Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obama, Jesus, King, Reagan top 'hero' list

A new Harris Poll asked a cross-section of 2,634 adult Americans who they admire enough to call their heroes, and President Barack Obama topped the list of most mentioned persons. He's followed by Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, John F. Kennedy, Chesley Sullenberger and Mother Teresa.
These heroes were named spontaneously. Those surveyed were not shown or read a list of people to choose from.


In 2001, the first year the Harris Poll asked the question, Jesus Christ was most mentioned, followed by Martin Luther King, Colin Powell, John F. Kennedy and Mother Teresa. George W. Bush has moved up since that survey, from 19th to 5th.

So, what makes a hero in the public's mind? Here are characteristics most of those surveyed listed: 1.Doing what's right regardless of personal consequences. 2. Not giving up until the goal is accomplished. 3. Doing more than what other people expect of them. 4. Overcoming adversity. 5. Staying level-headed in a crisis.

Some former heroes no longer get hero status in some folks' eyes. Most mentioned as fallen heroes? Colin Powell, George W. Bush, John McCain, Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy. In 2001, Bill Clinton topped this list.

So, who would be on your list of heroes among public officials or well-known leaders?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is sad

Anonymous said...

I agree, this really is sad. Barry Obama, give me a break! Personaly, it would be hard for me to narrow it down to one. I guess my first pick would have to be Thomas Jefferson. His writing the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that it was an act of treason and his life was on the line. This act created what is the greatest country in the world. That is a real hero!

Anonymous said...

I guess running a country into the ground makes you a hero nowadays. Wow.

Anonymous said...

I agree Obama has to prove himself first, but George W Bush on this list is an insult. The founding fathers must be spinning in their graves over W being considered great.

Anonymous said...

What about FDR, Benjamin Franklin, Fredrick Douglas and George Washington?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure a lot of people said OJ Simpson was their hero about 20 years ago. Nuff said.

Sean said...

What about people who had a phenomenal impact on modern society like Johannes Gutenberg? Bibles, literature, reference mateirals all made available to the masses because of his invention.

Anonymous said...

Stock Market down 60% since election day, I guess the messiah cult is yet to wake up

Anonymous said...

The fact that George W. Bush is on that list anywhere makes me weep for my country. With such a large percentage of the population so willing to be led by the nose off a cliff, so willing to believe that propaganda is truth, so willing to overlook the catastrophes that occurred in their midst for the last 8 years, is there any hope for us as a country? Or will the clueless, the willfully ignorant and the simple-minded idiots among us who thought this horribly limited man worthy of admiration eventually destroy us all?

Anonymous said...

actually alot of people think Bush will end up going down as another Truman or Churchill, hated while in office for making tough decisions, loved years down the road. The Dark Knight was a Political Allegory to this, probably why it was snubbed by hollywood.

just have to wait for time and emotions to pass, and all the b.s. to get filtered away.

Anonymous said...

Not a chance that Bush will be redeemed by history. The escape of the Al Queada leadership into Afghanistan and the unwarranted invasion of Iraq with its staggering cost in both lives and treasure are perhaps the two most ghastly military/foreign policy mistakes in American history. The way he divided the country after promising to unify it, his administration's utter disregard for the rule of law, the way he allowed one of our great cities to drown, the damage to America's image abroad, and the lack of oversight in the financial markets that led to a second great depression will be his defining legacy. History will not treat George W. Bush kindly.

Anonymous said...

5:48pm You forget Bush had a 20% Final Approval rating when he left office. You can't say the same for Truman and surely not Churchill.