The Most Admired Man In America Is The One You Miss The Most, Too
It wasn't too surprising that former President Barack Obama was named most admired man in America, according to Gallup's December poll. People seem to be extra nostalgic for the Democrat ever since Donald Trump took office in January. It's clear that after nearly a full year of Trump as commander in chief, a lot of Americans are really missing Obama right about now.
Usually, the sitting president wins the most admired spot, but Trump actually came in second after Obama. As Gallup pointed out, a former president hasn't earned the title of most admired man since former President Dwight Eisenhower won twice in the late '60s over then-President Lyndon B. Johnson.
According to the poll, 17 percent of respondents named Obama as the man they admired most, which is actually a decrease from 22 percent in 2016. Just 14 percent named Trump as the man they admired most. This discrepancy in their popularity can be seen most glaringly on social media. On Christmas, Trump fired off one of his signature all-caps tweets, declaring: "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!" It was accompanied by a stylized video of Trump and his wife, Melania, celebrating the holidays. It had received more than 48,000 retweets and a little more than 194,000 likes as of the evening of Dec. 27.
But, as Newsweek pointed out, this tweet was far less popular than former President Obama's season's greetings. Obama tweeted a photo of him with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, standing in front of five adorable children dressed as elves. “We wish you joy and peace this holiday season,” he wrote. His tweet has garnered about 1.4 million likes and more than 250,000 retweets.
And Obama's Christmas tweet isn't the only holiday message that's out-performed Trump's. His Thanksgiving tweet was also shared more than Trump's. “HAPPY THANKSGIVING!” Trump wrote, along with a video of himself speaking in front of a fireplace in the White House. Obama's message, which read, "From the Obama family to yours, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving full of joy and gratitude," was way more popular, with more than 1.3 million likes and more than 217,000 retweets. Trump's all-caps Thanksgiving tweet got just over 100,000 likes and 24,000 retweets.
Three of Obama's tweets made Twitter's top nine most retweeted posts of the year in 2017, while none of Trump’s made the list. This is understandable, considering Obama's following remains much larger than Trump's. The former president has 98.3 million followers, more than double Trump's 45.2 million.
While Obama has won the title of most admired man in the United States 10 years in a row, this year is particularly significant since he's not a sitting president. Despite this, he continues to have a higher approval rating than Trump. In fact, Trump is the most unpopular president at this stage in his first term, according to FiveThirtyEight. Ever since former President Harry Truman in 1945, every president has had an approval rating at least 10 percentage points higher than Trump's now at this same point in their presidency.
Nostalgia for the 44th president has become so rampant, that there is now merch dedicated to missing Obama. You can buy "I Miss Obama" T-shirts, stickers, and mugs. Trump might be sensing this competition, too, because his administration sent out a biased inaugural year approval poll, where they asked if Trump's first year was "great," "good," or "okay," and posed the same question about Obama, only adding in "poor" as an option.
There are listicles and Facebook groups dedicated to how much people miss Obama. On his birthday this year, Aug. 4, the hashtag #HappyBirthdayObama started trending. "DAD COME BACK TO THE WHITE HOUSE THE BABYSITTER YOU LEFT HERE IS CRAZY!" songwriter Holly O'Reilly tweeted. A lot of people continue to refer to Obama as "my president," and many said they miss the "style and honor" that he brought to the White House.
While Trump was busy talking about how the neo-Nazis at a rally in Charlottesville were "fine people," Obama was getting praised for his response. He tweeted an image of him with children at an orphanage along with the Nelson Mandela quote, "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion..."
In fact, Obama being cute with kids is its own category on the internet. This stands in stark contrast to the slideshows centered on Trump, which focus on things like his flip-flops on policy, his most-used rhetoric, and all of the women who've accused him of sexual assault (allegations he denies).
And Obama isn't the only one to look good in the wake of Trump's first year as president. Former President George W. Bush's approval rating has also risen seven percentage points over the past year, the Washington Post reported, to 59 percent, close to Obama's approval rating, which is 63 percent.