The Washington Post

What George W. Bush and Pope Francis have in common — in one chart

For the 33rd year in a row in 2013, the sitting president won the title of "Most Admired Man," according to Gallup.


So who took second place? It was a tie between one man whose time in the spotlight has largely ended and another who is just getting started on the global stage.

We're talking about former president George W. Bush and Pope Francis, who each clocked in with 4 percent support in Gallup's annual poll of Americans, conducted in early December.

President Obama claimed the top spot for the sixth consecutive year, with 16 percent of respondents mentioning his name.

Even as Obama's image deteriorated in what was a lousy 2013 for him, it should come as no surprise that he came in first. (Though his share of the vote fell sharply from 30 percent in 2012.)

Americans overwhelmingly tend to name the sitting president when asked the open-ended question of which living man they admire most. Fifty-seven of the 67 times Gallup has asked the question, the White House occupant at the time has won.

Former presidents tend to do well, too. Bush left office in 2009 as a thoroughly unpopular figure. But he's one of three former presidents appearing on the 2013 top 10 list.


Meanwhile, Francis, who was elected to lead the Catholic Church in March, has captured the world's attention with a more open approach to the job compared to his predecessors. He was named "Person of the Year" by Time magazine.

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton (16 percent) was named "Most Admired Woman" for the 12th straight time and the 18th overall. Oprah Winfrey finished second with 6 percent. First lady Michelle Obama finished third with 5 percent, tied with 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



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