Barack Obama has been selected as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

Runners up were Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Gov. Sarah Palin and Chinese director Zhang Yimou.

Should there be other runners up? Was Obama the best person for the selection? Why is he the Man of the Year?

[Editor’s note:  correction from man to person.  Thanks TPWB]

22 Thoughts to “Barack Obama is Time Person of the Year”

  1. SecondAlamo

    Exactly, Why?


    I don’t think anyone else even comes close. To have Sarah Palin in the same breath as Barack Obama in the competition for person of the year is, as Jennifer Aniston might put it, “uncool”.

    I think he inspired a nation this year…obviously many conservatives will not agree that he has inspired them, but many reasonable Repubs were inspired by him. My father is a life long Repub, has voted for very, very few, if any, Democrats before. Evne he voted for Obama and he donated to his campaign early, before most people knew he would even pose a serious challenge to Hillary. I think they got it right.

  3. Turn PW Blue

    A small correction… In 1999, Time changed the title to “Person of the Year.” Barrack Obama is, thus, Person of the Year, not Man of the Year. *G*

    SA, keep in mind that the Person of the Year is meant to acknowledge the person (or persons) who most dominated the news. The criteria at Time is to select the person who “for better or for worse, …has done the most to influence the events of the year.”

    While most apply a certain honor to being named, that is not Time’s intent. Rather they are looking to recognize the person who shaped the headlines. To that end, Adolf Hitler (1938), Josef Stalin (1942), Ayatollah Khomeini (1979), and Vladimir Putin (2007) have all been selected as Man/Person of the Year. In 2003 and again in 2004, Saddam Hussein was in the running (in 2003 Time named the American Soldier Person of the Year and in 2004, George W. Bush).

    So, with that in mind, regardless of your opinion of Obama, how can you question whether he did the most in 2008 to “influence the events of the year”?

  4. Moon-howler

    Turn, duly noted and corrected. Thanks. I was hoping that had happened.

    Definitely it this title has been a dubious distinction some years.

  5. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Dislike his politics, arrogance, and ignorance as I do…there can be little doubt that this was Obama’s year. Devil his due, and I wouldn’t take it away from him……but now he’s got to deliver the goods, and even one year of “it’s Bush’s fault” is not an excuse. For the country’s sake, I wish the man luck, and hope he’s as good as everyone who voted for him, yet have no idea who controls Congress, hopes he is.

  6. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Forgive my agreement mistakes….I’m just not that into correcting it right now.

  7. Mando

    Interesting choice of cover art. Says Che and Mao at the same time.

  8. Alanna

    I didn’t vote for him but you have to give the man credit for his accomplishments. Honestly who thought anybody but Hillary Clinton would have been the Democratic Presidential Candidate. It’s truly an historic moment and he deserves recognition. I don’t have any problem with him being named Time’s ‘Person of the Year’.

  9. Moon-howler

    Alanna, have your children forgiven you yet?

    I have been impressed with his cabinet appointments.

  10. NotGregLetiecq

    I don’t mind seeing Palin on the list if the only criteria is you dominated headlines (thanks for the explanation TurnPWC Blue). But in that case of what significance is this? Palin didn’t impact anything so much as she symbolised the absolute lowest bottomming out of the Republican party.

  11. Moon-howler

    And that nadir, NGL, is extremely significant. I honestly thought the past couple of years that if the Democrats couldn’t win an election after all this, there was no hope.

  12. michael

    I’m happy to see him “person” of the year. I voted for him and I too am Republican and usually left of hard core conservatives.

  13. NotGregLetiecq

    There are really two nadirs, M-H. One is incompetence, and the Person of the Century for incompetence is George W. Bush.

    The other nadir is the Freedom Fry Voter political strategy, which goes hand in hand with incompetence. That’s how you win elections in spite of incompetence. You use propaganda to manufacture hate and fear and convince enough people to vote against their own interest. In this category, the person of the year is Sarah Palin.

    Both are nadirs. Bush is more deadly and more damaging. Palin is more pathetic. Take your pick.

  14. Moon-howler

    That freedom fry voter has been around for at least 25 years. I hate it.

  15. NotGregLetiecq

    I can guess what it was they were getting people hysterical and hateful about 25 years ago, but was the bigotry disguised any better? For me, that’s why those Palin rallies were a new low. Poorly disguised bigotry-harvesting.

    So in 2008 we had the worst disguised Freedom Fry bigotry-harvesting and the least competant government in U.S. history simultaneously defining the Republican brand for millions of new voters.

    It may sound like I’m laughing, but after the governmental disasters I’ve seen with Corey Stewart and John Stirrup mastering the two trademark techniques in Prince William County, I don’t think it’s funny at all.

  16. Obama’s election is a milestone is racial equity. But he is going to accelerate the financial collapse. Like FDR before him, he will take a temporary 2-year recession and turn it into a decade long depression. It’s best to look for ways to drop off the grid so he can’t get his hands on your money to finance his socialist feel good policies designed to guarantee his reelection in 4 years.

    The war with Islam with grind on. He is not a champion. He’s a charlatan, delivering only the illusion of change. His vote to fund the war in Iraq is all the proof you need of his commitment to leave. He’s in bed with the Israelis and Saudi royal family just like all the other presidential candidates except for 2. Al Queda is heartened by his election just as they would have been for McCain. Because they both support the policies that add to Al Queda’s recruitment.

  17. michael

    I really agree with you NGL about George W. I just saw Farenheith 9/11 and it confirmed what I had already been seeing as a Republican, and why I had decided to vote for Democratic candidates in the last 3 elections (I last voted Republican for George Bush Senior and Ronald Reagen), but Clinton got my vote one time.

    Did anyone else see it? If not you must.

    I don’t think we have ever had a more ignorant, arrogant, and deceitful president, and I’ll be so happy to see him historically humiliated by truth-telling historians once he leaves office. I don’t think any other President in history has lied so much and to such an arrogant, pompus degree as George W. Junior has. I half expect to see him indicted by an international court after he leaves office for crimes against humanity.

    I feel so sorry for the current soldiers over there, and I was once a soldier, so I understand their current widespread anger for Busch taking them into an unethical war, and allowing them to behave so un-ethically to civilians. We would NEVER allow our people to be treated without due process, the way George W. has allowed our soldiers to treat civilian people over there as they enter homes and residences. What he has allowed is in-excusible for a leader of a democracy who prides itself in following law and due process like the US people believe we do and insist that we do.

    I am so looking forward to Obama cleaning the “corrupt” out of the White House.

  18. michael

    Its interesting to me that L.B. Johnson actually started a war to gain in popularity and win an election, and that Nixon committed aggregious crime to the degree that all of the cabinet was involved as “deep-throat” exposed. He must have feared for his life, with such criminals we put into office as a decieved public.

  19. michael

    Obama will be an “ethical” president. You see it in his bio and in the way he was raised. Contrast that sharply with the way young Bush Jr. was raised and the way he behaved.

  20. Moon-howler

    Michael, don’t you think Bush has gotten less unethical since Rove and crew have left?

    I have never felt Bush was insincere.

  21. Obama has already grossly deceived the American public about the way their own government works. That’s not the definition of an ‘ethical’ president.

    In a debate with Hillary, the fact that he voted to fund the war in Iraq came up. Obama said there’s a difference between someone who votes to drive the bus into the ditch and someone who votes to drive it out. This is a bald faced lie. There is no difference. Congress is specifically given the power of the purse as a huge check on the power of the presidency. The president can only propose to fight a war. Congress MUST fund it.

    We ended the Vietnam war when Congress stopped funding it. They even went so far as to stop giving aid to the South Vietnamese. Voting against funding is the strongest tool Congress possesses to end the war.

    But Obama didn’t even flinch when he told the American people that by voting to fund the war, he was actually voting to end it! It was absolutely Orwellian. War is peace. Slavery is freedom. Funding the war is ending it.

  22. Elena

    I agree with our statement regarding Bush and Rove.

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