NBC's 'Today' Finds It 'Surprising' Obama Not On List of Greatest Leaders
Published: 3/20/2014 10:41 AM ET
By Kyle Drennen
a News Analyst
On Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted an exclusive preview of Fortune magazine's list of the world's 50 greatest leaders and wondered about one name that was absent from the ranking: "Bill Clinton comes in at number five and makes the cover. There are a lot of other notable names here. Tell you what, though, there may be some talk about one leader who did not make the list, the leader of the free world, President Obama. Fortune tells us he was not overlooked, he just did not make the cut." [Listen to the audio]
Co-host Matt Lauer reacted: "Yeah, that's surprising." He then noted leaders who "did make the cut": "Pope Francis takes the top spot. Congratulations to him....Some other folks you may recognize, Bono, Derek Jeter – yes! – Angelina Jolie, and Malala Yousafzai."
Wrapping up the segment, Lauer reassured viewers: "But the President is not sulking at home. On Wednesday, what did he do? He went out and taped an appearance on Ellen." Host Ellen DeGeneres proceeded to suck up to Obama by claiming people were "very grateful" for ObamaCare.
In a statement to NBC News, Fortune explained:
President Obama wasn't excluded from Fortune's World's 50 Greatest Leaders list. He simply didn't make this year's list of 50 outstanding individuals who have demonstrated rare leadership, leadership in multiple areas or who have demonstrated a long history of leading.
Besides Bill Clinton getting the number five spot, the only other American political leaders on the list were former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. No Republicans made the list.
In an interview with Fortune, Clinton was asked: "Who are the great leaders in your mind?" Obama didn't make his list either.