Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia, a Noted American Adversary, tops Forbes’ list of most powerful people. Barack Obama, leader of what was and could be again the greatest nation on the face of the planet, the United States of America, is in third place. In second? Angela Merkel, leader of Germany.
Did World War II and the Cold War even happen?
Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged as the world’s most powerful person for the third year running. 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. International sanctions set in place after he seized Crimea and waged war-by-proxy in Ukraine have kneecapped the Ruble and driven Russia into deepening recession, but haven’t hurt Putin one bit: In June his approval ratings reached an all-time high of 89%. In October, he bombed ISIS forces in Syria and then met face-to-face with President Assad, making the U.S and NATO look weak in the region, and helping rebuild Russian influence abroad.
The second most powerful person in the world also happens to be the most powerful woman: Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, jumps up from #5 last year to take the runner-up spot on the list. Merkel is the backbone of the 28-member European Union, and her decisive actions dealing with the Syrian refugee problem and the Greek credit crisis helped bump her up the list.
U.S. President Barack Obama fell one spot on this year’s list to #3. There’s no doubt that the United States remains the world’s greatest economic, cultural, diplomatic, technological and military power. But as Obama enters the final year of his presidency, it’s clear his influence is shrinking, and it’s a bigger struggle than ever to get things done. At home, his approval ratings are perpetually stuck under 50%; abroad, he’s outshined by Merkel in Europe, and outmaneuvered by Putin in the Middle East.
It should come as literally no shock whatsoever. When intel came out that heavily suggests ISIS had gotten a bomb on the Russian plane that went down over Sinai, many reactions on social media were, essentially: “Well, ISIS is screwed now.” More people perceive Russia as being able to deal with the greatest global security threat of the modern era, the same threat the Obama administration has been half-heartedly poking for a while now.
The man does what he wants, when he wants to, and no one is stopping him. He defies you to stop him. He is begging the United States and other world players to try.
Merkel, meanwhile, is the name that always pops up in a conversation about Europe, because she leads the European Union. She is perceived, and rightfully so, of having the keys to the EU. She is a household name across the globe because she gets the press coverage whenever things go right or, more often than not, when things go wrong in Europe.
And, then there’s Barack Obama. The Mom Jeans Wonder falls to number three in the list because he is ineffective. He can get nothing done. He goes in front of the media and repeatedly talks about how little he can get done. It’s not just his own power that appears weak, but the power of America as a whole.
Which is his end game, you guys.