Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s star power was shining even brighter in the final days of the year with the announcement on Thursday of America’s most admired people of 2018.
According to an annual Gallup poll, most Americans chose Obama as the woman who was most deserving of respect and honor over the past 12 months, displacing another former first lady, Hillary Clinton, who held the top spot for 17 straight years. She received 15 percent of the vote, followed by Oprah Winfrey with 5 percent. Clinton came in third place with 4 percent.
Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama was named the most admired man with 19 percent of the vote.
Team Obama team finished ahead of the Trumps, to put it mildly. The president finished second with 13 percent, and his wife, Melania Trump, tied Clinton with 4 percent of the vote. This year marked just the 13th time that an incumbent president failed to finish first. But that happens when the president’s approval rating is low, as has long been the case with Trump.
Gallup surveyed 1,025 Americans from Dec. 3 to Dec. 12. Pollsters asked participating adults to name the man and woman living anywhere in the world today whom they admire most. Gallup first asked the question in 1946. This year’s survey had a 4 percent margin of error.
While this was Michelle Obama’s first time receiving the most votes in the women’s category, it was her husband’s 11th consecutive time to top the men’s list. He will tie former President Dwight Eisenhower if his streak continues next year.
Michelle Obama has been riding high in public opinion polls. That was due in part to the popularity of her best-selling autobiography, “Becoming,” which was released in November and received global attention and widespread praise.
Nearly 3 million copies were sold within 30 days of the release. Those sales prompted her to extend her book signing tour across the United States, Canada and Europe. Tickets to her events are typically sold out.
“I’ve been so humbled by the response to the tour thus far and the overwhelming interest we’ve received from so many communities we weren’t able to visit this year. I can’t wait to continue the discussions that have been so meaningful for me and, I hope, for so many others,” she said in a statement.
It’s easy to understand why so many people chose Michelle Obama as the most admired woman this year. Here are just a few recent examples that show why she has been so highly regarded — from writing a best-seller to taking time to meet with ordinary folks.