Wednesday, March 04, 2015



Every First Lady fascinates me. She has one of the world's most visible roles and yet no job description. In real-time, no woman has done it well and has been subject to scathing and unfair criticism. Yet somehow, in retrospect, they all did it better than whomever currently resides in The White House.

Over the past 31 years, the Siena College Research Institute has regularly polled historians and scholars, asking them to rank each woman in these categories: Background, Value to the Country, Leadership, Being Her Own Woman, Accomplishments and Courage. Here's the 2014 ranking of those who really rocked it.

1) Eleanor Roosevelt
2) Abigail Adams
3) Jacqueline Kennedy
4) Dolley Madison
5) Michelle Obama
6) Hillary Clinton
7) Lady Bird Johnson
8) Betty Ford
9) Martha Washington
10) Rosalynn Carter
11) Barbara Bush
12) Laura Bush
13) Edith Roosevelt

Eleanor has ranked #1 in every one of the SCRI polls. Her New York Times obituary called her "The World's Most Admired Woman." She was recently at the center of a prestigious Ken Burns/PBS documentary series, introducing a new generation to her integrity and her accomplishments.

Yet during her 12 years in the White House, she was criticized for her big mouth with its big teeth, her lack of fashion sense, for traveling too much, for being too informal a hostess, and for all-around "meddling." 

See what I mean?

Please join us for The NEW THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.


  1. hmmn wonder how these are based??

  2. Interesting list. I was surprised to see Michelle Obama above Hillary Clinton, though very glad she's on the list. I was not surprised to see Roosevelt or Adams on the list.

  3. I love the first ladies! This is a fascinating list.

  4. That's interesting and seems fair enough.
    Jackie O was so hip she even turned up in a Rod Stewart song.

  5. Cool info. My T13 -- Happy World Reading Day!


Sorry about adding Comment Moderation, folks. But look at the bright side, at least I've gotten rid of word verification!