By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
It pays to stay in the public eye, especially if you are Hillary Clinton. President Obama's secretary of state, a controversial first lady who went on to become an effective U.S. senator, tops our Whispers poll for the most important first lady since the 1980s. By more than 2 to 1, Clinton beat another headline-gathering first lady, Nancy Reagan, and the two Bushes barely made a blip on the poll conducted March 9-11 by Synovate eNation among 1,000 nationally representative households. Barbara Bush, who recently underwent heart surgery, was last among the four, but recall that she had only one term to prove herself, while the others had two four-year presidential terms.
The Whispers Poll
Michelle Obama's effort to revive the morale of the federal workforce with her listening tour has renewed attention to the jobs and influence of first ladies. Which of the most recent presidential wives do you think affected the nation most?
Hillary Clinton56%Nancy Reagan25%Laura Bush10%Barbara Bush9%
Source: The Synovate eNation Internet poll was conducted March 9-11 among 1,000 nationally representative households by global market research firm Synovate.