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

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Yet the former first lady and senator from New York has earned mostly favorable reviews as America’s top diplomat. Secretary Clinton’s wonky detail-oriented style proved a good fit for the grinding top State Department job. When she steps down in January she will be the most traveled secretary of state in US history, according to the Associated Press, having visited 112 countries in the course of her diplomatic duties.

Her reputation with the public remains high. In fact, she reached an unprecedented benchmark Monday when a Gallup poll named her the “most admired” woman in the nation for a record 17th time.

Since her first year as first lady in 1993, Clinton has lost the “most admired” Gallup vote only three times, to Mother Teresa in 1995 and 1996, and to Laura Bush in 2001.

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