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 ;)