US President Barack Obama has been named the ‘2012 Person of the Year’ by Time magazine, which said the re-elected commander-in-chief is the “symbol” and “architect” of a culturally and demographically changing America.
This is the second time the magazine has bestowed the honor on the president. Four years ago, as president-elect after his victory over John McCain in 2008, he was also given the honor.
There are many reasons Obama won again, “but the biggest by far are the nation’s changing demographics and Obama’s unique ability to capitalize on them. When his name is on the ballot, the next America — a younger, more diverse America — turns out at the polls,” Time contributor Michael Scherer said in an article accompanying the selection.
Time also cited Obama’s ability to clearly win a second term in the November 6 election despite high unemployment and other challenges. The U.S. jobless rate peaked at 10 percent in 2009 amid the recession but has been falling. In November, it dipped to 7.7 percent as more people dropped out of the labor force.
“He won re-election despite a higher unemployment rate than anybody’s had to face in basically in 70 years,” Stengel said on NBC’s “Today” show.
Among others shortlisted was Malala, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi and Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The magazine named Yousafzai 2012’s runner-up.
Fabiola Gianotti, a head scientist at CERN was also shortlisted for the annual recognition by Time that called the Higgs Boson experiment as one of “science’s greatest achievements”. Time said Obama has a slew of “overwhelming challenges” waiting for him as he enters his second term at the White House.
Time’s award is a media honor that carries no medal or money, and nearly every U.S. president has been selected since its inception in 1927. Obama has won other recognitions, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.