A new Gallup Poll that named Michelle Obama as the Most Admired Woman in the U.S. and Barack Obama as the Most Admired Man is fitting and remarkable given the state of division that exists in America today.
It is also telling that Gallup reported that President Trump, Obama's successor in the White House, has the lowest average approval rating after two years in office than 12 other previous presidents -- by a large margin.
At an average first two years' approval rating of 39%, Trump trails Presidents Nixon (59%), Johnson (75%), Eisenhower (67%), Kennedy (74%), Clinton (48%), Obama (52%), Ford (48%), G.H.W. Bush (70%), Reagan (50%), Carter (54%), G.W. Bush (70%) and Truman (61%).
Gallup reported that Trump's rating has been the most stable, with a 10% range over those first two years. Coming in second was Nixon at 16%. In other words, Trump's approval rating has been consistently poor, except with his hardcore supporters who could care less about this man's transgressions -- so long as he shakes up the status quo according to their point-of-view.
So, it is remarkable that the President and First Lady who preceded Trump -- and whose election, in my opinion, created the backlash that resulted in Trump's election -- should be held in such high esteem.
It was Michelle Obama's first time being named most admired, as she deposed Hillary Clinton from the top spot for the first time in 17 years. Obama was mentioned by 15% of those questioned. Coming in second was Oprah Winfrey at 5%, followed by Clinton (4%) and First Lady Melania Trump (4%).
Former President Obama was named the Most Admired Man for the 11th year in a row, selected by 19% of those questioned. President Trump trailed at 13%, followed by George W. Bush (2%) and Pope Francis (2%).
Gallup reports that Barack Obama is now just one first-place finish short of tying Dwight Eisenhower for the most times being Most Admired Man. Eisenhower won the distinction 12 times -- the eight years he was president from 1953 through 1960, as well as in 1950, 1952, 1967 and 1968.
Gallup also noted that this year marks only the 13th time in 72 measurements the incumbent president did not win. Usually, the president does not win when he has subpar job approval ratings, as is the case with Trump, Gallup said.
Trump and Gerald Ford are the two presidents to date who did not win the honor while in office. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger finished first in 1974 and 1975 after Ford replaced Richard Nixon as president, and the question was not asked in Ford's final year in office in 1976.