President Obama can continue to brush the dirt off his shoulder. The embattled politician was named the most admired living man for the third year in a row, according to an annual poll conducted by USA Today and Gallup.
Obama bested past presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in the poll. Even though the Democrats lost control of Congress in the November midterm elections, the president was able to pass historic legislation during the subsequent lame-duck session, including repealing the miltary’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy regarding gay soldiers.
Ever since Obama took office he has placed first in the poll; the 44th President of the United States, however, has seen his percentages in the poll dip each year, from a high of 32 percent in 2008 to 22 percent this past year (Bush and Clinton took 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively).
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has proven to be more dominant than Obama on the women’s side. The former First Lady notched the most admired living woman title for the ninth year in a row. She narrowly slipped past 2012 presidential hopeful Sarah Palin and media mogul Oprah Winfrey. Overall, Clinton has topped the poll 15 times since 1992. Rounding out the top 10 on the men’s side were Nelson Mandela, Pope Benedict XVI, former president Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, the Reverend Billy Graham, Glenn Beck and Bill Gates.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Queen Elizabeth, Margaret Thatcher, Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Burmese democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi and Angelina Jolie comprise the top 10 most admired women.
The results are based on telephone surveys with a random sample of 1,019 American adults.