Gallup most admired: Who made the list besides Obama, Hillary Clinton? (+video)
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton again topped Gallup's top 10 lists of most admired men and women. But their numbers went down. And further down the list, we found some surprises.
Linda Feldmann is a staff writer for the Monitor based in Washington.
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But that’s not the news. Mr. Obama has topped the men’s list every year since 2008 – as have American presidents most years since Gallup began polling “most admired man” in 1946. Mrs. Clinton won “most admired woman” for the 12th straight year and 22nd time overall.
What’s new is that their numbers took a dive. Obama went from 30 percent last year to 16 percent this year, in the open-ended survey of 1,031 Americans; Clinton fell from 21 percent to 15 percent.
Obama’s slide is easy to explain: From the Obamacare fiasco and general Washington dysfunction to Edward Snowden’s leaks on government snooping, the president had an annus horribilis. Clinton’s slide might be attributed to the fact that she kind of took the year off, having retired as secretary of State and declined to engage in others’ efforts to prepare the groundwork for a possible presidential campaign.
More interesting to us were the other names on the list. Let’s start with the men who got 1 percent each: Microsoft founder Bill Gates; actor Clint Eastwood; retired Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas; Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas; 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney; and former President Jimmy Carter.
Most are from the world of politics – including Mr. Eastwood, whose prime time conversation with the empty chair at the 2012 Republican National Convention is still buzzworthy. We’re going to assume that if Mr. Romney sees the list (and cares), he won’t be happy that he and Eastwood get equal billing.
Senator Cruz is the only prospective 2016 presidential candidate on the men’s list, which probably says more about the fervency of his supporters than his chances of winning the nomination. But it’s also interesting that one of his likely rivals, Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, didn’t make the list – while his father did.