing over the majority of other National level Democrat Politicians; she isn’t a contemptible prick. She’s a despicable twunt.

    3. “I’m a bit of a political junky – and can’t name any of her “policies”, other than standard Democrat boilerplate.”

      I think her tenure was marked by a very few agenda items

      1 – to increase the power of State Dept vs. the Pentagon in world affairs

      (which, to be fair, was needed =and Rob Gates was on board with offloading some of the roles that Rummy had insisted his people be given control over)

      this also naturally overlapped heavily with the standard job of loading foreign service jobs/ambassadorships with political supporters and big spenders for the Dem party. Whenever you win an election, there’s always someone who needs to hand out party-favors, and Hillary seemed to enjoy that job

      2 – to Change the terms of existing relationships with “adversary nations”

      Every new election gives State the opportunity to claim that ‘the old guard is gone – we’re the new people’, and try and force a redirection of existing relationships. The main ones being, Russia, Iran, the North Koreans, Venezuela, Pakistan, (*Israel) etc.

      These were supposed to be “big picture” changes (see, ‘Russia and the Reset Button’), but i think little of this got very far because of…

      3 – the Arab Spring

      The only real significant challenge State had laid at its doorstep during her 3 year run was the slow-collapse of the Middle Eastern strong-man regimes. The disasters in Libya, Yemen, Syria were things we had our hands all over. I doubt this will be much noted during the campaign.

    4. What are you talking about?

      Hillary Clinton’s Accomplishments

      1. Having a vagina
      2. Marrying Bill Clinton
      3. Getting elected to office
      4. Did I mention having a vagina?
      5. Being a good soldier for the Obama Whitehouse
      6. Tolerating you peasants!
      7. Having a vagina\

      1. You keep mentioning this “vagina” thing; has anybody actually checked?

  6. A graphic designer, a chef, an event planner, and a student.

    Of course Hillary seems accomplished by comparison.

  7. “She’s good at raising money.”

  8. I think Hillary Clinton’s most important accomplishment has been not being a racist–like the boogeymen that make up the Republican Party in the average registered Democrat’s mind.

    What do we they know about her positions?

    Well, they know she doesn’t hate black people or Mexicans, and she doesn’t approve of dragging homosexuals behind pickup trucks either–and they know that becasue she’s a Democrat.

    They’re just too smart to say stupid shit like that on the record, but listening to registered Democrats talk about why they vote for Democrats boils down to a rant about how racist and hateful whites and Christians are and how awful and selfish Republicans are for working hard, being productive, and thinking that entitles them to their money.

    1. Yeah i agree
      most low info democrat voters aren’t voting FOR the Democratic party so much as they are voting AGAINST those evil baby-killing racist republicans

      1. Don’t forget sexist and homophobic!

    2. Well, we know she believes in evolution, because when the polls made it look advantageous, her position on gay marriage evolved.

      And we know she’s really smart because she keeps getting away with shit like running her own email server.

  9. She’s won the gold in the Coattail Riding event for many years!

  10. Noticing that Hillary has not accomplished anything useful is microrape!

  11. she’s running her record of having held various positions of political power (Senator, Secretary of State) and her status as the most prominent politically active Democrat in the nation who is not currently occupying the White House

    Principals trump principles.

    1. What is woefully disappointing is how people seem to believe that having held a position is a qualification for holding the next position up. No reference to the record of achievements at the previously held position is considered necessary, only having held the position.

      As I’ve said before, saying Hillary is qualified to be POTUS for having been SoS from 2009-2013 is like saying Dick Fuld is qualified to be Fed chair since he was the head of Lehman in 2007-2008.

      1. It’s a woman’s turn to be president. And she’s like really smart and stuff.

        1. And people on my television tell me she’s like really smart and stuff.


      2. While I think voters should demand (not as a matter of law, just practice) a cursus honorum of some sort, just to have some real idea of what the candidate will do while in office, one problem with that is if each position is treated purely as a check box, with no consideration at all of the time in office, effectiveness in office, or anything other than having held the job.

      3. What is woefully disappointing is how people seem to believe that having held a position is a qualification for holding the next position up.

        It’s a widely used heuristic in hiring. Being it’s hard to evaluate a prospective employee or promote by direct means, we narrow down the field by relying on the judgment of those who’ve hired or promoted the applicant previously. Someone must’ve thought this person was good, or they wouldn’t’ve gotten that job, and this job is similar.

  12. The video is depressing. All blue color with a few youngsters thrown in for variety. They even managed to find a young, black woman to provide a young, hip comment. Not a single person that actually looks excited to be talking about Hillary.

    1. As weak as the comments are in “support” of Hilary, the body language speaks volumes. These people are merely resigned to running this woman. There is no real support there.

      1. They run her because they must.

        1. Bob Dole in a pantsuit.

          1. A nothingburger he is, but Bob Dole isn’t nearly as criminal.

            1. I have to agree here.

              Bob Dole was a lousy choice for a presidential candidate. Hell, I don’t even think he would have made a good President. But, at least he was someone you could have some admiration for, if not actually like, on a personal level.

              Hillary Clinton is just exudes the aura of being a complete and utter self-centered, narcissistic, asshole on a personal level.

              I mean, even during the Clinton administration, I could never really blame Bill Clinton for cheating on her, at least on a personal level.

              1. I don’t think being a self-centered prick is a disqualification for being a good president, if it comes with the right political motivations, or if it results in getting nothing done. In fact, if you elect a weak moron, he’s likely simply going to be a puppet for his VP or advisers.

                The problem with Hillary is that she is a self-centered prick who is into crony capitalism and war mongering, and she’s effective at implementing those policies.

  13. The saddest part of all of this is that she’s going to win and we’ll Be Lucky to Live Through It.

    1. I’m still not sure she’ll win.

      1. I’m positive she won’t win.

        The only reason her numbers aren’t even lower is she’s hiding from the press right now. Her numbers plummet whenever she shows up in public and opens her mouth to answer a serious question. Wait until Trey Gowdy starts grilling her over the emails once she’s under oath…good luck trying to play word games with him.

  14. I’ve said this before (eight years ago, for one), but if I were Bill, I would be living in a deep, carefully hidden, bunker until this election cycle is over. She may be able to pull the election out of her substantial ass, with the help of the Quisling Media, but as I see it her best chance is for Bill to get killed by some nut, and she gets the sympathy vote.

    I thin Bill Clinton is a lousy insurance risk, just now.

    1. Except that part of her “appeal” is her telling everyone she’ll be getting advise from Bill when she’s elected. Once he’s dead, her only selling point is gone.

  15. Hey, don’t you remember? She won that war. In Liberia or Libertopia or some such ‘L’ country.
    What’s important, “NO boots on the Ground!”
    [also, lady parts]

    1. No boots or lady parts on the ground?

  16. Electing a president with no prior accomplishments? That only happens easily when you’re voting for a blank slate upon which you can write all your hopes and dreams. Hillary Clinton may be a windsock, but she isn’t a blank slate

  17. Honestly, I literally can’t. Bae.

    1. Sir, would you like paper or plastic? (for the bag over her head)

  18. I predict her greatest accomplishment will be inspiring record-breaking GOP voter turnout.

    1. If the binary general election choice is between Hilary Clinton and any other human being alive, I will swallow my disdain and vote for any other human being alive.

      1. If the body language of these 10 Iowa Democrats, just 7 months away from the caucuses, is any indication, the democratic party is going to have a very low turnout. Hillary will not only lose the white house, but will cripple all federal, state, and local democratic candidates.

        1. This is an incredibly valid point. Is anybody on the democrat side looking at expected turn-out?

          That could cause the primary season to turn out vastly different than anyone expects.

          1. The video is amazing. None of the women are enthusiastic about Hillary.

      2. Even Chris Christie?

        * barf *

        1. Sadly, yes. Christie, Santorum, Kim Jong Un. Any living human being not named Hillary.

          I know that seems like derangement syndrome, but it’s worth noting that I would vote for people who are more ideologically opposite than Hillary is as compered to me. My central issue with Clinton is that the level of corruption we’re seeing from her is previously unfathomable in an advanced Western democracy. Her election is Caesar crossing the Rubicon for the republic.

          1. I made the same mistake in a local election and we ended up with a $15 minimum wage. Be careful.

          2. I agree with this. She seems like a really morally bankrupt person and I don’t say that lightly about anyone who disagrees with me. The problem with her is deeper than just intellectual disagreements. Therefore, I don’t think that she would have anywhere near the turnout that Obama did. Most people didn’t know about his background and just naively projected their own perspective onto him. Hillary doesn’t have that advantage.

            1. That said, I’m not going to vote for just anyone. But part of that is because it’s not necessary. Maybe it’s misplaced, but I have faith that most people aren’t going to enthusiastically vote in someone so evil.

            2. Every time HC’s name comes up and I say I expect her to win in 2016, I admit that turnout among black voters will probably be down compared to the past two elections, but I don’t think that will doom her.

              She’ll still have plenty of support among other key Democrat groups, like women who “vote as if their lady parts depend on it.”

              1. How many voting women reject that kind of stuff? She wouldn’t get the women’s vote the way BO got the black vote.

                1. I know plenty of women who hate her guts.

                  1. This, and even most women who have feminist leanings aren’t going to vote for her. Most women aren’t as insane as Jezebel would like us to think.

                    1. ok I don’t know about “most”, but I’d venture to say at least half

  19. “…to the extent that she is running on what she has already done rather than what she intends to do, she’s running her record of having held various positions of political power (Senator, Secretary of State)…”

    So, basically, she is running as the Kim Kardashian of politics.

  20. By ‘focus group’, you mean the ho’s at the Bunny Ranch?

    1. Hey, no need to insult me.

      1. …slut.

      2. You’ve got a nice big billboard in Colfax which cracks me up every time I pass it.

  21. In all fairness I’d be willing to bet that 60% of the country couldn’t name one accomplishment, or accurately describe one, by any american politician.

  22. If this old goat is elected POTUS it will be 100% proof that the Illuminati exists.

  23. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that Hillary’s supporters would be the exact low-information voters that dumb down our elections!

    These people like the “feeling” of Hillary–a no-nonsense grandmotherly sort, identified with the economic boom of the ’90s (not that any of them can explain why either Clinton caused that boom, or why another Clinton might create a new economic boom, but we’re not talking about smart voters here). When challenged, they don’t have anything.

    It may be enough though, because Hillary won’t be running against herself–she’ll be running against some likely loathesome creature who emerges from the GOP primaries. So she still has a good shot.

    1. So she’s the Fujimori of the USA?

  24. Graphic designer, chef, event planner…

    Not asking anyone like, say, chemical engineers, truck drivers, electricians. I guess those are Republican jobs.

  25. I liked that one time in Bosnia she evaded sniper fire.

    1. She must have the same cat-like reflexes that President Bush demonstrated in his uncanny dodging of that shoe. Do you think First Families are genetically engineered and enhanced in some way?

  26. Quit bashing Hillary Clinton. The woman is a resounding success.

    She was the motive force behind Bill Clinton’s career, and when the times got tough, she stood by her man. Before Bill got into politics, he never had a job that paid more than $35K; now they’re worth north of $100 million. Now the power couple is on the way to an unprecedented husband-wife presidential bid. She has certainly done her part to make the US more like Argentina in a single generation, which is a truly astounding.

    Remember, everybody gets to make their own definition of success. I am sure that, except for the unpleasantness of 2008, Hilary feels quite successful. 1998 was just another bimbo eruption, now long forgotten. The unpleasantness of 2008 was rooted in the Obama “fairytale”, not the parade of Clinton scandals touted by the vast rightwing conspiracy. She knows that her supporters will never desert her … unless an opponent can credibly offer more handouts, which is a difficult task.

    1. “Before Bill got into politics, he never had a job that paid more than $35K; now they’re worth north of $100 million”

      Old joke: Bill and Hillary are back in Arkansas for a visit, and when their motorcade stops at a gas station, they see that one of Hillary’s old boyfriends is working there. Bill says, “Heh, just imagine, Hillary, if you had married him instead of me.” And Hillary snaps, “Yeah, you’d be working at a gas station and he’d be President!”

      1. Too bad the joke wouldn’t work with her old girlfriends.

  27. If Team Stupid weren’t, well, stupid, they could stash this video away and use it during campaign season in the swing states. It’s not some Team Red hacks making fun of her, it’s her actual supporters unable to list a single policy accomplishment.

  28. She has name recognition, period. Which is why she’ll be out of contention before the primaries.

  29. Her record is that she was Bill Clinton’s wife and didn’t object to him sleeping around and harassing female staffers. But don’t you worry, that’s OK,it doesn’t make here a supporter of male chauvinism and sexism. You see, she did it because she was calculating and ambitious, not because she adopted traditional sex roles. (Never mind that this actually is quite traditional.))

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