President Bush topped a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll asking Americans to name the man and woman living today whom they most admire. More than one-quarter, or 28 percent, of those surveyed named him as their most admired man, down from 39 percent in 2001. Most of the difference was found among women polledÑthere was a sixteen percent decrease among women naming Bush as their most admired man alive today, according to Gallup News Service. The number of men who named Bush remained roughly constant.
This decline could be an indication of increasing dissatisfaction among women with Bush’s moves to place ideology over science, especially when it comes to women’s reproductive health. The Bush administration has altered scientific fact sheets naming condom use as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the spread of AIDS and disproving any link between abortion and breast cancer. Bush has threatened to back out of a landmark international population policy, forcing a vote at the last minute, which he lost. He has stacked scientific panels to favor his political agenda. Most notably, Bush appointed Dr. W. David Hager, who is adamantly against mifepristone, abortion, and birth control, to a key reproductive health committee of the Food and Drug Administration. Furthermore, he withheld $34 million appropriated by Congress for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), based on inflammatory rhetoric from a right-wing organization that was not even supported by Bush’s own fact-finding team.
Senator Hillary Clinton topped the list of most admired women, though there was no clear favorite. Gaining seven percent of the mentions, she is closely followed by Oprah Winfrey and Laura Bush at 6 percent each.