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The Daily Fray

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton Most Admired Man and Woman in America

December 27, 2010

A new Gallup poll finds that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the nation's most admired man and woman. This is the third year running that Obama has topped the men's list, and the ninth year in a row that Clinton has come in first among women. Other top 10 contenders this year include George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama, and the Dalai Lama. Many bloggers are less than overwhelmed by the news; here's a look at the first reactions:

  • Presidents Tend to Top the List  Lydia Saad for Gallup notes that "sitting presidents have dominated Gallup's Most Admired Man poll over the years, achieving No. 1 in 52 out of 64 measures since Gallup initiated the question in 1946." Saad also observes that Obama's numbers have trailed off since the giddy highs of 2008:

The 22% of Americans naming Obama this year as the man they most admire of any living man in the world is typical for presidents in their second year of office. However, Obama does less well this year than in previous years. The 30% naming him in 2009 was among the highest for recent presidents in their first year in office. The 32% naming Obama in December 2008 was extraordinarily high for a president-elect.

 
  • So Much for the 'Everyone Hates Obama' Narrative, shrugs Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice. "Forget what you may hear on radio and cable talk shows and what you may read on some ideological content providers," Gandelman writes. The Gallup poll, he says, "brings into sharper definition the term 'echo chamber.'"

  • This Was Sort of Predictable, No?  "Two Most Famous People in America Top Useless Poll," reads Jim Newell's headline at Gawker. "The President and Hillary Clinton topped Gallup's 'most admired' man and woman polls this year, as they do every damn year."

  • 'Most Admired,' for All the Good It's Done Them  The Atlantic's Garance Franke-Ruta points out that Clinton's nine-year winning streak "didn't help her become the first female president in 2008... and all the admiration for Obama this fall didn't help him keep the House of Representatives in Democratic hands." Franke-Ruta speculates that maybe "this survey says something only about the nature of admiration. We admire people who take risks or do things that are gutsy -- but we don't necessarily like them very much, or even back what it is they are up to."

  • Where Was All the Clinton Love Two Years Ago?  Melissa McEwan at Shakesville dovetails with Franke-Ruta, noting, "with bitter irony," that "the most pervasive meme about Hillary Clinton during the 2008 election, even among liberals, was that she is unlikable."

  • Billy Graham? Really?  Wonkette's Jack Stuef raises an eyebrow at Billy Graham and Glenn Beck, who each got 2 percent of the vote. "Who even knew Billy Graham is currently alive? And really, what person under the age of 30 knows who he is? Because, obviously, he is not as honorable as Glenn Beck, who once successfully landed an airplane in a river of his own tears."

  • Apologies to Every Buddhist in the World  Blogger Paddy at The Political Carnival muses, "You’ve got to admit that ranking Beck over the Dalai Lama says something about our country."


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