Obama, Clinton, Palin Are Top Political Heros

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ties Princess Diana as the top political hero, beating Sarah Palin.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Finally there's a poll where Sarah Palin doesn't swamp her opponents. But she does come in second.

In a new poll provided to Washington Whispers and timed for this week's release of Brad Meltzer's Heroes For My Son, which we recently wrote about, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ties the late Princess Diana as the world's top politician who isn't a president. Tied for second: Sarah Palin, first lady Michelle Obama, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the last two members of the 20th Century Kennedy dynasty, former Sen. Edward Kennedy and his older brother Robert Kennedy.

The poll, conducted by M/A/R/C Research March 22-26 with 1,000 adults, asked the overall question of who people most considered their hero and then broke the results down by roles. The only politician in the top 10 was President Obama, beaten out by "dad," "mom," and other family and religious figures.

However, he fared better in two other breakdowns: The "most famous" hero and the top five presidential heros. In the most famous breakdown, Obama was bested only by Jesus Christ himself. Here's how the Meltzer's PR firm wrote it up:

The #1 Famous Hero: Jesus Christ—When prompted for a famous hero, Americans prove that the good book isn't People Magazine. It's the actual good book. Jesus was the number one answer, though followed closely by...

#2 Most Famous Hero: President Obama (followed by Lincoln, Reagan and JFK)—Politicians may have the most amount of dirt kicked on them, but when it comes to American heroes, it's tough to beat a president, which are admired as much as either athletes or celebrities. However, this answer relied a great deal on age. People in their 60's (30%) were roughly three times as likely as people in their 20's (11%) to name a resident.

And Obama won the top slot among presidential heroes. Here's how that broke down:

Top 5 Presidential Heroes:

1. Barack Obama

2. Abraham Lincoln

3. Ronald Reagan

4. JFK

5. George Washington

  • See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.
  • See a slide show of Obama's 5 best cabinet secretaries.