Obama ranks first on Forbes' list of most powerful

President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air

President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama is named the world's most powerful person Wednesday by Forbes. (Photo: AP)

Not surprisingly, heads of state seem to get ahead.

Barack Obama was No. 1 on Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Powerful People” released Wednesday, with the leaders of China and Russia rounding out the top three.

Obama beat out Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao for the No. 1 spot just days before the two are to meet in Beijing to discuss their economic ties and political potential. Leading a nation with a growing fiscal influence and swelling population helped Hu secure the runner-up position.

“China has more people, more potential to be world-dominating than the United States does in the long run, but the United States still has the deadliest, largest military and is the world’s reserve currency and has the largest economy,” said Forbes managing editor Bruce Upbin. “I think Barack Obama still deserves to be No. 1. ... He was by a long shot.”

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earned the No. 3 ranking.

Forbes, which created the list for the first time, scored its powerful candidates on the number of people each influence; their ability to project power; control of and access to finances’ and how actively they wield power.

Financial bigwigs, including Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke; Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page; and News Corp. chairman and Rupert Murdoch, also made the top 10.

Pope Benedict XVI clocks in at No. 11, Osama bin Laden at No. 37 and Oprah Winfrey at No. 45 on a list that includes a 67-slot roster.

emily.ngo@am-ny.com

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Forbes’ “The World’s Most Powerful People” list
1. Barack Obama, president, U.S.
2. Hu Jintao, president, China
3. Vladimir Putin, prime minister, Russia
4. Ben Bernanke, chairman, Federal Reserve
5. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders, Google
6. Carlos Slim Helu, chief executive, Telmex, Mexico
7. Rupert Murdoch, chairman, News Corp.
8. Michael Drake, chief executive, Wal-Mart Stores
9. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, king, Saudi Arabia
10. Bill Gates, co-chairman, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Tags: President Barack Obama , Forbes , powerful , China , President Hu Jintao , Google , Bill Gates

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