- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2014

For the second time in as many years, Forbes chose Russian President Vladimir Putin — not President Obama — as the most powerful person in the world.

Mr. Obama came in at No. 2 on the list, right before China’s President Xi Jinping and Pope Francis, the Daily Mail reported. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel was listed as fifth.

Forbes selects its most powerful based on a range of factors, including the number of people who those on the list are in charge of governing and how much financial responsibility their respective nations generate, as well as how they wield their power. This year, Forbes rated 72 leaders around the world.

“No one would call Vladimir Putin a good guy,” the magazine said in a statement reported by the Daily Mail. “In 2014, he strong-armed his way into possession of Crimea and waged an ugly proxy war in neighboring Ukraine, during which an almost certainly Russian-supplied surface-to-air missile downed a civilian jetliner.”

And yet, Mr. Putin is more powerful that Mr. Obama, the rating system found.

“But as the undisputed, unpredictable and unaccountable head of an energy-rich, nuclear-tipped state, no one would ever call him weak,” the magazine said.

That comes in contrast to Mr. Obama’s falling popularity numbers with the American people — and the complete beating his Democratic Party just took on Election Day, a sign some analysts say is a commentary on the commander-in-chief’s leadership.

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