German Chancellor Angela Merkel has knocked U.S. President Barack Obama into third place in this year’s World’s Most Powerful People list published by Forbes Magazine. For the third year in a row Russia’s President Putin has taken first place.
Having been beaten for a number of years to the top spot by Mr. Putin, Mr. Obama has now suffered the indignity of demotion to third place behind the German Chancellor on the Forbes Most Powerful List.
Forbes points out that Mrs. Merkel has been the most powerful woman on the planet for 10 years running. Winning her third four-year term as Chancellor of what the magazine calls “Europe’s most vibrant economy” in December 2014, she became the longest-serving elected European Union leader.
Forbes gives Mrs Merkel national and international plaudits, saying she fought off a national recession and remains “in the thick of trying to help Greece revive its economy”. She is also given credit for “breaking the post-Nazi-era taboo of direct involvement in military actions” by arming Kurdish fighters against Islamic State. In addition she receives praise for her shuttle diplomacy in trying to broker a peace deal for the Russia-Ukraine crisis with the number one on the list – Vladimir Putin.
Regarding President Obama’s slip, Forbes says that despite the U.S. remaining “the world’s greatest economic, cultural, diplomatic, technological and military power”, as he nears the end of his presidency “it’s clear his influence is shrinking, and it’s a bigger struggle than ever to get things done”. Domestic approval ratings consistently falling below 50 per cent, and being outshone by Mrs. Merkel in Europe and outmanoeuvred by Mr. Putin in the Middle East, do nothing to help Mr. Obama’s position.
Forbes says the only woman with any chance of beating Mrs. Merkel from the top female spot in 2016, is the world’s second most powerful woman, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Janet Yellen.
That news may come as a bitter blow to the woman currently sitting in 58th place on the list – “presumptive Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential race”, Hillary Clinton, who comes just one place behind ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Prime Minister David Cameron has seen his rank improve from tenth position last year to number eight this year, following his victory in the British General Election. However, the man who some argue holds more power that Mr Cameron, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, fails to chart.
Other noteworthy entries are brothers Charles and David Koch (29), who back libertarian candidates and causes in the United States, who come above media mogul Rupert Murdoch (35).