From the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON – Most Americans say that Ronald Reagan (news – web sites), who died this month, will be remembered as a better president than Bill Clinton (news – web sites), who is trying to improve his image with a new autobiography, according to an Associated Press poll.
Seven in 10 say history will judge Reagan superior, based on the survey conducted one week after the Republican icon’s state funeral and nonstop media coverage focused not only on the ceremonies marking his death at age 93 but a lifetime of achievements from Hollywood to the White House.
Out of office just 3 1/2 years, Clinton recently returned to the limelight with a primetime interview to publicize his memoir, “My Life,” which goes on sale Tuesday. The expectation long before the 957-page book reached the stores was a tome that would provide insights into the sexual scandal with a White House intern and impeachment — the nadir of the Clinton presidency.
“I think Reagan will be remembered as the better president, just because of the kind of man he was,” said Judy Humphrey, a 66-year-old retiree from Palmyra, N.Y. “I didn’t have a lot of respect for Clinton because of his personal life, though he may have done some good things.”
Some 83 percent of those questioned said they have a favorable view of Reagan as a person, according to the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs. The former president completed his two terms in office in 1988.
A majority of 53 percent said they have an unfavorable view of Clinton while 41 percent rated him favorably. In January, people were about evenly divided in their view of Clinton as a person.
Although stocks soared and the deficit fell during Clinton’s tenure, many Americans associate the Democrat with the marital infidelity that nearly toppled his presidency, impeachment by the House and the Senate vote that saved him. Women were slightly more likely than men to have an unfavorable view.