What Makes Michelle Obama So Powerful?

What Makes Michelle Obama So Powerful?

Michelle Obama is the most powerful woman in the world, according to the 2010 World's 100 Most Powerful Women list published by Forbes. The magazine ranked women within four categories—politics, business, media, and lifestyle—and then pitted all competitors against each other. From Forbes:

When we set out to identify this year's list, we decided it was time to look up and out into the broader culture. Our assessment is based less on traditional titles and roles and more on creative influence and entrepreneurship. These power women have built distinctive companies and brands and championed weighty causes, sometimes through unconventional means; in other cases they have broken through gender barriers.

First Is Great, But Outreach Is Paramount

Forbes writes of how this year’s women aren’t just a list of “firsts.” While the first female Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi) makes the grade, the bulk of the selections are women who have accomplished a considerable amount not only for themselves, but through their connections with the public. The First Lady has made a career of connecting with the public: from her jobs in public service and hospital administration to her “Let’s Move” campaign to fight childhood obesity and her popularization of the “Michelle Obama arms,” she makes the most of that connection.

The List Isn’t The Law

It’s worth remembering that Forbes’ ranking system, while highly respected, is subjective. Closely following Obama are Kraft Foods CEO Irene Rosenfeld (2), media mogul Oprah Winfrey (3), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (4), and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (5).

To see the entire 2010 World's 100 Most Powerful Women list, CLICK HERE.

Tell us in the comments: Is Forbes correct in honoring Michelle Obama, or is there someone better for the position? Did they leave anyone off the list?

Image Credit: SFGate


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