The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS -

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump rock­eted from No. 72 on Forbes an­nual list of “The World’s Most Pow­er­ful Peo­ple” in 2015 to No. 2 this time around. “Don­ald Trump is trad­ing in Trump Tower for the White House,” Forbes notes in a jaunty re­view. “The New York na­tive will be­come the first bil­lion­aire pres­i­dent of the United States, af­ter up­set­ting Hil­lary Clin­ton in a sur­pris­ing elec­tion vic­tory.” Mrs. Clin­ton does not ap­pear on the list at all. Pres­i­dent Obama is ranked No. 48. Last year, he was No. 2.

“Any rank­ing of the world’s most pow­er­ful peo­ple is go­ing to be sub­jec­tive, so we don’t pre­tend ours is de­fin­i­tive. It’s meant to be the be­gin­ning of a con­ver­sa­tion, not the fi­nal word,” notes Forbes con­tribut­ing edi­tor David Ewalt.

And who is the tip top of the list? That would be Rus­sia Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, who’s been there for a while.

“The world’s most pow­er­ful per­son for four years run­ning, Rus­sia’s pres­i­dent has ex­erted his coun­try’s in­flu­ence in nearly ev­ery cor­ner of the globe; from the moth­er­land to Syria to the U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tions, Putin con­tin­ues to get what he wants,” Forbes says. “Un­con­strained by con­ven­tional global norms, his reach has mag­ni­fied in re­cent years. In 2016 Rus­sian hack­ers were ac­cused of tap­ping into email ac­counts owned by mem­bers of the U.S. Demo­cratic Party in a bid to aid the cam­paign of Don­ald Trump, who has reg­u­larly praised Putin’s lead­er­ship style. The Krem­lin de­nies the charges, and Pres­i­dent-elect Trump has also dis­missed the pos­si­bil­ity of out­siders tam­per­ing in the elec­tion, de­spite a re­ported CIA memo sug­gest­ing oth­er­wise. Ei­ther way, with a likely ally en­ter­ing the White House, Putin’s power may go largely unchecked for years to come.“

The lengthy power list in­cludes 74 as­sorted elected of­fi­cials, politi­cians, rulers, en­trepreneurs, eco­nomic wizards, bil­lion­aires, CEOs and clergy. Af­ter Mssrs. Putin and Trump, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel is in third place, fol­lowed by Chinese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, Pope Fran­cis, Fed­eral Re­serve Chair Janet Yellen, Mi­crosoft founder Bill Gates, Google CEO Larry Page, In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and Face­book founder Mark Zuckerberg.

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