#2 Merkel has been pivotal in all the European negotiations for everything. Russia, Ukraine, Syrian refugees, Greek banking crisis, you name it. She takes action after careful study. After initially playing softball with Russia, she has hardened her stance. I wondered if her East German background might have been a factor in her initial reaction to Russia, but I believe she finally got tired of Putin lying to her face and giving the West the finger. Merkel probably deserves #1, in all actuality.
#1 Putin’s bravado belies* his power. In all actuality Russia and Putin’s power has extended to those countries immediately bordering Russia, that’s it. But he has succeeded in causing most of the rest of the world to react to his implied threats. The perception of Putin’s power should not reflect the reaction by the rest of the world to his hyperaggressive words and, in all reality, his surgical application of limited power.
*belie (bəˈlī/)verb3rd person present: belies1. (of an appearance) fail to give a true notion or impression of (something); disguise or contradict.Example: “his lively alert manner belied his years”
CBS Hosts Baffled by Putin Beating Obama for Top Spot on Forbes ‘Most Powerful’ List
By Kyle Drennen | November 4, 2015 | 1:03 PM EST
On Wednesday, while discussing Forbes magazine releasing its 2015 Most Powerful list, the hosts of CBS This Morning were perplexed by Russian president Vladimir Putin beating out President Obama for the top spot, with Obama only being number three on the list. Charlie Rose pressed Forbes assistant managing editor Luisa Kroll: “Make the case as to why Vladimir Putin is more powerful than President Obama.” Kroll explained: “I think a lot has to do with how he exercises his power and his influence. Whether it’s in Crimea or in the Ukraine, he’s not afraid to go out and exercise his power. He has no checks and balances.” Rose interjected: “So it’s not a question of being more powerful, he’s simply using it.”