Despite Michelle Obama’s frequent media appearances, the public prefers her predecessor, a new poll finds. In fact, the first ladies during both Bush administrations had higher average favorability ratings than Obama and Hillary Clinton did during their respective times in the White House.
While their husbands were in office, an average of 73 and 77 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Laura and Barbara Bush, respectively, according to a new Gallup survey. Both also enjoyed relatively low unfavorability ratings; just 10 percent thought negatively of the elder Bush, and only 15 percent of her daughter-in-law.
Obama is not too far behind the Bush first ladies with an average favorable rating of 66 percent thus far into her husband’s presidency, but one out in four respondents have an unfavorable view of her.
Obama has been more visible than her predecessors. She presented at last year’s Academy Awards; has had appearances with Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres, and Stephen Colbert, among others; and she has had a cameo on Nickelodeon’s iCarly and will be in an upcoming episode of NBC’s Parks and Recreation.
Potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ranked last among the four most recent first ladies in favorability at 56 percent, with more than one-third of people (37 percent) having an unfavorable view of her while her husband served as president.