Roosevelt, whose husband, Franklin, served as president from
1933 to 1945, has come up No. 1 each of the five times the
survey has been conducted by Siena College Research Institute
In the top finishers after Roosevelt were Abigail Adams,
Jacqueline Kennedy and Dolly Madison.
Least impressive, according to the survey, was Jane Pierce, the
wife of 14th U.S. president, Franklin Pierce.
Although historians disagree over exactly when the title of
first lady came into common usage, it has traditionally been
given to a president's wife and is an unofficial, but
potentially powerful, role.
Pollsters asked 242 historians and political scientists to rate
38 presidents' wives in 10 categories such as "courage,"
"integrity," "value to the country" and "accomplishments."
Current first lady Michelle Obama scored particularly high in
the categories of "being her own woman" and "value to the
president." Her weakest area was seen to be in her capacity of
"being the White House steward."
Rounding out the top 10 after Clinton were Lady Bird Johnson,
Betty Ford, Martha Washington and Rosalynn Carter.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; editing by Gunna Dickson)
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