Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton campaigns in the vital states ~ above her pursuit to end up being the democratic nominee for president.

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July 31, 2016  Hillary Clinton is viewed aboard the campaign bus in Cleveland ~ above the third day of a bus tour with Pennsylvania and Ohio. Melina Mara/The Washington write-up

For almost a quarter-century, Hillary Rodham Clinton has played one outsized duty in the country consciousness together an advocate and a politics survivor. She presidential campaign’s favorite method to describe her is as “a fighter.”

But something surprising has arised in public opinion around the former an initial lady, senator and also secretary that state. Request to surname something tangible the Clinton has actually actually accomplished, numerous voters come increase blank.

In polls and also focus groups, Republicans room sensing a vulnerability in Clinton’s record that might compound the difficulties she is facing with the controversy over her decision as secretary of state to use a personal e-mail account and server quite than a federal government one.

When Bloomberg News do the inquiry in might to a focus group that 10 Iowa Democrats, castle praised Clinton because that strength, experience and competence yet could not recall a solitary thing she had done.

Some democrats say that they have only a vague sense of Clinton’s yes, really accomplishments. Free activist Arnie Arnesen was the autonomous nominee for brand-new Hampshire branch in 1992, and she frequently crossed routes with the Clintons as Bill Clinton do his very first bid for the White House. But all this years later, Arnesen said: “I don’t really understand Hillary. I know Hillary under Clinton. I know Hillary under Obama. And also in the Senate she was a workhorse, not a present horse. What does that mean? It means she didn’t take it a leadership role.”

Hillary Clinton’s team also recognizes that while her credentials room well known, her success are not. That was part of her post in a speech Wednesday supporting the Iran atom deal, which to be negotiated by she successor, man Kerry. Clinton spotlighted she own function in happen Tehran to the table.

The project denied the her résumé is a liability. “From the Senate to the State Department, Hillary Clinton has a document of results on behalf of children and families, and also in her advocacy the America’s interests abroad,” said project spokesman Brian Fallon. “If Republicans desire to try to controversy otherwise, we will certainly welcome lock wasting their ad dollars. Voter don’t to buy it.”

Clinton’s tenure as first lady is remembered many for her politically disastrous effort to transform the health-care system. In the Senate, she to be a reasonably junior member with few legislative victories the bear her name. And as secretary the state, she was delivering out chairman Obama’s agenda in an administration where diplomatic policymaking was tightly managed by the White House.

When it involved stopping Iran native obtaining the capability to build a nuclear weapon, “I voted for sanctions again and also again together a councilor from new York. But they weren’t having actually much effect. Most of the human being still did business with Iran. We needed to action up our game,” she said Wednesday in her speech in ~ the Brookings Institution. “So president Obama and I pursued a two-prong strategy: pressure and also engagement. We made that clear the the door to diplomat was open up if Iran answer the involves of the international neighborhood in a serious and also credible way,”

“I traveled the world,” she added, “capital by capital, leader by leader, twisting arms to assist build the an international coalition that produced some of the most efficient sanctions in history.”

She’s in a race to specify that legacy herself, prior to the Republicans carry out it because that her.

“While her e-mail scandal has actually badly damaged Clinton’s windy image and raised questions about her judgment, her failed leadership in windy life might be what actually hurts Clinton the most among voters in the lengthy run,” said Jeff Bechdel, interactions director because that America Rising, a supervisor PAC specialized to creating opposition research around Democrats.

Where Clinton boasts of having actually logged almost 1 million miles during her years as the nation’s chief diplomat, GOP presidential competitor Carly Fiorina, a former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, has said: “Like Mrs. Clinton, ns too have actually traveled the globe. However unlike she I have actually actually achieved something. Paris is not an accomplishment. That is an activity.”

A work after launching his project for chairman in June, former Florida governor Jeb bush took a similarly dismissive tone in to compare his record and Clinton’s: “As a senator, i think she’s passed — she has her surname on three laws in eight years. . . . I honestly don’t understand what her successes are.”

Nor space Republicans the just ones making that argument.

Former Maryland branch Martin O’Malley, a long-shot challenger for the democratic presidential nomination, insurance claims a document of raising the minimum wage, devoting much more money to infrastructure, improving education and lowering violent crime.

It is hard to wrong the contrast that that is trying to draw with Clinton once he says, “All of those things compelled executive discipline and the executive an approach of actually gaining things done rather of just talking around getting things done.”

When Clinton ran because that president the an initial time in 2008, she chief strategist, mark Penn, called her “famous however really unknown.”

Her current campaign aides think that is tho the case, as shown by her an initial ads, which concentrated heavily on she biography.

Yet some of what she touts as achievements have to be disputed. In a five-minute video clip released ~ above the night of she campaign’s official launch in June, she suggested that she to be the force behind the expansion of wellness coverage to kids in the 1990s.

After her push for global health treatment failed, she stated in the video, “I was really disappointed. Yet you have to acquire up turn off the floor and you store fighting. So I obtained to thinking, ‘Let’s watch what we deserve to do to aid kids.’ ”

In fact, however, that regulation was created and also driven by two senators, Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Orrin flower (R-Utah). In ~ one point, then-President bill Clinton turned against it, fearing that it would ruin a balanced-budget deal, and also Hillary Clinton protected her husband, saying, “He had actually to safeguard the budget proposal.”

But she did concerned Kennedy’s help when the children’s health and wellness insurance measure was resurrected, lobbying privately in ~ the White house for it. Kennedy, who had actually been furious in ~ what he taken into consideration an initial treason by both Clintons, later on said she was “of invaluable help.”

In part, her an obstacle in defining her achievements comes from the truth that she role, by definition, to be a supportive one in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. And her tenure in the Senate come at a time once the institution was largely recognized for partisan gridlock.

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Her allies insist that her values come through in the fights she has chosen, also if they have not succumbed the outcomes she wanted.

“People space not looking for a punch list of points that somebody’s done,” said autonomous pollster Geoff Garin, who is functioning for top priorities USA, the pro-Clinton supervisor PAC. “They’re much more concerned even if it is somebody’s acquired the strength and also the toughness and also the determination to acquire something done because that the American people, and the civilization that I speak to see all of those points in Hillary Clinton.”