Nearly two years after leaving the White House, Michelle and Barack Obama still hold the hearts of the American people. A new Gallup poll released Thursday found that the former first couple are the most admired woman and man in the country.
Michelle, who is currently promoting her bestselling memoir Becoming, dethroned former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for the first time in 17 years. Clinton — who’s also been in the public eye as first lady, U.S. senator, Secretary of State, and two-time presidential candidate — had held the title of most admired woman for 16 years in a row and 22 times overall, more than anyone else in the history of the poll.
This year, however, Michelle captured the attention of the country with her book and tour, leading to her winning by a significant margin, holding about 15% to Oprah Winfrey’s 5%. Clinton and first lady Melania Trump tied third with 4%.
Meanwhile, former president Barack Obama won the title for the 11th consecutive year, with 19%. He was followed by President Donald Trump, who got 13%. Former president George W. Bush and Pope Francis tied in third place with 2%. According to Gallup, this is only the 13th time in history the incumbent president has not been the most admired man in the United States.
Gallup has been conducting its annual survey since 1946. (The only year it didn’t take place was 1976.) Americans across the nation are asked an open-ended question: Name the man and woman, living anywhere in the world, whom you admire the most.
The Obamas semi-retired to private life after leaving the White House, but became active during the midterm elections and beyond. Michelle’s memoir in particular was a hit with the public, quickly rising to be the most sold hardcover book of this year.
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