The Unadmirables

One of those not-terribly-edifying year-end Lists I mentioned is USA Today/Gallup’s annual Ten Most Admired Men and Woman. Hillary Clinton was ranked the Most Admired Woman for the tenth–yes, tenth–year running, and Barack Obama was listed as Most Admired Man for the fourth straight year.

But it’s the also-rans who are most interesting. Believe it or not, Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump ranked sixth and seventh among men this year, just ahead of Pope Benedict XVI. It was Newt’s first appearance on the list since 1995, and The Donald’s first appearance since 1990.

On the other hand, the poll is one of those that do not prompt respondents with options; unsurprisingly, all of those listed other than those at the very top elicit only single-digit support (Gingrich and Trump made the list with no more than 1% mentions). In this celebrity-mad country, it appears not that many names in the news are considered particularly admirable.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.