December 26th, 2007
03:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton closes gap with Bush as nation's 'Most Admired Man'

Clinton and Bush are statistically tied as the nation's most admired man.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Looks like all of Bill Clinton's time on the campaign trail this year for his wife Hillary may be paying off in the polls for more than one member of the family.

Sitting presidents usually top Gallup's list of the country's most admired man, and this year is no exception: President Bush leads, as the choice of 10 percent of those polled. But in this survey, he's in a statistical tie with former President Bill Clinton, at 8 percent. In the last survey, there was an 8-point margin of separation, with Bush leading 13 to 5 percent, and a 17-point difference in a 2004 poll. (Full poll results [PDF])

Former Vice President Al Gore, who won several high-profile awards in 2007 for his work to raise awareness about climate change, also shot up in the poll - now in third place with 6 percent - 5 percentage points higher than last year.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama nudges out the Rev. Billy Graham and Nelson Mandela for fourth place with 5 percent. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani also make the list - all at 1 percent.

Hillary Clinton tops Gallup's most admired woman list, with 18 percent. But popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who has campaigned for Obama, Clinton's chief rival, is statistically tied with the New York Democrat at 16 percent. Both have gained in this year's poll: Clinton was at 13 percent in 2006 while Winfrey was at 9 percent.

The poll surveyed 1,011 Americans December 14-16, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX

    Looking at the Full poll results [PDF]. notice at the top of the CNN article!)

    Bush Standings are: Dec 2007 is 10% Dec 2006 is 13% Dec 2005 19% Dec 2004 23% Dec 2003 29% Dec 2002 28% Dec 2001 39% Dec 2000 5% Dec 1999 1%

    Notice after 9/11 Bush had a meteoric RISE in popularity but he wasted it on his neo-con plan to pre-emptively attack Iraq. With end of Bush's Presidency the percentage is bound to drop even further. After all he is not Clinton who can make a comeback from Crawford ranch cutting wood!!

    Go Hillary44 08!

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 27, 2007 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  2. JAM, CA

    This must be a joke, right?

    December 27, 2007 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  3. Jose Card - Independent

    The current issue of Newsweek has an article by Sally Smith, a Clinton biographer. She wrote that "People were scared of her", said a Clinton aide. "You did not cross Hillary."

    "Bill had to cede Hillary (political) power as a trade-off for his history of infidelity."

    Is this how Hillary got her experience at the White House, while Bill continuously paid her off for each infidelity? We, the voters, entrusted him with this power.

    Although they seem perfectly happy with the deal, isn't it very irresponsible for any president to throw away his political power like this? Perhaps Bill really meant it, when he called her a world class genius (for power).

    Bill claimed that it was the Republicans' fault that Hillary's health care reform had failed. (albeit it was a Dem president and Dem Congress.) It turned out the failed health reform was the result of another trade-off from his infidelity between him and Hillary. Is this a joke on a bad day? We are talking about the welfare of American people here. This reckless couple thinks we are only some kind of game pieces on the table. No doubt Hillary is running to win, not to serve. She wants to be the first female president by all means, or to get even with Bill for his infidelity.

    Somehow I feel sick to my stomach.
    Now I do 'admire' Bill and Hillary for fooling us for so long, but I will vote for "Anybody but Hillary" from this day on. She is better off seeking mental health care than playing games on the American people.

    We need a leader with healthy mental capacity. This Newsweek article is a sad read.

    December 27, 2007 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  4. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX

    Walt from Belton, TX writes "How can you compare a man with no morals, Clinton,
    with a man of extremely high morals, Bush Jr.?" Can you believe some people still think these thoughts!

    "BUSH represents greed, power, manipulation and complete disregard for your fellow neighbor. I'm not religious, but GOD help us!"

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 27, 2007 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  5. alal St Louis MO


    POLLS mean nothing I think this proves it no hands down.

    There is no real measure who is the top canidate of the leading 3. Wont know till primarie.

    I never been called for a poll? Have you? Who are they polling??? I think they go outside and ask the bums sitting in the alley. Or the people that live under rocks and dont pay attention to news. The same people that get polled probably dont know what Iraq is or 911.

    Polls are as accurate as weathermen predicting wearther in the spring.

    December 27, 2007 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  6. Tony T Coldwater Michigan

    Do we have to tell the whole world how much we are dragging the bottom of the barrel and how stupid this country is for voting Bush in twice!!!!! The only thing Bush should be admired for in is if in his last year is if he sat quietly in a little room and didn't screw up the USA and the world any worse than he has.

    December 27, 2007 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  7. Paul C, Palmetto Bay, FL

    With the incredible number of idiots that voted for Bush, not once but twice, I can understand why they admire him.
    I cringe every time I see him. We will have to live with his legacy for generations.

    December 27, 2007 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  8. Raymond Rugenstein, Scott Air Force Base, IL

    I find it amusing that most of the comments disrespecting President Bush include many typographical errors and misspelled words. Just goes to show the intelligence level of a liberal versus a conservative, as conservatives are proven statistically to be more educated than liberals. Regardless, I say go Ron Paul 2008!

    December 27, 2007 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  9. Gary, St. Petersburg, FL

    America is just full of haters!

    December 27, 2007 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  10. Bob New York

    Great...the two most admired people in this country are same two responsible for not taking out Bin Laden and then letting in al qaeda cells for 9/11. We are ALL SOoo screwed

    December 27, 2007 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  11. Ajay Jain, Dallas, USA

    Looking at the Full poll results [PDF]. notice at the top of the CNN article!)

    Bush Standings are: Dec 2007 is 10% Dec 2006 is 13% Dec 2005 19% Dec 2004 23% Dec 2003 29% Dec 2002 28% Dec 2001 39% Dec 2000 5% Dec 1999 1%

    Notice after 9/11 in 2001 Bush had a meteoric RISE in popularity in December 2001, but he wasted it on his neo-con plan to pre-emptively attack Iraq. His political capital has seen a steady decline since with the fortunes of the Iraq war. With end of Bush's Presidency the percentage is bound to drop even further. After all he is not Clinton who can make a comeback from Crawford ranch cutting wood!!

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 27, 2007 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  12. From the North

    Admire = Esteem, Respect, Appreciate

    This poll will definitely make all suspect to poll creedence!

    Who in their right mind could ever hold esteem or respect for George W.???
    And how could anyone in their right mind ever feel appreciation for this twit???? Who did they poll? Would be my first question.

    December 27, 2007 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  13. Les, Boston, MA

    "Sorry you hate GW cause you cant beat the man and will go down in history as a man of principle and vision."

    I agreee. Furthermore, Ryan, Clinton will fade into mediocrity. What did the man do that took vision, conviction and courage? NOTHING!!!

    December 27, 2007 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  14. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    I think Bush got a lot of votes for teaching himself how to read.

    December 27, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  15. JC Topeka, KS

    Bush the most admired with 10%, I almost choked when I saw this, admired by who the RNC, corporate heads that owe profits to his inept administration, most certainly not the vast majority of Americans.

    So much for any credabilty Gallup may have had.

    December 27, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  16. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    Both these President are admired for difference reason. President Clinton is still the best President

    December 27, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. Sarah, Kansas City, MO

    Who really believes this poll? Bush the most admired man? What a joke.

    December 27, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Sarah, Kansas City, MO

    To all you Bill Clinton haters: He was not the only president to have an affair while in office. In fact, I would venture to guess that the presidents who did not have affairs are more the exception instead of the rule.

    You just hate Clinton for your own twisted reasons and nothing will cure you of it. I don't hate Bush, I just think he the most incompetent man that has held that office. He has been a terrible president and absolute disaster to world diplomacy. Hating someone takes too much time and energy and Bush does not deserve that from me.

    December 27, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Cindy. Portland, Oregon

    Reading the RESPONSES to this article, EVERYONE can plainly see that 99% are in total DISAGREEMENT with this seriously messed up Poll, while ONLY 1% agree with this. It's no wonder people can't trust Polls, the Media or the government.

    December 27, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. ed winter park fl


    December 27, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. Ranger, Degraff, Oh


    Bush is as bad as Hitler! ..HE exterminates innocent Iraqi people and LABLES them "INSURGENTS" >> Same as Hitler did .. in WW2!! to the German people!

    He continues to use the BLOOD of our troops and the Iraqis to cover his administrations mistakes! ..fearing.. a bad ...legacy!

    WE KNOW BUSH IS DUMB!... His prior record shows that! >But we seem to have NO WAY TO STOP THIS JERK! WHY?

    Because no body listens to our polls!

    Disgusted army vet! ..who wants America’s Leadership / jobs / respect back!

    December 27, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Hummingbird

    I don't know a single person who admires Bush. Where are these people? Was the Fox News network people the only ones who were allowed to respond to the poll??

    If people here admire Bush more than Billy Graham, something is wrong.

    I do admire Clinton. The economy was so much better under his watch. Bush is a lier, a cheater, a murderer and stupid.

    December 27, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. peter

    Bush should be voted the most incompetent, incapable and stupid president ever.

    December 27, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. George

    Get out of the BUSHes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 27, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Ronald

    Bush is the the most admired person, are you out of your mind? This must be a joke. Remember, Bush is a very very bad man, and a mad man and a stupid man, and .......

    December 27, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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