TIME magazine names Obama its 'Person of the Year'

Published: Dec 19, 2012, 22:43 IST | Agencies |

Obama beats Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi for the honour.

TIME magazine has named President Barack Obama as its Person of the Year citing his historic re-election "turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union".

Obama who won the same honour in 2008 edged out Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and scientist Fabiola Gianotti.

Previous winners include The Protester, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Coming closely behind Obama was young Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, who is recuperating in a British hospital after being shot by the Taliban in October in Pakistan for speaking out about girls' right to education.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was also among those shortlisted by the publication for its annual honour while Egypt's first democratically elected President Mohammad Mursi also found a place among the runners up.  

Barack Obama
Barack Obama.

"He's basically the beneficiary and the author of a kind new America - a new demographic, a new cultural America that he is now the symbol of," TIME editor Rick Stengel said announcing the magazine's choice on NBC.

"He won re-election despite a higher unemployment rate than anybody had to face in basically in 70 years. He's the first Democrat to actually win two consecutive terms with over 50 percent of the vote," he noted.

"That's something we haven't seen since Franklin Delano Roosevelt," Stengel said, referring to the president who served during the Great Depression and World War II.

His re-election meant "the Obama effect was not ephemeral anymore, no longer reducible to what had once been mocked as 'that hopey-changey stuff,'" the magazine noted in a piece outlining its choice.

"It could be measured - in wars stopped and started; industries saved, restructured or reregulated; tax cuts extended; debt levels inflated; terrorists killed; the health-insurance system reimagined; and gay service members who could walk in uniform with their partners.

"It could be seen in the new faces who waited hours to vote and in the new ways campaigns are run. America debated and decided this year: history would not record Obama's presidency as a fluke," Time wrote.

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