December 26th, 2008
02:31 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama, Clinton top the list of most-admired people in the world

President-elect Obama and Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton topped a new poll of most admired people.
President-elect Obama and Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton topped a new poll of most admired people.

(CNN) -- For the first time in over a half century, a president-elect has topped Gallup’s poll of the nation’s most admired man.

Thirty-two percent of Americans surveyed in the new USA Today/Gallup poll said Barack Obama was the man they most admired — a better showing than either former Presidents George H.W. Bush or Bill Clinton ever achieved.

The last president-elect to top the list was Dwight Eisenhower, in 1952.

President Bush, who was named the most-admired man by 39 percent of those polled shortly after September 11, falls to a distant second, at 5 percent — the first time since his election that he has not topped the poll.

The nation’s most-admired woman for the seventh-straight year is Obama’s secretary of state-designate, Hillary Clinton, named by one in five Americans. Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a newcomer to the list, is second with 11 percent.

Rounding out the list of most-admired women living today are Oprah Winfrey in the third-place spot, current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in fourth place, and future first lady Michelle Obama, in fifth place with 3 percent.

The survey was conducted December 12-14, and is based on interviews with 1,008 Americans. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Myrna Ulrich

    HILLARY CLINTON THE MOST ADMIRED?? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME??? AHEAD OF OPRAH?? GIVE ME A BREAK, IF ANYTHNG HILLARY SHOULD BE ON THE LIST FOR THE LEAST ADMIRED, PLAIN AND SIMPLE..SHE IS NO ROLE MODEL FOR WOMEN ,OR MY GRANDAUGHTERS.. NEITHER IS SARAH PALIN... YOU ALL HAVE NUTS IN YOUR BRAINS... GRANFORCHANGE IN WISCONSIN

    December 26, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. arc, Lugano CH

    Greg December 26th, 2008 3:26 pm ET
    Can any of you 40% please tell me what Barry has done to earn your admiration?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You can figure it out....once you stop day dreaming about Sarah Palin posing in Victoria's Secret lingerie in front of a burning cross...

    ...Silly 'Country First' Bigot....

    December 26, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Milhouse van Houten

    Sarah Palin in second place as most admired woman?Congratulations America,the dumbing down process is now complete.The population has proven without a doubt that everything around them is viewed as some sort of reality show.

    December 26, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. williefloyd

    Wish I had been polled, Michelle Obama would have been my choice!!
    People who would vote for Palin scare me-they have to be unbalanced-mentally!!

    December 26, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Deb, Allentown,PA

    Greg, please let me answer your question.

    He's a mixed-race child of a single mother. He basically started life at a disadvantage right there. Despite that, he rose to the top, graduating from Columbia, from Harvard, and was the first "black" editor of the Harvard Law Review. Do you know how challenging that was???

    Then move on to the fact that he received the most votes ever cast for President of the United States, despite his relative inexperience and his mixed-race status, and the fact that a very large percentage of our country is racist.

    He emanates intelligence and pragmatism with every speech he gives and every decision he makes. He has the potential to be one of the best presidents we've ever had.

    He may turn out to be a dud, but at least with Obama, Biden and his supporting cast, we have a chance at turning this country around. Can you imagine McCain, Palin, Gramm, Rove, etc? We'd be royally scr*wed.

    December 26, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. US Citizen

    So far I am one of those that admires Obama nd Clinton – this may change if they don't do what they said they will: Crushing Taliban and Al-Qaida, Improving Economy.

    December 26, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. flybyshoeing

    How Bizarre. At 12:00 there is a story saying that 3 out of 4 Americans are glad to see Bush go. Then 2 1/2 hrs later, he is the second most admired person in the world?

    December 26, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Beah

    I definitely admire Hillary Clinton for her courage, intelligence, and her willingness to work with others to get things done.

    Sarah Palin on the other hand demonstrated her lack of knowledge on subjects. As a politician you should always be ready to answer any questions that people ask. From domestic issues, foreign issues, sports, current affairs and so on. You should be a well rounded person especially this time because children are very smart and articulate.

    December 26, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. ANAG LOS ANGELES, CA

    sarah palin? LOL

    December 26, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Anna, ATL

    Although she did lack the experience to be catapulted into the VP/USA position, Palin is neither an airhead nor stupid.

    She has accomplished a lot more in 43 years than most of the airheads that post here will dream of.

    Naive is a better adjective. And the vicious onslaught by the media against her and H C will not be soon forgotten by many of us.
    Clearly so, given these results.

    I take comfort in the hope, with this poll, that strong, confident women of conviction will continue to be recognized for their achievements in spite of the Neanderthals who resort to any deviant resolve to push them down.

    Congrats as well to the President-Elect.

    December 26, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. bink

    I can see Obama but the greedy impostor is too much...She misses the mark by a mile overspends–demands help to remove her debts and needs a place at the table-greed for power...Hope Obama get's it!

    December 26, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. UNRjett

    HILLARY 2016

    and stop hating on Sarah Palin, she made an excellent puppet for the GOP and made them look as contrived and calculated as ever...

    December 26, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. A race to the bottom

    Theres nothing worse than morons using a computor?Yes,its morons who listen to Rush Limbaugh while using a computor and commenting on this ticker using a hundred names to make us think there are that many more morons here.

    December 26, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Karen - Missouri

    You mean the airhead uneducated hockey mom is second???? Who voted HER as admired by ANYONE? Men voted?

    December 26, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. bink

    I can see Obama but the greedy impostor is too much...She misses the mark by a mile overspends–demands help to remove her debts and needs a place at the table-greed for power...Hope Obama get's it!

    Who are they polling anyway...but she is right in there with the competion Palin both lied about Obama and got away with it both of the same moral caliber-

    December 26, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. sunshine

    america has convidence in obama and clinton, they have shown strenth even in their toughest times, i agree with oprah and condoleezza being in the top ranking numbers, but give me a break, palin, NO WAY, do another survey, maybe they got confused with her, she's probably on the least admired list.

    December 26, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. GuyInVA

    To use the media's favorite word again, this is HISTORIC. It's the first time (since 1952) that an African American President-elect who was raised in a non-contiguous state then moved to Chicago but vacations in Hawaii (big deep breath), plays basketball and has a funny name has finished atop this poll. Whew! Absolutely historic.

    December 26, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Dan, FL

    These guys have put the world upside down. If people will admire them then they are senile. Our country will watch the drama starting from Jan 20, 2009. Watch out.

    December 26, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Flo

    Yeah for Obama- I admire his cool throughout the campaign despite the negativity he faced. His presidential win has done alot to change the image of America around the world. America is #1 in the world again, we set the pace for others to follow.

    Yeah Hillary – I love this woman and can't wait to see what she does as sect of state. She will work hard to bring peace in the middle east and champion women causes around the world. Obama got it right.

    Yeah Ophra – she is the most giving celebrity and her heart is in the right place. Charity begins at home.

    Boo Palin – I don't agree and can't imagine what some folks find appealing about her. Hmmm I take that back maybe, the men like the way she winked and made their nature rise. That got to be it. Some women just don't Obama in office..................Good luck Sarah in 2012 Obama/Biden will be waiting.

    December 26, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. pam Eugene OR

    How the heck are those 5% that admire Bush? I guess it could be Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Riley, Karl Rove,Dick Chensy and of course Bush himself.

    December 26, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. pam Eugene OR

    Who the heck are those 5% that admire Bush? I guess it could be Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Riley, Karl Rove,Dick Chensy and of course Bush himself.

    December 26, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Angie

    Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a newcomer to the list, is second with 11 percent.
    _______________________________________________________

    OH PLEASE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS A JOKE RIGHT? SHE IS DUMB AS A STUMP. WAS THIS TAKEN BEFORE OR AFTER IT WAS LEARNED THAT SHE PALS AROUND WITH DRUG ADDICTS

    December 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. Angie

    YOU BETCHA!

    December 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Jay

    The world admires them because the world knows they make the United States weaker. As many countries turn to socialism, much as we seemed to do in the last election, the only way to "level" the playing field is to tear the US down. Other nations know we are at our weakest when liberals (read socialists) are in power. The world could care less about Barack and Hillary, it's a weak America they admire.

    December 26, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. edie

    President Bush in second place?
    Sarah Palin in second place?
    SECOND!
    Who are these people being polled that can not think of one person to be admired that falls between Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush...or Mrs. Clinton and Sarah Palin? Really?

    Bush could probably even come up with a couple of names.

    December 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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