Part of what people know is what they feel, or what they think of others. Hence, my attempt to tie the "most admired man and woman" into this blog and fill some white space. Yeah, shameless.
Okay, so the Most Admired Man of 2008? Easy. You guessed it -- Barack Obama, according to a USAToday/Gallup poll. Nailed 32 percent, followed by George W. Bush with 5 percent. Down a couple of places, tied for the same spot, is an ironic combination of the Pope, Billy Graham, and Bill Clinton. Gotta love a good juxtaposition, or what sounds like the beginning of a damn funny joke: "The Pope, Billy Graham, and Bill Clinton walk into a bar ...".
Most Admired Woman? Again, almost anyone could predict this -- Hillary Clinton with 20 percent, followed by Sarah Palin with 11 percent. Oprah comes in third, followed by an unsurprising cast of characters except perhaps Margaret Thatcher in sixth place. Haven't thought of her in years. No Tina Fey.
By the way, "W" has dropped steadily from year to year from 29 percent in 2003 to his 5 percent this year. Still, every year but this one he won among men. The "most admired" is more a function of publicity than anything else (though Margaret Thatcher?), media coverage and agenda-setting at work.