Kids Vote Clinton Most Important

Wednesday, July 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MAHWAH, N.J. (AP) — Impeached by Congress following his affair with a 25-year-old intern, President Clinton still reigns supreme among American children, according to a survey.

He beat out Pope John Paul II, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, astronaut John Glenn and basketball star Michael Jordan in the survey that asked children to name the world's most important person.

The survey, conducted by the World Almanac for Kids and released this week, offered readers age 6 to 14 the chance to win prizes by naming their picks and explaining their choices. It was contained in the 2000 edition.

Clinton, the choice of 30 percent of the respondents, was cited because of his peacekeeping negotiations, his improvements to education and because he is ``the ruler of a free world.''

The pope, who got 20.6 percent, helps make the world a better place, the children said. ``My Mom'' got 20.4 percent, ``My Dad,'' 15.8 percent, and Gates 15 percent.

Others receiving votes: civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, astronaut Neil Armstrong, ``Harry Potter'' author J.K. Rowling, slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, talk show host Rosie O'Donnell and soccer star Mia Hamm, who beat out God by a slight margin.

Frank McGuire, 10, of Orlando, Fla., won the top prize — an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. — for his entry, which named Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela and Chinese president Jiang Zemin. The entry was designed like a newspaper page and listed each of his choices' contributions to society.