Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman of 2009 - but Sarah Palin's not far behind: poll
Hillary Clinton (l.) narrowly took the title of most admired woman from Sarah Palin (c.), while First Lady Michelle Obama (r.) came in fourth, just behind Oprah Winfrey.
Hillary Clinton narrowly edged Sarah Palin as the woman Americans admired most in 2009, while President Obama is the landslide winner among men for the second consecutive year.
In the annual USA Today/Gallup poll, the secretary of state continues her reign as the most admired woman in the eyes of Americans, with 16% selecting her.
But -- you betcha -- the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee is thisclose to getting the top spot. This year, 15% of the survey respondents identified Palin as the woman they admire most on the globe.
Palin, who catapulted from virtual obscurity to the epicenter of national politics when John McCain selected her as his running mate, made her debut on the list last year.
In 2008, Palin also ranked second behind Clinton, with 11% of Americans mentioning her.
Clinton has been the survey's most admired women 14 times since 1993, spanning her career as first lady, New York senator and secretary of state.
The three times Clinton failed to win the top spot, she earned second place, behind Laura Bush in 2001 and Mother Teresa in 1995 and 1996.
This year, behind Clinton and Palin, talk show queen Oprah Winfrey came in third, with 8%, and First Lady Michelle Obama came in fourth, with 7%. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Queen Elizabeth II followed, with 2%.
Among the men, Obama was the clear favorite, with 30%. Last year, Obama won the top spot, with 32%, and both years' totals are among the highest Gallup has measured for a winner.
Former president George Bush's 39% in 2001, however, remains the all-time high for most admired man. Bush finished second again this year, after winning the honor from 2001-2007.
Others in the top 10 include, former South African President Nelson Mandela, radio and TV personality Glenn Beck, and Pope Benedict XVI. Beck came in 4th, with 2%, edging out the pope, who came in 5th.
Golf pro Tiger Woods tied former president Bill Clinton, both of whom have endured high-profile sex scandals, for 10th place.
This year is Woods' first time ranking in the survey's top 10, despite the sex scandal that has dominated international headlines since late November.
The telephone survey of 1,025 adults nationwide was conducted Dec. 11-13. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points.