- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Michelle Obama may take the cake when it comes to popularity comparisons with her presidential husband. But even she can’t best Laura Bush or Barbara Bush.

Both those former first ladies held higher ratings with the public when they occupied the White House, than Mrs. Obama does now, a Gallup survey found.

Mrs. Obama currently holds a 66 percentage favorability rating among survey respondents, Newsmax reported, citing Gallup findings. But Laura Bush’s favorability factor when she occupied the White House stood at 73 percent — while Barbara Bush’s hit 77 percent, the poll revealed.

Hillary Clinton’s numbers while she occupied the White House, meanwhile, were fully 10 percentage points below Mrs. Obama‘s, the survey said.

“Clinton’s role in trying to pass a controversial national healthcare reform law may have contributed to her comparatively lower ratings, while the rally effect after 9/11 may have given Laura Bush’s ratings a boost,” said Gallup analyst Alyssa Brown, Newsmax reported.

Mr. Obama’s favorability rating stands at 52 percent, the poll said.

“First ladies are typically viewed more positively than presidents, likely because their roles are often more ceremonial and invite less criticism compared with the president’s active political and policymaking role,” Ms. Brown said, Newsmax reported.

The poll, conducted by random sample of 1,023 adults between Feb. 6 and 9, has a margin or error of plus or minus four percentage points.