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President Barack Obama has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for the second time.
“He’s basically the beneficiary and the author of a kind of a New America, a new demographic, a new cultural America that he is now the symbol of,” Time managing editor Rick Stengel told The Today Show this morning.
This comes just over a month after Obama won his second term, making him the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win two straight elections with at least 50 percent of the popular vote.
Stengel noted that Obama won over people who “actually don’t care about politics,” adding, “Using the coalition of the ascendant young voters, millennials, Hispanics minorities, he’s creating a new alignment, a kind of realignment like Ronald Reagan did 40 years ago.”
In his essay explaining the choice, Michael Scherer wrote that after his election, “The Obama effect was not ephemeral anymore, no longer reducible to what had once been mocked as ‘that hopey-changey stuff.’”
Scherer explained the Obama effect, writing, “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’s runner-up is Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who fought for education and was targeted by the Taliban for her words. The other runner-ups include Apple’s Tim Cook, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and scientist Fabiola Gianotti.
Obama was named Time’s Person of the Year in 2008, shortly after his first election. Last year, the magazine named The Protester as the Person of the Year.