Whoa. If Hillary Clinton does wind up being the next president, I wouldn’t want to be one of the editors at Forbes Magazine after she’s sworn in. For the sixth year in a row the most powerful woman in the world is… Angela Merkel. (US News & World Report, some emphasis added)
For the sixth consecutive year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was named the world’s most powerful woman by Forbes. Merkel is also the reigning Time Person of the Year.
Merkel beat out Hillary Clinton, who the Associated Press declared the presumptive Democratic nominee for U.S. president on Monday. The former secretary of state finished second on the Forbes list.
“If there is a single leader able to defy existential economic and political challenges to the European Union, from edges and core, it has been German Chancellor Angela Merkel,” Forbes explained. “But her latest act may be the boldest. By opening Germany’s borders to over 1 million immigrants from Syria and other Muslim countries in the last several years, Merkel has decided to wield her power with the most curious of geopolitical strategies: sheer humanism.
Forbes said of Clinton, should she win the American presidency in November, she could likely move to the top spot.
So being the nominee to run for president isn’t good enough, but if she wins… meh. Maybe we’ll give you another look.
So here’s the top five on the list:
- Angela Merkel
- Hillary Clinton
- Janet Yellen
- Melinda Gates
- Mary Barra
Keep in mind that Forbes compiled this list and prepared it even before the Associated Press made their incorrect and premature announcement of Clinton securing the nomination. So she made it to the number two spot without actually having won an election of any sort since 2006 (for a Senate seat which was almost uncontested) and without having scored any notable accomplishment in any fashion since… well, ever, really. Well played, Forbes.
Should Merkel have been at the top? She’s still probably the most influential figure in the EU, but her power is waning as unrest over her failed immigration policies grows. I have no idea what Janet Yellen has done to merit such a lofty position aside from being appointed, but perhaps she’s busy with a lot of things I don’t hear about. And… Melinda Gates? Excuse me? I’m sure she’s a lovely lady and she’s got a very charitable heart, but I remain unsure precisely what her accomplishments are aside from marrying Bill and helping to give away massive amounts of his money. As I said… very charitable and God bless her for her giving nature, but does that make you one of the most influential people on the planet?
There’s a case to be made for Barra, since General Motors is doing a bit better these days and it takes a lot to work your way up to the top slot in an empire that size. Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor are all tied for 23rd. Meh… I suppose so. Oprah Winfrey and Anna Wintour are on the list at 21 and 28 respectively. You may not care for their politics and opinions, but let’s give credit where due. They’ve made a metric buttload of money in competitive fields and exerted a lot of influence on the world around them. I’d argue that they could both be considerably further up the list than some of the others I’ve already mentioned. (Including Michelle Obama, who somehow clocked in at 13.) For that matter, Marissa Mayer falls all the way down at #55. I know Yahoo is having some problems of late, but much like some other corporate giants, she’s made quite the splash. Put her in the top fifteen at least.
Feel free to submit some of your own suggestions here. I’m sure we could do considerably better between us.