A lot, it turns out.
Condoleezza Rice and Yōichi Masuzoe both work for unpopular bosses (George Bush and Yasuo Fukuda) whose job approval ratings are stuck around the 30% mark in public opinion polls. Each one has been at the center of what has arguably been the biggest public policy fiasco of the respective administration, i.e. the war in Iraq or the public pension accounting scandal. The US relationship with Russia has deteriorated significantly on the former Sovietologist’s watch as well, and Mr. Masuzoe mishandled a high-profile contaminated blood plasma case to boot.
Yet the US Secretary of State and the Japanese Minister of Health, Welfare and Labor both remain highly popular with the electorate, opinion polls giving them approval rates in the fifties*, sparking futile speculation about their chances for higher elective office.
I don’t understand how they do that. Do you think it could be bottled and sold? Would it be legal? Well, if you find something on EBay, you know where to reach me…
* Here (via Real Clear Politics), and here (scroll down, way down).