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Ltryptophan's avatar

Who is more powerful Obama, Putin, or Jintao?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10266points) October 27th, 2010

These three men run countries that are very powerful, and have vast nuclear arsenals.

But each is a man with a certain amount of personal power. Which country has given its leader the most power to openly, and/or secretly do that which he chooses?

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12 Answers

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Nullo's avatar

I think that Putin has more personal authority (as opposed to position authority) than Obama. I’ve got no data on Jintao.

CMaz's avatar

I agree, Putin can/will get the button faster.

The_Idler's avatar

Well Obama can be voted out and probably doesn’t really know what’s going on inside the secret security agencies, which puts him 3rd.

Chinese politics is a complex animal, but I think the Party is a very stable and mature system, which effectively controls the distribution of power. If the Party wants rid of one of it’s members, they’re not going to last very long, even if it is the Paramount Leader. I’m not sure how much power Jintao has at his fingertips, probably more direct control than Obama, but he’s not President-for-Life, he is a servant of the Party. I’ll place him second.

Putin’s personal power is evident from the fact that he is apparently in complete control of his party, which consistently “wins” the “elections”, effectively “uncontested”. He didn’t try to change the constitution to allow him to be continuously President, but he has otherwise arranged things to make this unnecessary. He became prime-minister, and the practically installed his own president. And he still takes centre stage. After this term, he will become President again. He has lots of “friends”. He is well-aquainted with the oligarchs, who control the vast majority of Russia’s wealth. He served in the KGB.

He is also undoubtedly an extremely effective ruler, his eight year presidency saw restoration of law and stability in Russia, a GDP increase of 72% in PPP (600% in nominal) poverty cut by more than half, average monthly salaries increase from $80 to $640, or by 150% in real rates. He has great popular support.

This is a clever man, who made, and maintains, his position by his own wit & astute strategy.

Numero Uno.

anartist's avatar

Putin may have more control, but his country may be the poorest of the 3. The resources that Moscow poured into cold war armament were at the expense of everything else and the economy collapsed, revealing more of a paper tiger than people ever imagined.

Obama may have the strictures of our government structure as a factor, but apparently seems to be working quite effectively with our intelligence agencies, and is head of a rich and powerful nation with many resources.

China is growing richer and stronger by great leaps and bounds and Jintao may not have complete control over his party but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have immense control over one of the fastest evolving and resource rich countries in the world.

Given the men, their respective governments, and their national resources, I see more of a tie.

The_Idler's avatar

@anartist I agree with you on those points, my analysis was of “personal power” as the OP described.

If the three men are of comparative global influence, then considering the relative personal power of each of them introduces a new and significant dimension, by which to consider their importance, especially with regards their prolonged impacts upon the world, and also the potential of their own individual wills to manifest in and influence global issues… something to be concerned about.

When considering the USA, it is of paramount importance to analyse what kind of person the electorate would have as President.

When considering China, it is of paramount importance to analyse what kind of person the Party would have as President.

When considering Russia, it is of paramount importance to analyse what kind of person is President.

Nially_Bob's avatar

It’s a difficult notion to quantify, but i’m inclined to say Putin which is odd given that from a solely political standpoint he’s at a considerable disadvantage compared to the status of the other men in their respective societies, as he is the Prime-Minister of his respective society (with the current President being Dmitry Medvedev) while the others are Presidents.
A significant factor to consider is the influence of global diplomacy, as the leaders of the US and China are more prone to tread carefully in their endeavours due to frequently being “on the radar” of western society, while Russia is comparatively left to its own devices.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I think the answer is Putin. In truth I designed the question around him. Basically, he’s Caesar.

anartist's avatar

@The_Idler very good summation!
When considering the USA, it is of paramount importance to analyse what kind of person the electorate would have as President.
When considering China, it is of paramount importance to analyse what kind of person the Party would have as President.
When considering Russia, it is of paramount importance to analyse what kind of person is President.

The_Idler's avatar

And what’s the most important fact about the Russian President? He owes his career to Putin…

Kraigmo's avatar

Because you included “secretly” along with “openly”, each man you mentioned, according to the most rightwing elements of each man’s lawyers and military advisors and courts… may do anything they want, up to and including mass slaughter.

mattbrowne's avatar

Looking at most of the answers above, I think many people don’t seem to realize that Russia is significantly closer to something that resembles democracy than China. Of course a dictator like Hu Jintao, arresting or killing political dissidents, has more power than Putin, while Putin still has more power than Obama. Checks and balances as well as freedom are hallmarks of modern democracies. I think we should all be proud of the fact that people like Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron and Merkel do have to share their power with independent parliaments, courts and media.

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