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Hillary Clinton hospitalized: Tough end to successful 2012? (+video)

Hillary Clinton has been hospitalized for a blood clot. The setback comes at the end of a very successful year for her professionally.

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“Hillary Clinton’s first-place finish this year further solidifies her position as the most often named Most Admired Woman in Gallup’s history,” writes Gallup editor Frank Newport.

Clinton beat out Eleanor Roosevelt, who won the vote 13 times, for this notional title. Margaret Thatcher is third, having finished on top in the voting six times.

According to Pew Research, Clinton has enjoyed consistently high public ratings throughout her term at Foggy Bottom. On Dec. 12 she was very close to an all-time high Pew rating, with 65 percent of the survey respondents saying they held a favorable view of her.

But as Pew notes, Clinton’s reputation with voters has plummeted at times. Her ratings dropped in 1992, when she waspishly commented that she “could have stayed home and baked cookies” rather than work on policy issues. They fell again when she defended her husband during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

But each time her reputation rose again. She, rather than her ex-presidential spouse, might truly deserve the title “comeback kid.”

“On four separate occasions over the past 20 years, Clinton’s favorability ratings have fallen sharply – but each time they recovered. It is rare for a political figure to accomplish that feat once in a career, much less four times,” writes Pew.

Given her prominence, Clinton is now suffering a spate of wild conspiracy theories related to her illness, notes the right-leaning Weekly Standard. In one such out-there theory, the secretary of State in fact was injured and a top Navy SEAL commander killed when her transport aircraft crashed near the Iranian city of Ahvaz.

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