Siena Survey: Eleanor Roosevelt Tops Among First Ladies
A new poll from Siena College shows that for the 5th time in 32 years, Eleanor Roosevelt got the top spot in the college’s "Survey of American First Ladies."
Historians and scholars once again see Mrs. Roosevelt best exemplifying the ten characteristics of a First Lady. Abigail Adams finishes second, Jacqueline Kennedy is again in the third spot, Dolley Madison moves into fourth position (from 6th), and Michelle Obama enters the survey and assumes fifth moving Hillary Clinton down two places to sixth.
Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Martha Washington and Rosalynn Carter round out the top ten.
Eleanor Roosevelt is ranked at the top in six of the categories: Background, Value to the Country, Leadership, Being her own Woman, Accomplishments and Courage.
The surveys, conducted five times since 1982, ask historians, political scientists and published scholars to rank each First Lady, on a scale of one to five, five being excellent, in ten separate categories.
According to Siena, Hillary Clinton is the clear choice of scholars as the First Lady they could most imagine serving as President garnering more than twice the support of Eleanor Roosevelt with Michelle Obama a distant third.
Combining the data from this study with Siena’s 2008 Rankings of the American Presidents, the top First Couple is Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt followed by the Washingtons, Edith and T.R. Roosevelt, the Madisons and Abigail and John Adams.