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Washington Post's Cillizza Confesses: 'I Can't Get Enough of Hillary Clinton'

Filling in for host Chuck Todd on Friday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza gushed over the popularity of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "Hillary Clinton is just day's removed from public office, but a new poll finds her public image soaring. Time to put another log on the 2016 speculation fire....Look, I can't get enough of Hillary Clinton, I'll just admit it. I'm just fascinated by the story." [Listen to the audio]

Comparing Clinton to a list of other potential 2016 presidential candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, Cillizza proclaimed: "She's more popular than anyone else on this list....These numbers are not terribly surprising, I mean, she just spent four years as our top diplomat."

During a panel discussion of the topic, the Washington Examiner's Susan Ferrechio brought things back to reality: "Of course, these are very early polls and they will always come down when the real campaign starts." Cillizza acknowledged: "And she's been in this game long enough. She knows that as soon as she announces, some of those numbers drop." National Review's Jim Geraghty predicted: "Yeah, probably ten percent of that goes off."

Here is a transcript of the February 8 coverage:

9:00AM ET TEASE:

CHRIS CILLIZZA: Popular vote. Hillary Clinton is just day's removed from public office, but a new poll finds her public image soaring. Time to put another log on the 2016 speculation fire.

(...)

9:53AM ET SEGMENT:

CILLIZZA: Let's bring back The Gaggle. Homeland fan Daniella Gibbs Leger, Susan Ferrechio, Jim Geraghty, and Kristen Welker. Okay, Susan, I want to start with you. Look, I can't get enough of Hillary Clinton, I'll just admit it. I'm just fascinated by the story. Quinnipiac poll out this morning, Hillary Clinton favorable, 61. Hillary Clinton unfavorable, 34. How does that compare to Joe Biden, her potential 2016 challenger? 46/41. She's more popular than anyone else on this list.

SUSAN FERRECHIO [WASHINGTON EXAMINER]: Not surprising.

CILLIZZA: These numbers are not terribly surprising, I mean, she just spent four years as our top diplomat.

FERRECHIO: People have been talking about her as a presidential candidate since the day after 2008, let's face it. When things weren't going well for President Obama they were saying, "Well, if we had elected Hillary." So, she's still humungously popular. There are a lot of people who were angry that President Obama got the nomination in 2008, they want Hillary to get her shot. Of course, these are very early polls and they will always come down when the real campaign starts.

CILLIZZA: And she knows, right, Jim? And she's been in this game long enough. She knows that as soon as she announces, some of those numbers drop.

JIM GERAGHTY [NATIONAL REVIEW]: Yeah, probably ten percent of that goes off. I will point out, recently Paul Ryan, in an attempt to kind of take a shot at Obama, said, "Look, if we elected Hillary in 2008, the economy would be fixed by now." I think it's time for that talk to stop.

[LAUGHTER]

Republicans should not be talking about how great Hillary is.

CILLIZZA: Man, Hillary is great.

GERAGHTY: How fantastic she is. No, that's fine, she'd be ever bit as bad, there's no difference between the two of them.

CILLIZZA: Right, right.

GERAGHTY: Step back.

CILLIZZA: Good advice by Jim Geraghty for Republicans.