Thai Supreme Court's verdict on ex-PM Yingluck scheduled for Aug. 25

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by Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON Cheap James Worthy Jersey , April 17 (Xinhua) -- Just as U.S. President Barack Obama is often treated as a celebrity abroad but faces flagging popularity and heavy criticism at home, the same is true for Hillary Clinton: While she's a global celebrity, she is a polarizing figure at home.

That was evident Tuesday as she left a campaign event in the U. S. state of Iowa just days after announcing her run for president in 2016, when some reporters from overseas chased her van as if they were the Paparazzi covering royalty.

But despite her glamorous resume as a former First Lady and Secretary of State and a name that is recognized worldwide, that may not matter to ordinary Americans.

Rather, Americans are still interested mainly in the economy, as they always have been, and want to see a candidate who can persuade them that she understands the everyday issues of ordinary middle-class Americans.

Frank Newport, editor-in-chief at the polling company Gallup, said that Clinton is clearly one of the best known people in the U. S., but Americans' views of her, either positive or negative, are more likely to be very partisan.

Clinton's overall favorability rate, according to Gallup, is 48 percent favorable and 42 percent unfavorable. "She's an extremely well-known figure, but a polarizing figure to Americans. Some people like her, some don't," Newport told Xinhua.

Analysts note that Clinton lacks the folksy charm of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and struggles to relate to many ordinary Americans.

She is now trying to counter any negative public perceptions of aloofness, kicking off her campaign with a road trip to Iowa in which she drove to the state in a van. Her current mode of travel sits in sharp contrast to the chartered helicopter she used in her 2008 campaign for president.

A video released Sunday to officially announce Clinton's run for president shows panoply of Americans, including a stay-at-home mother going back to work after five years, two Spanish speaking brothers starting a business, and an African American couple preparing for the arrival of a baby.

The video is clearly aimed at sending "everyday Americans" -- as Clinton refers to them -- the message that they are highest on her agenda. "Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top," Clinton said in the video.

"Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion," she said.

Indeed, in U.S. presidential elections, personality often trumps policy, and that may prove to be Clinton's main challenge in the race to the White House.

Still, one of Clinton's main strengths is how she resonates with American women, essentially half of the population. A recent Gallup poll shows that 56 percent of American women have a favorable opinion of Clinton, and another Gallup poll released earlier the year found that Clinton's position as the first possible female president is her main selling point.

But other issues beyond her gender will come up in the lead up to 2016 elections, as Republican candidates will try to link Clinton to White House's perceived foreign policy missteps, some of which occurred while she was secretary of state.

She will also have to broaden her appeal beyond her Democratic base, as experts said it is important that she avoids casting her candidacy too narrowly.

Moreover, polls find that many Americans, even those of Democratic Party, do not trust her, especially after revelations that she solely used a private email account to conduct business during her four-year tenure as secretary of state.

"Her biggest problem is that she has a trust deficit -- people are not seeing her as honest and trustworthy," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua.


BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Yao Ming, Chinese basketball legend and newly-elected Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) president, on Friday refuted the rumor about his possibility of buying NBA's Houston Rockets.

Yao, who played for Houston Rockets as a center from 2002 to 2011 and helped the team reach NBA playoffs four times, told Xinhua that he is fully dedicating himself to CBA now.

""I have no time to consider anything else (including buying Houston Rockets),"" Yao said.

On July 17, Houston Rockets CEO Tad Brown announced that the club owner Leslie Alexander had decided to sell the team.

""There is no set timetable for the sale as we want to find the right buyer. We won't rush the process,"" Brown added.

Since then, the topic has been heated up by many reporters, mainly from America, who suggested some potential buyers including Yao Ming and Lebron James.

Yao officially announced his retirement from injury in 2011. Then he bought his hometown team, the Shanghai Sharks. Earlier this year, he was elected as new CBA president.

Speaking highly of his former boss, Yao wishes Alexander a better life in the future and expresses his hope that Alexander, accompanied by Chinese young talent Zhou Qi who signed the Rockets this month, can visit China.

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