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Putin Tops Obama On Forbes' Most Powerful List

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AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster

"Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin scores the highest points in 2013 because he so frequently shows his strength at home and on the global stage — consider NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the recent chess match over Syria," Forbes wrote in explaining its methodology behind ranking the 72 designees.

Obama topped the list in the first year of his presidency, and held onto the title from 2011-12. Former Chinese President Hu Jintao bested Obama on the 2010 list.

"It appears that President Obama's lame duck period has set in earlier than usual for a two-term president, causing him to drop one notch from the No. 1 spot," the magazine wrote, citing worldwide outrage over NSA surveillance and the stumbling implementation of his signature health care law as setbacks for the president in 2013.

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