‘Time’ Magazine Names President Barack Obama The ‘Person Of The Year’ For 2012


President Barack Obama, our nation’s sitting president who handily won reelection for another 4 year term just last month, has been selected by Time magazine as this year’s Person of the Year. With a host of other candidates eligible for the honor, many people assumed that selecting Obama was a no-brainer … I am among those people. Click below to see President Obama’s stark Time magazine coverphoto and read some excerpts from the Time Person of the Year coverstory feature.

In a choice likely to surprise few, Time magazine has named the newly re-elected President Obama as its Person of the Year for building through his winning coalition a presidency that “spells the end of the Reagan realignment that had defined American politics for 30 years.” “We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Obama is both the symbol and in some ways the architect of this new America,” wrote Time’s editor, Rick Stengel, in the new issue. He concluded: “For finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union, Barack Obama is Time’s 2012 Person of the Year.” Mr. Stengel noted also that Mr. Obama was the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win more than 50 percent of the vote in consecutive elections and the first president of either party since 1940 to win re-election with an unemployment rate above 7.5 percent. “He has stitched together a winning coalition and perhaps a governing one as well,” Mr. Stengel wrote. But that theory is being tested even now, a month before Mr. Obama is to be sworn in for his second terms, on issues of the budget and gun control … The cover photo portrait shows a pensive president in a sidelong view, the shot taken so close that every hard-earned crease in his face is clear and the gray hairs accentuated after four eventful, often stressful years in what has been called the hardest job on the planet. In an interview, Mr. Obama told Time that, “2012 may have been more satisfying a win than 2008.” “I think it was easy to think that maybe 2008 was the anomaly, and I think 2012 was an indication that, no, this is not an anomaly. We’ve gone through a very difficult time. The American people have rightly been frustrated at the pace of change, and the economy is still struggling, and this president we elected is imperfect, and yet, despite all that, this is who we want to be. That’s a good thing.” Mr. Obama said his winning coalition reflected “the much-noted demographic shift in this society,” and that one of his points of pride of the first term is, “I think I’ve helped to solidify this incredibly rapid transformation in people’s attitudes around L.G.B.T. issues — how we think about gays and lesbians and transgender persons” … “What I’d want people to say is that having come in at a time when our economy was on the brink of collapse, when we had gone through a decade in which middle-class families were doing worse and worse, and the ladders of opportunity into the middle class for people who were willing to work hard had begun to deteriorate; at a time when, internationally, we were embroiled in two wars but our leadership around the world was being questioned, that we had steered this ship of state so that we once again had an economy that worked for everybody; that we had laid the foundation for broad-based prosperity; and that internationally we had created the framework for continued American leadership in the world throughout the 21st century.” When asked why he keeps a diary, Mr. Obama turned to the example of Abraham Lincoln, another writer-president. He said that in his own life, like Mr. Lincoln’s apparently, “writing has been an important exercise to clarify what I believe, what I see, what I care about, what my deepest values are.”

IMHO, President Obama has already done so much for this country in just the first 4 years of his presidency that for me, it was an easy honor to cast my vote for him for reelection. I am truly heartened to see that so many other Americans agree with me. Time magazine generally, not always, gets their Person of the Year selection right … and this year is no exception. Obama still has a lot of work ahead of him … tough, hard work … but he has proven that he can get things done and he is the right person to lead our country forward.

That being said, President Obama isn’t indestructible … as this just-released White House photo shows:

Obama can tackle military tasks, economic tasks and social tasks … but it would appear that he cannot tackle Spider-Man. I mean, for this photo alone, President Obama should be named Person of any Year :) Congratulations on the honor, Mr. President. And Spidey, take it easy on our Commander in Chief ;)

[Source, Source]

  • Hannah

    I don’t know. I was glad he won the election, but only because he was better than the alternative (and that wasn’t hard to be). I think general feelings for the administration are down and celebrating any politician right now as we head towards the end of the year and still no budget sorted is not appropriate.

    • @Hannah — I disagree. Almost half of this country honestly believed that Obama was going to lose reelection. It’s only now, after Obama won, that they realize how horribly wrong they were all along. I’m not sure about “general feelings” about the administration but this is less about celebrating “any politician” and more about acknowledging the importance of what I honestly believe history will see as one of our greatest presidents. There’s not budget sorted because the president is battling a defiant and bitter Republican party, just like he has for the last 4 years. I’d say that “general feelings” for Obama’s opponents are way down … which has been crystal clear since they lost the election last month.

    • Krissy

      ” I think general feelings for the administration are down”

      He has a 57% approval rating right now.

    • Hannah

      According to gallup he is at a 52, and it has only been that high in the last few months around the election, because lets face it he was a better choice than crazy. Most of the year he was under 50.

      I guess I am just bitter and jaded about politicans right now, the president included and wish that we celebrated the people who do so much for science or civil rights or peace and often go unnoticed.

    • @Hannah — “wish that we celebrated the people who do so much for science or civil rights or peace”

      You mean like Charles Lindbergh (1927), Mahatma Gandhi (1930), Wallis Simpson (1936), American Scientists (1960), Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963), The Apollo 8 astronauts (1968), American women (1975), The Endangered Earth (1988) and The Good Samaritans (2005)? It is such a shame that scientists, civil right’s activists and peace activists are never named as Time’s Person of the Year. My point here is that in a long history of a wide variety of honorees, truly remarkable politicians — like Barack Obama (who has now been named the Person of the Year twice — in 2008 and 2012) — also nab the honor … and that says a lot about how remarkable they truly are, I think.


    • AwesomeMargie

      I’m with you, Trent. It’s like the meme “Thanks, Obama” when anything goes wrong. This man has done A LOT and how easily people forget.

    • Hannah

      But if you read that list George W. Bush was also named twice. What does that say about how they pick their people. In fact looking through that list they pick the person who was just elected which means the president needs to do absolutely nothing to get named.

    • @Hannah — Hahaha, ok. Your opinion that you do not agree with Obama’s selection is noted.

    • Karen

      @Hannah My first thought when I saw the announcement was “how uncreative!” Picking the president of the US just seems too easy. I mean, *of course* the person in that position will have been important and influential. Finding out that W was also named when he was president just underlines that for me. I’m not invested in who Time picks, I just think it could have been more creative. :)

    • Krissy

      I heard (but haven’t confirmed) that GWB was the first President that was re-elected to be named Person of the Year twice. So if Obama is only the 2nd to do so, it isn’t really THAT much of a given.

  • Jennifer Wilson

    i am happy to see him win ‘person of the year’. i am so proud of the work that he has done…that hard, hard work.

    i love having a president who reflects my values and who i can see is a real, thinking, feeling person. i love him and his family and plan to spend the next four years supporting and helping him as i can.

    the photo of him with the tiny spiderman made. my. day!!!

    • @Jennifer Wilson — “i love having a president who reflects my values and who i can see is a real, thinking, feeling person”

      my thoughts exactly!

  • Joanna

    At first I had reservations about Obama being named “Person of the Year” since there really wasn’t that “one major achievement” he had in the last four years other than break the racial barrier (which is HUGE btw), but after hearing his press conference a few minutes ago I have changed my tune a bit. He is the first president in recent memory to not just talk about gun violence in the wake of a horrific school shooting, but to actually do something about it.

    Trent,I agree with what you said a few days ago that the second amendment is horribly outdated. This country is no longer teetering on the brink of being controlled by another nation. IMO I think the second amendment should be repealed and a new amendment put in its place clearly stating if and how a person can own a gun.

    • @Joanna — “there really wasn’t that “one major achievement” he had in the last four years other than break the racial barrier”

      Um, what? His administration brought Bin Laden to final justice. He repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ allowing gay service people to serve openly in the US military. Oh and there’s that little thing about sweeping health care for all US citizens. I can’t even list all of the major achievement’s that President Obama enjoyed in the last 4 years … I’m just amazed that some people think his only achievement is being African American. Just, floored!

    • swile71

      So true Trent. He has achieved SO MUCH. It really surprises me that so many people don’t realize that. I appreciate you listing a few of his MANY achievements. I admire him so much, not only as a great President but as a great human being.

  • Gillian

    As a Canadian, I was THRILLED to hear that Obama was re-elected.

    I can’t even explain how reassuring it is to know that our neighbours are led by a man who is calm, rational, intelligent, and generally appears to WANT to solve problems instead of create them. Just imagine what would be possible if the Republicans would actually TRY to work with Obama instead of arguing, lying, and trying under mind everything he does. Like him or not, he IS the President, and will be for the next 4 years :)

  • Meghan

    I am unbelievably proud that this man is our President. I have been a huge supporter of President Obama from the very beginning and I have never doubted him. I truly believe he is building a “new” America. An America that is more tolerant, rational and thoughtful. Above all, he is a good man and a great leader.

    Did you just see his press conference on gun violence? This is why I love this President! So glad that we have him for four more years.

  • AwesomeMargie

    His press conference after the CT shooting was so heartbreaking because he somehow balanced his title as Father and President so well. He understood me, as a first time parent, how much it would hurt me to lose my son but also spoke to me as a President, reassuring me that something, anything, must and will get done to prevent this from happening again.

  • Bernard

    Awarding a person who has achieved absolutely nothing in four years marks a shameful day for Time. It is almost as embarrassing as the Noble prize he got a few years back, a new low in sycophancy.

    • @Bernard — “Awarding a person who has achieved absolutely nothing in four years marks a shameful day for Time”

      I mean, I can’t even with a comment like this.

    • Tina

      Well, you could tell Bernard that it is actually the Nobel Prize, and that the nominees are not publicly named, nor are they told that they are being considered for the prize, which means it can’t be used as an example of sycophancy by President Obama.