Time should make a new policy that the president of the United States has to do something truly extraordinary to be named Person of the Year. As it is, every U.S. president with the exception of Hoover since Time began this award has won it exactly as many times as they have been elected:
FDR - 3 Truman - 2 Eisenhower - 2 (one was as a general, rather than president) Kennedy - 1 Johnson - 2 Nixon - 2 Ford - 0 Carter - 1 Reagan - 2 Bush - 1 Clinton - 2 Bush - 2 Obama - 2
Actually, two other exceptions are Johnson and Truman, who were elected once each but served most of a second term when their predecessors died. And of course FDR was actually elected a fourth time but served only like a month of that term.
Some would argue healthcare reform is extraordinary, or do you mean within the calendar year? Being the first African-American President to win re-election would probably qualify, no matter how you view the man.
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Originally posted by Mike ZeidlerSome would argue healthcare reform is extraordinary, or do you mean within the calendar year? Being the first African-American President to win re-election would probably qualify, no matter how you view the man.
Well this is person of the year, not person of the past four years. Obama is now person of the year twice and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and he has essentially gotten it all for being elected president, in my opinion. It's not that he had not done some major things and overseen some sizable changes in the country, but every president with perhaps very few exceptions could say the same thing. If the logic is that being U.S. president is inherently the most newsworthy position on the planet, then the president should win every year. If you don't believe that, then what has Obama done this year specifically that makes it a noteworthy year for a U.S. presidency? Off the top of my head, some other good candidates would have been the ruling generals in Myanmar and/or Aung San Suu Kyi, Hu Jintao or someone else associated with China's transition of power, Tim Cook ... Doubtless there are others I'm overlooking.
Oh, there is someone you are overlooking, big time. Mr. Damien Sandow.
*slinking back to the pro wrestling section now*
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Uh, aren't we all overthinking this a bit? As has been pointed out, winning a presidential election has amounted to an auto-win as Time POTY. The last president who didn't win the award in his re-election year was Clinton in 1996, who then got it two years later (shared with Kenneth Starr, which seems really amusing in hindsight).
Also, remember, this isn't exactly a major award. As has been pointed out, "we" all won it in 2006. One of the people on Time's shortlist for 2012 was Psy, for pete's sake. I somehow doubt Obama's kicking back going, "Re-election was sweet, but Time's POTY? Yeah, I've got it made now."
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Originally posted by Big BadUh, aren't we all overthinking this a bit? As has been pointed out, winning a presidential election has amounted to an auto-win as Time POTY. The last president who didn't win the award in his re-election year was Clinton
So a streak of ... one in a row makes it automatic? Reagan didn't win in his re-election year either.
I agree that it's not a major "award," if that's even the right word for it. And one of the reasons it's not a major deal is because Time doesn't seem to put a whole lot of thought into who it selects. Seems like it's more about who is most likely to sell magazines by being on the cover than about who shaped world events that year (groundbreaking revelation, I know).
But the reform we need won't happen as long as the thought process is that the election process should be made easier. That is good in theory, but the problem is that it also makes the kind of fraud that we are seeing easier.