Eleanor Roosevelt was the nation’s best first lady, according to a Siena College Research Institute and C-Span poll that was released on Saturday.
The Siena College survey ranked first ladies based on their background, public image, integrity, accomplishments and value to the country.
“Among First Ladies of the 20th-21st centuries,” Director of Siena Research Institute Don Levy wrote, “she is seen as best on advancing women’s issues, as the strongest communicator, greatest political asset, performing the greatest service to the country after leaving office and as creating a lasting legacy.”
During her time as first lady Roosevelt held news conferences, traveled the country and expressed her opinion freely in a daily newspaper column.
Roosevelt was followed by Abigail Adams; Jacqueline Kennedy came in third.
Michelle Obama was ranked for the first time in fifth place, bumping Hilary Clinton down two spots from fourth to sixth.
Among the first ladies who were considered most capable of running the country, however, Clinton held the top spot. The ranking could prove beneficial as Clinton is seriously considering a bid for the White House in 2016.
Obama was seen as the third most likely first lady to head the Oval Office because of her wish to balance family life, interest in women’s issues and well-regarded communication skills.