Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Obama Tops "World's Most Powerful" List

Forbes magazine pegs the President at #1 for 2011...up from last year... 
Forbes magazine today released its 2011 ranking of the World's Most Powerful People, and #1 on the list --out of 7 billion contenders--is President Obama, who unseats China's President Hu Jintao. The list of 70 includes world leaders, tastemakers, criminals, religious figures and CEOs. Explaining their choice, Forbes notes that despite the President having his jobs bill "gutted" by Congress, and popularity polls that have "plummeted," Mr. Obama is still the leader of "the most powerful nation in the world." The magazine hails the death of Osama bin Laden as "a highlight" of 2011 for the President. (Above: The President in the Oval Office with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who also made the list, at #18)

President Hu is now #3, and in between him and Mr. Obama is the tiger-hunting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is #4 on the list, and #5 is billionaire Bill Gates.

Forbes' entry for the President:

"Sure, his jobs bill was gutted, his debt-ceiling negotiating was derided and his popularity has plummeted, endangering his reelection, but Obama regains his position as the most powerful person on the planet this year. Why? Despite faddish American declinism, the U.S. remains, indisputably, the most powerful nation in the world, with the largest, most innovative economy and the deadliest military. Plus, Obama's only legitimate rival for the title, last year's number one, Chinese President Hu Jintao, is diminishing in influence as he gives up political office.
2011 Highlight: Took out the world's deadliest terrorist in May."

Other Obama Administration individuals on the list include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (#16) and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (#18). House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) comes in at #67, well below the President's town hall and dinner pal Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook (#9).

The Forbes list.

The wide-ranging list goes from Pope Benedict XVI (#7) to Joaquin Guzman Loera (#55), the billionaire head of the Sinaloa drug cartel. bin Laden was on last year's list, but didn't rate this year because he's dead, as is the case for Steve Jobs. Some people on the 2010 list, including Oprah Winfrey, disgraced French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn and former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan didn't make this year's list--but that's because they lost influence, not their lives.

*Photo by Pete Souza/White House

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