American female politicos top power list
August 25th, 2011
09:33 AM ET
11 years ago

American female politicos top power list

(CNN) - Forbes' Most Powerful Women list of 2011 included six American political figures, with Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann holding the highest spot of any current elected official in the U.S.

Rep. Bachmann of Minnesota was ranked 22nd, ahead of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at No. 34 and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi at No. 52.

Three cabinet secretaries fared even better, according to the list released by the magazine Wednesday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton garnered the No. 2 spot, followed by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at No. 12 and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at No. 15.

Women in six categories are considered for the annual global power list: billionaires, business, lifestyle, media, nonprofits and politics.

The final 200 candidates are then judged based on money, news hits and their power reach.

Filed under: Michele Bachmann • Nancy Pelosi • Sarah Palin
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Sortakinda

    Ironically, Bachmann, Palin and Pelosi are tied for first on the list of annoying, obnoxious and idiotic ignoramuses, regardless of sex.

    August 25, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Curious that Michelle Obama (ranking in at 8 within the Politics category) doesn't get a mention.

    August 25, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Did anyone else notice that the "power women" running for political office last year didn't make the list. I am thinking about the WWF lady who ran in CT, and the HP lady who ran in CA.

    August 25, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. atypical

    Pelosi, I can see. . . .but Bachman and Palin?. . . . geez. this sets the bar pretty low for women.
    someone once said that you can't counterfeit truth but the media do it–or try to do it–all the time.

    August 25, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Just when you think you've read it all, an article such as this jumps up and hits you in the face. While the results are meaningless to me personally, the story behind the story IS noteworthy. Kudos to CNN for it's blatant hypocrisy in trying to promote one political party over the other while choosing to leave out entirely our First Lady. If only our media would get it's head out of it's collective behind and just REPORT the news, in chronological order if need be (especially on an article such as this) and quit with the juvenille playground nonsense of "who's better than whom" aside, maybe, just maybe, the adults running this country might follow the lead, and become the grown ups they all pretend to be.

    August 25, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. V in Chicago

    Bachmann is not powerful – she's dangerous! And, how can Palin be considered powerful as she holds no official office or title, other than queen of ignorance.

    August 25, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. Fannatic

    Now if we can just figure out a way to get Nancy Pelosi down to about numer 9,999,999th most influential, we might just save this country.

    August 25, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. diridi

    Pelosi is lot better....than that two idiots....

    August 25, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. James

    American female politicos top power list: Bachmann, Palin and Pelosi? Now that puts Politicos discretionary thinking AND investigative prowess into question doesn't it. I'm a male that thinks much more of women and their capabiloities than this projects.

    August 25, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. AEJ

    How did Sarah Palin ended up on this list? What is her close to fame please? This is an uneducated, silly woman who drives around the country on a BIG BUS. What characteristics does she possess except a "Loud empty mouth"? and LOVES THE NEWS CAMERA!!!! SHE WOULD HAVE EARNED THE TOP PRIZE OF "ATTENTION-GRABBER"

    August 25, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. SecedingfromTexas

    @Linda/Minnesota: You are so right on. I don't understand it either, but did you notice Palin's category was
    "Celebrity/Lifestyle". Could just as well have been Snookie, but then Forbes is Forbes.

    August 25, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Lisa P

    In what way does Sarah Palin (a.k.a. The Quitter, Governor Half-Term) qualify as a "current elected official"? By that standard (current or former elected officials) ex-U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton tops the list, and dwarfs every one of the female GOP wannabees.

    I'm also thinking Nancy Pelosi should be higher on the rankings. According to some posters here she apparently runs the whole country, and possibly the universe. It seems unfair to me that her power is not being properly recognized just because CNN thinks it is more important to discuss Bachmann's shoe size or the weighty political musings of Palin's second cousin twice removed.

    August 25, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. Justinstl

    You dont hear too much about Pelosi....obviously she is intelligent enough to not put herself into the positions the other two Girls do. This shows you that yes there is a place for Women in politics. There are many women like Pelosi and HRC that do their thing but still stay reserved and choose their words wisely when they speak. ..However these other two women are way too outspoken and have no business in the political arena and should both hang up the towel, go to the store and buy their husbands some balls and then go home and cook some dinner and take care of their families and focus their efforts on what goes on in their own homes. Theres nothing America hates more than an over confident outspoken woman who speaks rubbish off the top of their minds without choosing their words wisely.

    August 25, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. JJ

    Bachmann and Palin "powerful women"? The two dingbats???!!! LMAO! HAHAHA!!

    August 25, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    What is that old hag Pelosi doing in this list? She's a has been hanger on. Palin and Bachmann are the future and Pelosi is the failed past.

    August 25, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. a little sad


    Pelosi, I can see. . . .but Bachman and Palin?. . . . geez. this sets the bar pretty low for women.
    someone once said that you can't counterfeit truth but the media do it–or try to do it–all the time.

    I agree, however, they did include "news hits" as part of the final criteria, and you know they get a lot of press. Napolitano and Sebelius ranked higher, but their press is pretty minimal.

    August 25, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. Liz the First

    How scary is this that a nutjob like Bachmann is rated more powerful than the House Minority Leader, who's actually accomplished good things for this country??? how sad that Bachman is even getting any attention at all. her views are totally extreme and mostly insane. people like her used to be pitied, not raised to national prominence.

    August 25, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Justinstl

    Lynda in Minnesota... Probably the reason that Mrs .Obama is not mentioned here is because she chooses not to put into the spotlight of being called"a woman in power" Mrs Obama is a classy lady and has no interest in labels of power and all that nonsense. She is first a wife and a mother and wants to remain that way. She is a classy woman and does not need recognition of power status....Just like Oprah... she is a very powerful person but does not care about the "power" or let it go to her head. Its classy women like these who concentrate on doing the good and right thing that deserve to be in the places that they are. Its all about how you represent yourself and what comes out of your mouth and heart. These other women are just that HEARTLESS and care only about power and money and what they cant get or how they can change things to they way that they see fit, without having any regard to the consequences of their actions and do not care who they step on to get what they want. Yes I am glad they left Mrs Obama out of this article...and I bet she is too!

    August 25, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |