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Hillary Clinton missed off Time's 'most influential' list

Women may hold more sway than eve before, but the world's most powerful female, Hillary Clinton,is not in the same league as Kathryn Bigelow or Lady Gaga.

That, at least, is the stern verdict of Time magazine, which failed to find space for the US Secretary of State among the record 31 members of the fairer sex who feature in its prestigious annual list of the 100 people "whose ideas, innovations and actions are most shaping the world".

Mrs Clinton's name was notably absent from the roll-call of 25 "leaders" included in the 100-strong list when it was unveiled, with some fanfare, yesterday afternoon. But space was found for Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, and even Hillary's husband, Bill.

The decision was somewhat perplexing, since she has previously featured on the list five times, and by her own lofty standards is enjoying one of the most successful and high-profile periods of her political career. Already this year, she has made 11 foreign trips, and was an architect of the "Start" nuclear reduction treaty signed by the US and Russia this month.

Mrs Clinton's only appearance in the special edition of the magazine comes courtesy of a paean to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives. praising her "deep personal faith", her "fierce loyalty to friends and principles" and her standing as a "role model for women and girls",

The Time 100, which has been released each April since 1999, is largely chosen by a panel of the magazine's editorial staff, although some honorees are selected through an online ballot of readers.

This year, that ballot picked the Iranian opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who received more than 800,000 votes.

Predictable selections in the top 100 included Oprah Winfrey, who made it for a record seventh year in a row; Steve Jobs, and the Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva. US President Barack Obama made his fifth appearance.

The list's more eclectic members are a perennial talking-point for America's chattering class. This year, they include the South Korean skating champion Kim Yu-na, and several prominent Conservatives, including Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Jenny Beth Martin, one of the architects of the Tea Party movement.

Attention will no doubt also focus on some of the tributes to honorees, traditionally penned by their peers. Olivia Newton-John was chosen to pay tribute to Lea Michele, one of the female leads from Glee, while Cindy Lauper sings the praises of Lady Gaga.

"When I see somebody like Gaga, I sit back in admiration. I'm inspired to pick up the torch again myself," she said. "Being around her, I felt like the dust was shaken off of me. I find it very comforting to sit next to somebody and not have to worry that I look like the freak."

British members of the Time 100 include Simon Cowell, the graffiti artist Banksy, and Twilight actor Robert Pattinson. Gordon Brown has previously been included on the list but failed to make the cut this year – along with all other British politicians.