Saluting 2010's' 'Most Admired'

Traditionally, I have closed out each blogging year by saluting the persons Americans most admire.

Gallup has released its 64th annual “Most Admired” lists:


President Barack Obama, the runaway favorite, has topped the list for three consecutive years, as do most sitting presidents, who have been No. 1 for 52 out of 64 years.

Results shown in percentages:

1. Barack Obama 22
2. George W. Bush 5
3. Bill Clinton 4
4. Nelson Mandela 2
5. Bill Gates 2
6. (tie) Pope Benedict XVI 2
6. (tie) Rev. Billy Graham 2
8. (tie) Jimmy Carter 2
8. (tie) Glenn Beck 2
10. The Dalai Lama 1


Hillary Rodham Clinton has won the No. 1 ranking for nine consecutive years and 15 times overall since 1992. The order of the top six women in 2010 is identical to 2009.

1. Hillary Clinton 17
2. Sarah Palin 12
3. Oprah Winfrey 11
4. Michelle Obama 5
5. Condoleezza Rice 2
6. Queen Elizabeth II 2
7. Angelina Jolie 1
8. Margaret Thatcher 1
9. (tie) Aung San Suu Kyi 1
9. (tie) Laura Bush 1
9. (tie) Barbara Bush 1


• The Rev. Billy Graham has made 54 appearances in the top 10, nearly doubling Ronald Reagan’s 31. Jimmy Carter and Pope John Paul II tie for third place with 27 appearances each.

• Queen Elizabeth II holds the record for women with 43 years in the tpp 10. “Winfrey enjoys both high ranking and longevity on the list, ranking second or third each year since 1997 (although never No. 1), and placing in the top 10 every year since 1988.”

• Hillary Clinton “joins Eleanor Roosevelt and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as first ladies whose strong popularity has extended well beyond her husband's presidency, although, given Clinton's post-White House political career, perhaps for different reasons.”

• First ladies do well on the list, typically appearing in the top three positions at some point during their White House years. First ladies who have achieved the top spot include Clinton, with six No. 1 rankings in Bill Clinton's two terms as president; Nancy Reagan, who achieved it three times in Ronald Reagan's two terms; Barbara Bush, who achieved it twice in her husband's single term; and Rosalynn Carter, who tied for or placed first in three years during her husband's single term.

• No first lady has won the top overall ranking since Laura Bush in 2001.



DemWit will return on 2 January 2011 with a special post by Father Tim Farrell, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Farmington, New Mexico.

Happy New Year!


Tiny said...

Tiny wishes you a Happy New Year filled with the best life has to offer. You always keep us up to date on important and interesting things. A great big bundle of gratitude to you for all that you do.

tnlib said...

Interesting list. Also interesting:

Sarah Palin, of all people, comes out ahead of Michelle Obama!!!

The Pope, B. Graham, and G. Beck even have a showing!!!

And Angelina????

Either America has a bunch of people with double standards or there are even more less-educated people than I thought - or both.

Jerry Critter said...

George W Bush and Sarah Palin both Number 2. Well, that's about right when you consider what #2 is when you are talking about bathroom issues.

B.J. said...

I like these two lists because they are always so interesting to analyze. Why is Condi Rice still on there, when Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful women in politics is not?

I’m glad to see Jimmy Carter back on the list after two years absence. He and Rosalynn do a lot of good in the world through the Carter Center.

Jerry Critter: good point! LOL.

Frodo, checkin' it twice, said...

Not a single soldier.
Not a single person with a son, daughter, father, or whatever in military service.

Now you know why Frodo thinks lists suck.

Debra said...

Happy New Year, B.J

Thanks for all the informative facts and heart felt stories
through the years. You should have been paid for all your research and dedication-
money wise- your would be rich
BUT you are LOVED and VERY WELL THOUGHT OF,which money can't buy,so all in all I think YOU ARE RICH!!!!!!!! Love, Debra

Octopus said...

There is something downright primeval about the appeal of popularity polls, and perhaps these show various facets of the public mood. According to the genre, we tend to admire those with whom we self-identify … an accomplishment, a certain expertise, or an expression of shared values … usually along tribal lines. If admired persons tend to be perfect exemplars, then how do we explain the appeal of Sarah Palin?

Perhaps Christine O’Donnell said it best in her infamous TV ad: “I’m not a witch. I’m nothing you’ve heard. I’m you” (my bold).

To say, “I am you,” is an appeal to the anonymous person at the checkout counter, to persons of no particular accomplishment or expertise, to non-elites, to ordinary families whose teenage daughters do get pregnant, and those who cheat on their taxes, like those tempted to live off campaign funds.

When the most marginal characters achieve celebrity status on the political stage, the anonymous person feels that is possible to transcend beyond their marginal lives. Perhaps this is why Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, and Joe the Plumber have become folk heroes of sorts. It explains their antipathy to all things perceived as elitist … accomplishment, education, science, liberals, and the media, including establishment Republicans.

Malcolm said...

Both of these lists are a very intriguing mix of people. Although they don't necessarily deserve to, I would have thought a few more celebrities would have made the lists.

For the right wingers who love to talk about President Obama's so-called unpopularity, I'd love to hear how they'd rationalize his #1 ranking. They can't call the poll bogus because they'd have a tough time explaining how one of their idols came in at a very respectable #2 on the list of women.

B.J. said...

Malcolm, I’m glad you dropped by. I, too, am surprised that more celebrities don’t show up on these lists. Can you imagine a whole group of people who, from all the women in the world, select Sarah Palin as their “most admired”? BJ