Obama Regains Top Spot on Forbes Most Powerful List

Posted November 2nd, 2011 at 6:15 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is back on top of Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's 70 most powerful people.

Chinese President Hu Jintao took over the top spot last year from Mr. Obama. The U.S. president regained it because, according to Forbes editor Michael Noer, Mr. Hu's power is decreasing. Mr. Hu fell to number three as he starts turning over some of his duties to his successor, Xi Jinping. Forbes ranks Xi number 69.

Forbes' Noer says the magazine uses several criteria to come up with its rankings, including the financial resources controlled by each person and how many people over which the individual holds power.

The magazine's top 10 for 2011 are Mr. Obama; Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin; Mr. Hu; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates; Saudi King Abdullah; Pope Benedict; U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg; and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Forbes dropped 10 people from its list, including U.S. television personality Oprah Winfrey, whose long-running, popular talk show went off the air earlier this year; and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund who was accused of raping a hotel maid. The charges were dropped, but his political career is likely over. Apple computer co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in October, and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a U.S. commando raid in May, were also dropped from the list.