NBC/WSJ Poll: Bill Clinton Most Admired President of Last 25 Years

Sunday, 15 Jun 2014 10:03 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Former President Bill Clinton — whose wife Hillary is a presumptive frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, should she choose to seek it — is Americans' most admired president over the past 25 years, according to a new poll.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg Survey of 1,031 registered voters earlier this month revealed that 42 percent of the respondents picked Clinton, reports NBC News.

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The responses for Clinton far overshadowed the remaining three presidents serving during the 25-year time period surveyed. President Barack Obama, whose poll ratings are at an all-time low, still placed second among voters, with 18 percent of the respondents.

Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush placed third, at 17 percent and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, who parachuted out of a plane last week to celebrate his 90th birthday, came in at fourth place with 16 percent of the respondents.

The poll met with some approving comments and some outcry, especially after many pointed out that one of the most popular presidents in this century, the late Ronald Reagan, was not included in the survey's cut-off point.

Reagan's last day in office was on Jan. 20, 1989, just a few weeks into the 25-year poll limit, and had he been included, he may have given Clinton competition for the top spot.

Reagan's two terms in the White House are still widely admired, reports The Washington Times, as he is credited with helping to win the Cold War while maintaining a robust economy in the United States.

Conservatives still connect with his policies with a 2010 Vanity Fair poll revealing that Reagan leads the list of who Republicans would like to see memorialized on Mount Rushmore.

The comments were mixed on NBC's site and Twitter this morning as news broke about the poll.

"Bush senior was under appreciated and Bush Junior was over appreciated. My admiration of Clinton is high but not as high as it was ten years ago. I've learned a lot about his presidency since then," wrote one commenter on NBC's site.

Another commented said that there are many more presidents worthy of admiration.

"Let's do the math," he said. "Bush, Sr. was in for 4 years, Clinton was in for 8, W was in for 8 and that leaves Obama who has been over 5. There's the 25 years. What kind of poll is that? Kennedy stared down Russia. Ford ended his career by pardoning Nixon to get the country moving past the scandal, and Reagan got the wall torn down. I remember all of those, but that's outside the 25 year zone."

Some commenters on Twitter said they agreed with the poll, including Lorraine Valo, who tweeted:

Another, Alan Zlotorzynski, led a cheer for Reagan:

Twitter user Willie Naylor, though, called for Clinton to return to politics:

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