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Obama, Clinton Lead List of Most Admired in U.S.

President Obama waves during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, Dec. 2, 2010.
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President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are the most admired man and woman in the country, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll released today.

The poll, which was conducted earlier this month, found that 22 percent pf Americans said the president is the man they admire most. That is down from a high of 32 percent in 2008. But he still outranks second on the list, Former President George W. Bush, who was cited by 5 percent.

Two other former presidents also made the list - Bill Clinton at No. 3 (with 4 percent) and Jimmy Carter who was in a tie for 8th with Fox News host Glenn Beck at 2 percent. Gallup reports that sitting presidents have been at the No. 1 spot in 52 out of the 64 times they have asked the question since 1946.

The list of admired men also includes Nelson Mandela (2 percent), Bill Gates (2 percent), Pope Benedict XVI (2 percent), Billy Graham (2 percent) and the Dalai Lama (1 percent). Gallup notes this is Billy Graham's 54th time in the top 10, the most ever.

"It's all about power," Wesleyan University professor Richard Slotkin told USA Today. "When we think of importance, we think politically, that's really clear -- with religion a close second, though Bill Gates beats out Pope Benedict. It's almost like a register of power."

Not surprisingly, party politics also plays a part in who people name for most admired. Mr. Obama is the most admired by 46 percent of Democrats, but only 17 percent of independents and 6 percent of Republicans. (You can check out more party breakdowns and now how Mr. Obama compares to other presidents here)

AP

As for the women rankings, Clinton led the field with 17 percent, with former Alaska governor Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in second with 12 percent. Clinton has topped the poll for nine straight years, and this is Palin's second year in second place. Oprah Winfrey is in third, with 11 percent saying she is the woman they admire most.

Clinton is also among four first ladies who make the list. Michelle Obama came in fourth with five percent, and Laura Bush and Barbara Bush are in a three way tie for ninth with Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi (at 1 percent).

Also included in the list of women: Condoleezza Rice (2 percent), Queen Elizabeth (2 percent), Angelina Jolie (1 percent) and Margaret Thatcher (1 percent). Queen Elizabeth's 43rd time in the top 10 is the record for women.

However, it should be noted that not everyone lists someone famous as the person they admire -- about 10 percent named a friend or relative, according to USA Today. In addition, many people didn't name anyone -- 25 percent didn't name a man and 22 percent didn't name a woman.