Bush is out: Time magazine

NEW YORK (AFP) – US President George W. Bush has been dropped from Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people for the first time, in a further sign of his flagging political fortunes.

While  Osama bin Laden, Pope Benedict XVI and even Borat creator  Sacha Baron Cohen managed to find a spot on the fourth annual list due to hit newsstands Friday, the magazine decided that Bush just didn’t make the grade any more.

“I think Bush by this point in his presidency probably has less influence than the position should grant him automatically,” Time’s Deputy Managing Editor Adi Ignatius told AFP, explaining the decision to ditch Bush.

“He’s a lame duck … but his influence is below that of a normal lame duck figure. We just thought Bush was at a low ebb in terms of his influence.”

However, plenty of other politicians, notably Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, managed to squeeze into a packed and varied field of entertainers, philanthropists, sportsmen and entrepreneurs.

Time Magazine for this year's list of the world's 100 most influential people. The fourth annual list, omits US President George W. Bush for the first time but includes Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. (AFP/TIME-HO)

The list, which is designed to recognize “the men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming our world,” does not appear in any order or give the magazine’s reasons why some people were chosen over others.

The “leaders and revolutionaries” category features Queen Elizabeth II, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni — in an entry penned by US counterpart Condoleezza Rice — and Rice herself, appearing for a fourth year running.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a showing next to Raul Castro, the younger brother of Cuban leader        Fidel Castro, Indian Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Other politicians in the mix include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Liu Qi, head of the 2008 Beijing Olympics committee.

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."