Russian President Vladimir Putin was declared the world's most powerful person for the third time in a row by Forbes magazine. However, United States President Barack Obama dropped to the number three spot. This is the first time in the history of the Forbes most powerful list that the sitting U.S. president did not make one of the top two spots. Interestingly, the U.S. presidential hopeful and businessman Donald Trump is already on the list despite not holding a current political office.
Forbes released its "World's Most Powerful" list for the 2015 year, and the results are telling. Russian President Vladimir Putin made the top spot for the third year running, and for good reason. As the publication points out, Putin obtained the top spot again because he is so powerful that he can do what he wants and "get away with it" despite disapproval from some of the other most powerful people in the world.
"Putin continues to prove he's one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants –and get away with it."
The items on Putin's resume that catapulted him back to the number one position this year included his all-time high approval rating of his constituents of an astonishing 89 percent and his bid to rebuild Russian influence abroad by bombing Islamic State forces in Syria. The world's most powerful man has seized Crimea and waged war-by-proxy in the Ukraine despite worldwide disapproval. However, he has proven all the more powerful in the process by showing that he can essentially do what he wants with almost reckless abandon due to his level of power.
Startlingly for the United States, President Barack Obama fell to the No. 3 spot this year. This is the first time in the history of the Forbes "Most Powerful" list that the sitting U.S. president did not make one of the top two positions. Forbes notes that the drop occurred due to Obama's decrease in influence as his term comes to an end. It is noted that his approval ratings by his constituents are "perpetually stuck" below the 50 percent mark and that he has been outshined by the two that were given the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the list.
"[Obama's] outshined by Merkel in Europe, and outmaneuvered by Putin in the Middle East."
Speaking of Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, she moved up three positions to the No. 2 spot this year. This makes Merkel the most powerful woman in the world and the one responsible for knocking the United States out of the top two positions on the list. Merkel jumped in standing due to her powerful position as "the backbone of the 28-member European Union" and her resolute stance on the Syrian refugee crisis. Despite the backlash, Merkel made firm and immediate decisions that impacted not just Germany but the world at large. Merkel was also a key figure in the Greek credit crisis and a mainstay in European politics.
The list itself contains just 74 spots, making it incredibly difficult to make the cut. Though the U.S. president's ranking dropped to an all-time low at the No. 3 position, another interesting person, who also happens to be a presidential hopeful, made the list for the first time this year. Businessman and presidential hopeful Donald Trump entered the Forbes "Most Powerful" list for the first time at the No. 72 spot. The outspoken, hard-nosed GOP candidate is known for his controversial remarks but appears to be gaining influence as his extreme wealth and flamboyant speeches garner him a large following within the Republican party of the United States.
Donald Trump isn't the only presidential hopeful to make the list. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton also made the list at No. 58. The potential first spouse and former United States president Bill Clinton came it at No. 64.
What do you think about this year's Forbes "most powerful" list?
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