Hillary Clinton: The ‘Most Admired Woman’ in the world

December 31, 2012

Hillary Clinton is dealing with some significant health issues, but on the political side, she continues to ride high.

A new Gallup poll again hands the secretary of state the title of the "most admired woman" in the world, with 21 percent selecting her. First lady Michelle Obama comes in a distant second at 5 percent, followed by Oprah Winfrey at 4 percent.

The poll is hardly surprising; it's the 17th time that Clinton has taken home the title in the last 20 years. But it does come on the heels many other polls showing her political capital at an all-time high -- and just as chatter about the 2016 presidential campaign starts to ramp up.

Clinton's health concerns remain the x-factor in all of this, but it's clear that if she's healthy and wants to run, she starts 2016 as the overwhelming favorite to succeed President Obama in the White House.


As for Obama, he retains his title as the "most admired man," taking 30 percent. Nobody really comes close, with Nelson Mandela at 3 percent and two religious leaders and two Republicans rounding out the top six at 2 percent apiece: the Rev. Billy Graham, Pope Benedict XVI, Mitt Romney and George W. Bush.

Surprisingly low on the chart is Bill Clinton, who is at 1 percent despite polls showing his popularity rivaling his wife's. Of course, given that he is not constantly in the news like the names listed above, he may not be front-of-mind for many voters.

A couple of other notes:

* While Americans are very disenchanted with Washington right now, the majority of both the most admired men and most admired women are Washington politicians, including four of the top five women and seven of the top 11 men.

* While a pair of Democrats took home the titles of "most admired," Republicans have very few on the list. Of the people who got at least 1 percent of the vote, just 5 percent were Republican women (compared to 26 percent who were Democrats) and 7 percent were Republican men (compared to 31 percent who were Democrats).

All the details are here.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | December 31, 2012