For the 14th time, Americans have voted Hillary Clinton the most admired woman. But guess who's number two?
You betcha - it's Miss Going Rogue herself, Sarah Palin. While Clinton received 16% of the 1,025 votes, Palin was disturbingly close behind with 15%. And Palin has risen in the ranks since 2008, when she also came in behind Hillary with 11%. Also in the running for 2009 were Oprah Winfrey, who came in third, with 8%, and First Lady Michelle Obama, who rang in at number four, with 7%. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Queen Elizabeth II tied with 2%. Other notable mentions include Maya Angelou, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Elin Nordegren Woods, none of whom received more than 1%.
Andrew Malcolm for the L.A. Times points out the somewhat obvious:
A Democrat and a Republican. A former senator and a former governor. Two polarizing politicians, both moms, both bestselling authors, both who lost their bids for one of the nation's top elected offices last year.
Are American voters dropping a hint here?
Maybe, and the divide is certainly telling. But Malcolm also betrays the fact that these two women have been pitted against each other in the media, in a sort of Jennifer Anniston-Angelina Jolie way, except instead of fighting over Brad, they're locked in a popularity contest. Clinton's book sales have been used as a benchmark for Going Rogue, they're mentioned together in the title of Anne E. Kornblut's new book on women in politics, and they are frequently spoofed together on SNL (and for more evidence, check out this oldie, io9's breakdown of Clinton and Palin as Star Wars and Star Trek). While, yes, there are many obvious reasons for comparing the two women, it is interesting that when asked who they admire most more than 30% of Americans - for two years in a row - have come up with one of these two.
And over on the men's side, we have Barack Obama at no. 1 with 30% followed by his predecessor George W. Bush with 4%. And all the way down at the bottom of the list, in a tie for 10th place, are Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods. We'll let you speculate on what this means.
Hillary Clinton Nudges Sarah Palin for Most Admired [Politico]
What A Match-Up - America's New Most Admired Women [L.A. Times]
Poll: H. Clinton, B. Obama Most Admired [UPI]
Hillary Clinton Is The Most Admired Woman Of 2009 [NY Daily News]