Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin finished a razor-thin second to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Gallup poll's list of most admired women for 2009, while conservative talk show host Glenn Beck landed at No. 4 among the top 10 among men.
Clinton edged Palin 16 percent to 15 percent, which means they ranked first or second among those polled. This marked the 14th time the former first lady has won the distinction of most admired woman in America in the poll.
On the male side of the ledger, Beck, who didn’t make the list last year, tied with Pope Benedict XVI. The talk show host’s nemesis, President Barack Obama, topped that list with 30 percent of the vote. President George W. Bush finished second, despite having left office with some of the lowest approval ratings in history.
Obama's 30 percent marks the third highest the polling group has recorded behind his own 32 percent last year and President Bush’s 39 percent in 2001 in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Obama’s rating is notable considering the decline in his job approval rating since taking office in January, Gallup said.
Clinton tied her husband, former President Bill Clinton, with 18 appearances among the top 10 since 1993. She joined a select group of famous women such as Queen Elizabeth II who has made the list 42 times; former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 31 times; and the late first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who made the cut 28 times.
Evangelist Billy Graham, who finished sixth with 2 percent, has appeared on the list 56 times.
Scandal-plagued golfer Tiger Woods and his wife, Elin Nordegren, were at the bottom of their respective lists.
Gallup has polled Americans about their most admired men and women since 1948.
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