Who Should Be <em>Time Magazine</em>‘s Person of the Year?

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Tomorrow I am taping a show at CNN‘s studios in New York on the process by which big decisions about stand-out “personalities” — heroes and villains — are made.
This show will be a special segment on Time‘s “person of the year” decision-making process.
One of CNN’s interests is what the blogosphere thinks about a person of the year?
Who would your choice be?
John Murtha? John Bolton? Nancy Pelosi? Lincoln Chafee? Hillary Clinton? Dick Cheney?
Harry Reid? John McCain?
Al Gore??
Bill Gates? Jeff Sachs? George Soros? Bono? Kofi Annan?
Nasrallah? Al-Sadr? bin Laden? Shinzo Abe?
It’s tougher than you might think. I’m going to stew on it tonight.
But I’m very interested in your ideas. Posting here on the blog is best, but feel free to email me as well at steve@thewashingtonnote.com.
I need all entries in by 10:00 a.m. Friday morning (tomorrow).
— Steve Clemons
On other fronts: I had this op-ed today in The Australian on the “Return of the Realists.”
I also had a terrific time with Jerry Springer on his show today; he’s very thoughful and extremely well informed. It was one of the best discussions about foreign policy and Rumsfeld that I have had.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

124 comments on “Who Should Be <em>Time Magazine</em>‘s Person of the Year?

  1. Nicholas Weaver says:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/56424
    —Than Shwe, the brutal dictator of the southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, dramatically increased his already horrific rate of murdering citizens this week in a late, desperate attempt to become Time magazine’s 2006 Man Of The Year, who will be honored in the Dec. 25 issue…

    Reply

  2. buck says:

    Well, if Time could make W the Person of the Year TWICE, they sure can give the honor to the American soldier AGAIN……those men and women have put up with an awful lot, and they can’t be thanked enough for serving their country, even though their C-in-C is a moron.

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  3. p.lukasiak says:

    I think its funny that so many people think that the 50 state strategy was ever that controversial. What was controversial was the specifics of its implementation. The money poured into some southern states didn’t result in much, if anything.
    In fact, Dean’s 50 State Strategy was highly controversial within the lord-high-mucky-mucks of the party, who tend to think like Rahm Emanual — the best way to spend money is to target specific races. Well, Rahm’s strategy was a massive failure — and it was Dean’s 50 State Strategy that made the victory of grassroots House candidates possible—and perhaps even more critically, lead to the takeover of a whole slew of governorships and state legislatures.

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  4. Qalice says:

    Man of the Year: The American Voter

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  5. Dr. Z says:

    Going with the “it does not have to be a person who has done positive things” angle – Rush Limbaugh.
    He revealed the dark pysche that resides within a significant number anti-progressive voters and quite possibly the GOP leadership. You can say the same for Coulter – but timing is everything. Rush put out on display that viscerally nasty and dispicable mentality for all to see at a very critical moment.
    The fact that none of the senior members (at least not to my knowledge) from the White House stepped in to chastise Limbaugh made them seem okay with Limbaugh’s nastiness. Rush set up Laura Bush for the final spike – intimating that Micheal J. Fox was being “manipulative.” The whole episode revealed to many the “true colors” of the GOP leadership.
    I have to hope this may have swayed some independent voters who did not want to be associated with this. Maybe even a few registered republicans as well.

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  6. enough says:

    Remember it does not have to be a person who has done positive things (e.g., Hitler was once the Time Man of the Year). I nominate George Allen. Macca man. Poster boy of the great Republican slide.

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  7. Nobody says:

    I know we’re all political buffs here, but I think Warren Buffett should be the person of year based on his commitment to donate the vast majority of his fortune to the Gates foundation.

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  8. carsick says:

    Oh, and as far as TIME’s Man of the Year, I dropped my subscription a few years ago and see them as passd their prime for me. I used to read SPIN magazine too. Life’s too short these days to worry about what they deem important.

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  9. carsick says:

    I know Jerry Springer as my former mayor and through local ties. I’ve never seen his show though I have seen clips in the news over the years.
    I’m always surprised by the dichotomy. He’s extremely bright, informed and, perhaps more importantly in some ways, very engaging one on one.

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  10. TeddySanFran says:

    Macaca

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  11. MollyR says:

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who alerted the nation to the fraud of voting machines in Rolling Stone Magazine and made all voters alert to the theft of our democracy and of the machine malfunctions so they could report them and have the machine impounded and/or put out of service.

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  12. steve b says:

    TIME to venture outside of the United States. Since two thirds of Americans live in other parts of the our hemisphere and most of them speak Spanish — let’s consider the pre-eminent, world-class Bush basher, who also happens to be the most innovative world leader when it comes to serving the poor and disenfranchised — Hugo Chavez

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  13. Alice B says:

    John Murtha…..Hands down. Never flinched. Always spoke with passion and dignity. Handled the attempts to swift boat him with courage and class. Always said the right thing. He was the adult in a world of brats. He gave the politicians the cover to oppose this war. He enabled the win for the Dems.

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  14. Hedley Lamarr says:

    The student who filmed the “Macaca” incident. He gave the Senate back to the country.

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  15. Paul says:

    Greg Palast—
    The patient, investigative reporter with a strong background in economics who uncovered the Bush 2000 election fraud in Florida—the felon list that disenfranchised thousands of legitimate voters; other illegal activities of Secretary of State, Kathleen Harris. He had to report this from England’s Guardian and Observer newspapers and from BBC Television because U.S. media wouldn’t touch it. He also dug up the details of corporate corruption in America, the looting of poor South American countries by the IMF and World Bank, the questionable buisness ventures of Pat Robertson, the true role of oil behind the Iraq war, the antidemocratic purpose of No Child Left Behind, and much more. His findings, so important in today’s repudiatin of the Republican Neocons, often did not appear in American media for a year or more after they were reported in England. There is no single person who has played a greater role than Greg Palast in bringing to light the war against the middle class.

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  16. MNPundit says:

    Go with Generalissimo Kos.
    Or perhaps “The Voter.”

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  17. Bill Lenner says:

    I agree, Kirk.
    I’m switching and joining with you over “The blogger”
    I hope someone thought of that during the meeting in the morning.
    Not just the American blogger, because we’d want to include Riverbend, Salem Pax, Raed and Khalid Jarrar and the whole Iraqi blogger group and probably thousands others I don’t know about too.

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  18. Bill MIller says:

    Howard Dean or Al Gore

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  19. brooksfoe says:

    If you have to choose between Stewart and Colbert, it’s Colbert. Stewart’s comedy itself is fairly traditional. Colbert is really pushing the limits of an art that, more than any other entertainment genre, is relentlessly impelled forward by its avant-garde. It’s way beyond TIME Man of the Year level; there’s a good argument to be made for Colbert as Hegelian world-spirit on horseback.
    That said, the show is going to have to change a lot over the next year; it’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with.

    Reply

  20. RJJ says:

    Why not nominate a class: the uppity, peremptory Blogistani [net]citizenry who fact checked, pooper scooped, and contra-pundited the CorpsMedia shills, formerly known as the Fourth Estate.
    Who also plugged the memory hole.
    And raised money, stinks, general hell.

    Reply

  21. Linda says:

    One of the most interesting things is that I agree about Howard Dean, though probably not likely for Time person of the year. I think he should be back in consideration as a Presidential candidate in 2008, and I haven’t heard that said much. It’s easy to forget that he was the front runner early in 2004, was always against Iraq war (and happened to be correct on that), had a campaign that used the internet and inspired young people, and his worst sin was being happy and yelling with enthusiasm. He was a very centrist governor in VT.
    He took a thankless job, worked hard for the party, developed and implemented the 50 state strategy. His news conference after the victory was all about praising the efforts of others. He can build a team, and knows how to lead. If not Person of the Year or President, he’d make a great Secretary of Health and Human Services.
    Linda

    Reply

  22. Milton says:

    SAM HARRIS: the essential voice for reason against unsubstantiated faith
    MICHAEL J. FOX: whose stance helped tip the election
    STEWART/COLBERT: the Mark Twains of the digital age – rivers of information more difficult to navigate, and at a furious pace, they provide essential feedback/course-correction

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  23. Robert Morrow says:

    I would like to nominate Jeffrey Sachs for God Complex of the Year.

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  24. darker says:

    I nominate the U.S. VOTER
    for person of the year.
    Voters have transformed the nation.

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  25. Kirk says:

    “The Blogger.”
    I’m convinced that’s what it has to be. They don’t have to tilt it left or right, but “the blogger” has had more impact — socially, culturally, politically — than any other person or generic entity.

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  26. Fel says:

    Save Pelosi for next year, I’d say. This year the man who set things in motions was John Murtha.
    Tho I do love the Stewart/Colbert notion.

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  27. pauline says:

    I was going to nominate Alberto Gonzalez for offering his legal advice to bush on (1) the torture of detainees (2) his legal advice on the multitude of presidential “signings” that allow bush not to follow chosen parts of new legislation more so than the last six presidents combined, and (3) his legal advice on The Military Commissions Act that changes pre-existing law to explicitly disallow the invocation of the Geneva Conventions when executing the writ of habeas corpus.
    But then I remembered, we’re suppose to choose “person of the year” not “monster of the year”.
    Why does anyone think or care that Time Magazine is worthy of offering this nonsense award?

    Reply

  28. grigs says:

    I agree with the American voter comment. What a sweeping change this election was and a clear statement about what the country wants.

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  29. Gloria Meier says:

    I would pick the JAG lawyer for Hamden who recently lost his promotion (I cannot remember his name), or the Amish.

    Reply

  30. rweber says:

    The problem with most names suggested for “Person of the Year” is that their reputations are largely media creations. The first major test for a nominee is the uniqueness test: Would the events of 2006 been different if that person had been omitted from the historical record? The most popular nominees fail this test. If Bush had had a stroke on 1 Jan 2006 and were totally out of the picture, the same policies of the US government would have prevailed. Dick Cheney and his uberstaffer David Addington are the ones who have been making the decisions that have put our nation at risk. Given the wave of popular opposition to the Bush Administration policies and Republican corruption in Congress, it wouldn’t have made much difference whether Howard Dean were heading the Democratic campaign strategy or not. The real key to the major change on the 2006 political stage is the person or group of people who woke up the sleeping electorate to understand they needed to take back their country. I would nominate two small groups who by their courage and professional competency precipitated the tidal shift of the election: 1) The General’s Revolt that surfaced highly credible criticism of Rumsfeld and Bush policies from officers who retired early rather than continue to be associated with a disastrous policy in Iraq that they could not alter–Maj Gen John Batiste, Maj Gen Charles Swannack, Jr, Lt Gen Gregory Newbold, Maj Gen Paul Eaton. 2) The investigative reporter/author who restored some respect to political journalism as exemplified by Seymour Hersh, Thomas Ricks and Ronald Suskind.
    Google is the obvious nominee for delivering socially transforming technology.
    Figures on the international stage who have made significant impact are Koizumi of Japan and Ahmadinejad of Iran.

    Reply

  31. gq says:

    I think its funny that so many people think that the 50 state strategy was ever that controversial. What was controversial was the specifics of its implementation. The money poured into some southern states didn’t result in much, if anything. The truth is that Dems were successful because Emmanuel and Dean and Schumer had different interests and they had to work together and spread things out. Each by themselves would have gotten slaughtered.
    I also think its silly to credit Murtha as being against the war when he is at least partly responsible for the Democrats’ early support of the war. He changed his mind because he got info from the military and when other Dems got that info, they came to the same conclusion. Nothing special there. He just got chosen by leader Pelosi to be the messenger.
    I think MJ Fox is a candidate. I wanted to mention him earlier but forgot. Not for his political involvement, but for his charity work and then for being THE face for so many suffering people.

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  32. Thomas Mc says:

    They’ll pick Pelosi, because it makes good copy.
    I’d pick Keith Olbermann.

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  33. Ohiodem1 says:

    This is somewhat tongue in cheek, but how about Rush and O’Reily with the tagline “The year right wing talkers became irrelevant”?

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  34. apishapa says:

    Howard Dean, because had he not forged ahead with his 50 state program against the wishes of the DLC naysayers we would never have pulled this off. Howard demanded that we ask everyone in the country for their vote and to assist Democrats in those states that were previously unfriendly. Howard Dean, not Rahm Emmanuel, is responsible for this victory. Howard Dean demanded that we try to win every race (from national to municipal) everywhere. He did a damned good job of building a 50 state party. He has, almost singlehandedly, over the last few years completely changed the face of politics, beginning with his embrace of netroots and meetups before it was fashionable.
    Ned Lamont because he gave Democrats the courage to stand up and say no to the war. This was also a big, big factor in winning. Americans voted for Democrats because of opposition to the war. No one would have known we opposed the war if not for Ned Lamont and Jack Murtha. In addition John Kerry deserves a lot of praise. He has been fighting tooth and nail for two years to regain the respect he lost in 2004, he has been incredibly vocal and (for the most part) very articulate in his opposition to Bush’s idiotic policies. Had the rest of the so-called Democratic Leaders stood up for the Democratic Party candidate in Connecticut like Kerry and Wesley Clark did, Lamont would have won. Lamont beat one of the most powerful men in Washington in a fair primary, but he had no chance because the Republican Party and the Democratic Party both aligned against him.

    Reply

  35. Kathleen says:

    Lt. Ehren Watada, for defending our Constitution from domestic enemies, who exploited our patriotism for personal profit and power. His action was selfless asnd frought with personal danger, unlike others in politics who gained from their actions or non-actions.

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  36. karenk says:

    Nancy Pelosi. Take that gavel from chubby and slam it! You go girl!

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  37. me & bobby mo' says:

    Robert Morrow.

    Reply

  38. me & bobby mo' says:

    Robert Morrow.

    Reply

  39. me & bobby mo' says:

    Robert Morrow.

    Reply

  40. me & bobby mo' says:

    Robert Morrow.

    Reply

  41. ken melvin says:

    Cindy Sheehan

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  42. Carroll says:

    Looking over all the comments I second Michael J. Fox.
    It would go a long way toward making people think about human concerns and everyday heros who trudge on despite being whacked by fate.
    No politicans please, we are suppose to be knocking them off their thrones, not building alters for them. If you want to give one of them something, give them a Employeee of the Year award in a nice frame.

    Reply

  43. vachon says:

    The entire DailyKos community.

    Reply

  44. EEK says:

    I think the man of the year should be Muqtada al-Sadr. He has kept the insurgency a thorn in the flesh of the US, he has kept himself alive and a voice for Iraq.
    On an alternate footing, how about that Vladimir Putin? Resurrecting the Evil Empire for future scary tales at the capitalist campfire.

    Reply

  45. steve duncan says:

    How about the average Iraqi civilain? They were in the news everyday. Several of them. Getting killed. In an undeclared war. Might as well honor them somehow.

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  46. cs, art is bread says:

    There are sooooooooo many. But I would nominate Howard Dean for his 50 state strategy to take back our country and for having the audacity to believe Democrats should ask everyone for their votes.
    Or maybe the netroots/grassroots who stood up and told the pols “NO!”

    Reply

  47. p.lukasiak says:

    Another vote for Howard Dean….
    the fact is that Rahm LOST the house for the democrats — his strategy was to target 21 House races he thought that Democrats could win and win in at least 15 of them (and lose no Dem seats) to control the House. Right now, only 9 of Rahm’s 21 candidates have won — with three races still to be decided. (and at least three of Rahm’s “first wave” had a huge advantage — a GOP congresscritter who has either resigned because of a scandal, or was under indictment or serious investigation.) That doesn’t add up to control of the House. Rahm thought that “Republican Lite” candidates had the best chance of winning — it turned out that in most cases, voters prefer the real thing. He squandered millions on deafeating “grassroots” democratic candidates in order to install these GOP-lite candidates, and squandered further millions in a vain attempt to ensure their victory. (Meanwhile, a half dozen progressive backed candidates came within a few thousand votes of winning, and many of them could have won if half the money he spent on Tammy Duckworth had been spread around).
    And while I’m sympathetic to the argument that Kos, Jerome, Christy, Jane and Howie (especially Howie) should be cited (i.e. the “Netroots” as “Man of the Year”), their strategy was not to take the House per se, but to support progressive candidates who might win now or in the future… These “National Netroots” people supported 9 winners — with one race too close to call.
    There are 10 other races in which neither Rahm or the “National Netroots” played a big role — those were won thanks to Howard Dean’s 50-State strategy, Dean empowered state and local activists (including “local netroots” activists) in a way that made it possible to beat a whole bunch of entrenched GOP incumbents. Dean showed faith in the American people — and it paid off.

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  48. Ben Rosengart says:

    The person of the year is Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy. Not Dean himself. I think Dean would agree.

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  49. pt says:

    Man of the year goes to the person who had the most impact, good or bad. by that measure it must be Rumsfeld. He is the single most important factor for the catastrophic course in Iraq; his departure may provide better days ahead

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  50. P Sato says:

    YouTube and Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert really exposed politicians and created a buzz. Vital for the election.

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  51. Daniel CAZ Greenberg says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they picked Bill Clinton. The global init did some IMPRESSIVE fundraising this year. But, at the same time, they went with this theme last year (Gates/Gates/Bono).
    So, I’m saying it won’t be a ‘charity pick’.
    It’s not going to be the pope (JP2 was a popular pick, but they won’t go with Benedude). Not yet, anyway.
    If the red team had won, Rove would have been a popular pick, but since the blue team did, I can see why all the Dean picks. I just wonder how comprehensive an article they could make on him.
    Stewart/Colbert is a very interesting pick.
    They haven’t picked a CEO since Jeff Bezos (1999) or a scientist since Andy Grove (1997).
    One I’ve been thinking about that nobody’s mentioned? Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google. Talk about a company that’s exploding in the good way! Plus, they’re not limited to the US.

    Reply

  52. irishkg says:

    John Murtha for his private care for troops after the battle (no glory there only pain) and his public stance against the war strategy. His genuine private beliefs fueled a principled public stance.
    Plus I like the irony of celebrating such a crusty non-media age guy.

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  53. Reader says:

    Ted Haggard
    Preacher of redemption in much need of redemption.
    Leader of moral purity suffering from corrupt morality.
    Religious leader toying with politics and bitten by politics.
    Prophet of truth destroyed by a great lie.
    Leader of a crowd of believers, all deceived.
    Former persecutor of the most vulnerable and now most vulnerable.
    Deeply closeted as punishment for his true nature and punished for being dragged out of the closet by someone he persecuted from inside the closet.
    Teacher of evangelicals whose errors call out for lessons in mercy and forgiveness for his deceptions and compassion for his true nature and concealed desires.

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  54. cobweb says:

    Keith Olbermann for his commentaries.
    And there is a spot in my heart for Hugo Chavez for his truth telling, especially yesterday’s.

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  55. Jack says:

    Bill Gates and Warren Buffet,
    They are making major changes in the way the nonprofit and charitable organizations are going to operate in the future.
    Jack

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  56. linda says:

    were you aware that tom delay has been selected as a member of the panel making recommendations.

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  57. Iphie says:

    Another vote for Ned Lamont – after all the hand-wringing that followed the CT primary — The Democratic party is on the road to obscurity! The McGovernites are driving us right over the cliff! The Democratic party has purged that sensible centrist Joe Lieberman! (if only). After all that, it’s clear that his example proved that a principled stance against the war (and against this administration and all of its enablers) could be a winning strategy.
    It’s a toss-up though — Howard Dean — it’s hard to argue against him.

    Reply

  58. lw says:

    Howard Dean.
    The 50 state strategy is why we had Democratic candidates running competitive races in so-called “red states” like Wyoming (Trauner), Idaho (Grant), and Nebraska (Kleeb). Now Indiana has 3 more Dem congressmen, Kansas has 1, Virginia has a Dem senator, and Montana now has 2 Dem senators and a Dem governor.
    Without the 50 state strategy, we might have a slim majority in the house, but not the senate. It’s Dean’s 50 state strategy that is responsible for Democrats being elected (or almost elected) in places that had not seen viable Democratic candidates for many years.

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  59. JoMoHo says:

    Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart

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  60. Morris Meyer says:

    Howard Dean – Wyoming-AL seat was close enough for a recount.

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  61. Joe says:

    Persons of the year: The Voters.
    Democracy works when it’s most needed.

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  62. Martin says:

    Russell Feingold-his vote against the Patriot Act (99-1!) was the start of the Democrat pushback and will go down in history as an incredible act of true Americanism!

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  63. kim says:

    Could be Reid or Pelosi if they get big changes made quickly.
    Could be the Gates pair and/or Buffet for the big give-aways.
    I’d hate to suggest the leaders of Iran and N. Korea….
    Europe has nothing to contribute, typically.

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  64. Corinne says:

    Howard Dean. No explanation needed: Just look at Tuesday’s election results.

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  65. Count Willy says:

    Steve:
    You live the coolest life and though I was crazed by your support of Sen Lincoln Chafee, I totally get it now. You really are one tenacious son of a bitch. Does Bolton ever call to see if you are out of the country or something so that he can plan his moves when you aren’t watching.
    You scooped the whole damned American news enterprise on the Chafee announcement on our problem boy in the UN and there’s no way that could happen unless you had the networks in place and the respect of some really damned important people in high places.
    You totally make me admire what you have been able to do with this blog. Your readers and me give you some shit now and then — but WE LOVE YA!!
    NOW, to the question of the day:
    I want to say Al Gore, even Murtha. . .
    But I think you have to give the prize to global radical nuts:
    Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah, and Kim Jong Il
    They are on the rise and pretty good at getting what they want by scaring the rest of us.

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  66. fred says:

    Howard Dean should be at the top of the list given the success of his 50 state strategy!

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  67. Paul N says:

    Howard Dean,
    I believe he is responsible for the “50 state” campaign that resulted in the resurgence of the Democratic Party. Bill Clinton is a good second choice.

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  68. eCAHNomics says:

    Nancy Pelosi; Howard Dean; kos

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  69. bob h says:

    Howard Dean.

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  70. Bill says:

    Ned Lamont and John Murtha together were the courageous pair who made it alright for mainstream Dems to fight against the Bush war policy. They electrified the Democratic comeback.
    They represent the opposite ends of the Democratic Party, but together they galvanized the opposition.

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  71. Bill says:

    Ned Lamont and John Murtha together were the courageous pair who made it alright for mainstream Dems to fight against the Bush war policy. They electrified the Democratic comeback.
    They represent the opposite ends of the Democratic Party, but together they galvanized the opposition.

    Reply

  72. Ann van de Wiele says:

    Mearscheimer(sp?) and Walt. Their article on Israeli lobby surely the most courageous act of the year.

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  73. angie says:

    Michael J. Fox or Keith Olbermann or Jimmy Carter.

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  74. SaraBeth says:

    Dr. Howard Dean

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  75. Karen says:

    I hope this didn’t post twice. Computer issues.
    Many good choices above, especially Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi. But I don’t think many understand what Dean has just accomplished. Nancy Pelosi has yet to prove herself as speaker.
    I would pick John Murtha, whose forthright, hair on fire stance against the war gave a face to war opposition. He reached many Americans who didn’t understand or completely identify with Cindy Sheehan. Murtha’s politics are more conservative than mine or than most of the blogosphere, but I think that added to his credibility and weight on the issue. It was a sort of “once you lose Murtha, you’ve lost support for the war” moment.

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  76. buck turgidson says:

    So far, the count here seems to be Howard Dean. Let’s remember two things–Time is a global magazine these days, with a distinct American slant. So, while preference should be given to US candidates for the cover, we should not blindly exclude non-US ones. Let me review some categories, which, in the process, will also comment on some of the nominations by others.
    The Humanitarian angle: Clinton, Carter
    Bill Clinton has enjoyed a revival on multiple fronts. After relatively quiet four years, he came back strong with the tsunami effort, followed by Katrina. But that was last year. This year he expanded on the humanitarian effort, while defending his record and helping the current crop of Democrats. Jimmy Carter has been Jimmy Carter year in and year out. Of course, being a candidate every year can become tiresome.
    The US Elections angle: Dean, Foley
    Dean defied all expectations. Despite occasional verbal missteps, Dean has been articulate and uncharacteristically–for Dem party leaders–agressive. He followed up on the strategy that he promised in campaigning for his position and followed through especially when it really counted. Ultimately, however, the election wave had more to do with the candidates and the one man who might have helped them more than Dean–George W. Bush. Mark Foley, on the other hand, made it acceptable to despise Republicans even for Republicans. For those fense sitters who were going to vote for GOP candidates while holding their noses, he made it possible to get out of that funk and either vote for Dems or just stay out in disgust. Although the Foley affair ultimately did not decide any contests directly (Reynolds, Hastert and Shimkus survived, although Reynolds, Hastert and Pryce, should she survive the recount, all quit their leadership positions) and was not an issue most people recognized as making a difference in their decision, Foley might have been the third most important man who single-handedly helped people to make up their minds (after Bush and Dean). But, again, the solid candidates and well-run campaigns locally were more important.
    International pariah angle: Nasrallah, Halutz
    The two men were responsible for the single deadliest month this year. Nasrallah is notorius for not even caring if he starts WWIII. The man with no conscience and poor strategic skills ordered the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers that he later admitted was a miscalculation. Israeli bunker busters missed him by minutes or meters. Too bad! Dan Halutz is a loose cannon. He has been defiant in his military strategy that resulted in a deadly stalemate and international condemnation. He’s been flipping a bird at Amir Peretz since taking his position in May and may eventually be responsible for bringing down the very government that was supposed to head down the path to peace. Unless he becomes a successor to Avigdor Lieberman, Halutz is doomed to obscurity. Chances are that he’ll never be able to leave the country, even on a shopping trip.
    Congressional leadership angle: Pelosi, Emanuel, Reid, Schumer
    Please! These guys just sat back and took credit. Sure, they made the campaign appearances, agreed to the national spending (by Dean), offered relatively obvious platform moves and, unlike John Kerry, were relatively tight-lipped when it came to baiting the opposition. They did what they had to and avoided major gaffes. Good for them! But “man of the year” material? No way!
    Stupid man of the year: Rumsfeld, Benedict
    This one’s easy, especially since Rumsfeld is closing the year with a resignation. I don’t think he’s done enough to justify placement on a Time cover, since his accomplishments–both good (very few) and bad–pale in comparison with his competitors this year and even more so compared to those earning the “honor” in the past years. Papa Nazi is also a relatively low achievement candidate, despite his notoriety, especially in the middle of the year. After years of being a relatively obscure voice behind the Doctrine of the Faith, he’s been stumbling badly since being elevated above other cardinals. He might have a chance if he crokes by December 1, but this a very slim probability. Two thumbs down, perhaps with the help of a couple fo thumbscrews.
    Bottom line? Will Time really make a political statement and go for someone like Dean, irritating the Republican “base”? He might be the best choice from the bunch above, but somehow I doubt that Time has the courage to make such a bold move. Expect something more innocuous.

    Reply

  77. NSA says:

    Hassan Nasrallah has to be the main candidate.

    Reply

  78. casey says:

    I cannot doubt that Nancy Pelosi will eventually grace that cover, however, there have been a number of people who flew under the general public’s radar that planted the seeds that grew into the Dem takeover – and good examples are Ned Lamont, Kos, and, like the year is was the computer – “the blogger”. They pulled the Dems into the unelectable radical dirty hippie left so far only far more than half of all voters agreed with them.
    Well, at least they pushed the lack of media coverage of corruption, incompetance, and scandal far enough into the dialogue those issues forced their way into the news. It’s teh bloggers!
    But Pat Fitzgerald would have to be one of the most important players of the year.

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  79. LondonYank says:

    I would say Person of the Year should be Howard Dean for the 50 state strategy he implemented against all the conventional wisdom of DC Beltway pundits and over the strong objections of the DLC. The 50 State Strategy allowed the Dems to sweep the House and Senate in the 2006 elections because we had candidates and a ground game in all the districts which came up for grabs.
    Alternatively, I would also propose Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos for popularising and engaging the liberal wing of American politics in the fight to regain political power in Washington and in so many state houses too.

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  80. Alan de Bristol says:

    Michael J.Fox.

    Reply

  81. K Ols says:

    You have so many good choices in this post it makes it hard to decide.
    I think you could add Juan Cole for his knowledge of the Middle East and his reporting on his blog, Informed Consent. Plus he was aced out of a new job because someone didn’t like him.
    Add to that Richard Engle and Michael Ware and the other guy I can’t remember for their war reporting in Iraq. If I remember correctly R. Engle has been there for the entire war. There’s also Chris Allbritton of Back-to-Iraq.com. Allbritton is a free lance reporter and also worked for Time Magazine. These people have lived in true danger to give us the facts on the ground.

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  82. John Buffa says:

    Howard Dean should be TIME’s Man of the Year, for being the lead strategist behind the Democratic Party’s historic Congressional takeover of 2006.
    There is absolutely no way that the Democrats could have taken BOTH houses of Congress without Gov. Dean’s leadership.
    Dr. Dean’s “50-state” strategy was quite controversial when he first presented it, but recent events have now proven it to be quite prescient. In retrospect, there is no way the Democrats would have won the Senate without that strategy.
    What a great day for America!
    John Buffa
    Covington, GA

    Reply

  83. skybluewater says:

    It should be Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful elected woman in American history.

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  84. Craig says:

    Howard Dean. His 50 state strategy, his clear vision and his willingness to acknowledge the usefulness of blogs were instrumental in changing our nation this Tuesday. He was heavilly criticized in some circles, but he stayed his ground. You have to admire that.
    But Time should do a full article on others who could be named just as well. Pelosi, Reid, Murtha, Bill Clinton, maybe even Olbermann, Colbert, Jon Stewart, etc. And Time could just as easily name The Generals; I mean the generals last spring who spoke out for Rumsfeld’s resignation. They had an enormous impact and I would argue they put the constitution above an incompetent president in more ways than one.
    Lenner, the other person who shouldn’t be overlooked is whoever left the camera running at the Russian summit this summer!

    Reply

  85. peg says:

    stewart/colbert
    or
    sibel edmonds

    Reply

  86. Bill Lenner says:

    I think it should be
    Webb aide S.R.Sidarth who George Allen called “Macaca” just before he welcomed the Virginia native “to America”.
    Without him the Democrats might not have won the Senate.
    I think the incident opened some people’s eyes to the bigotry used by the Republicans. I know I used the incident to explain the Republican Southern Strategy and how it was still being used even now.
    But I imagine they will pick Pelosi, Reid, and/or Dean which is somewhat fitting since they usually pick the biggest names.

    Reply

  87. Dan Kervick says:

    Nasrallah, Dean, Chavez, Kim Jong-il or Hu Jintao.

    Reply

  88. charles blumenthal says:

    Jerome Armstrong, Matt Stoller and Markos at Daily Kos. Webb wouldn’t have won the primary without their support and money on their ActBlue page. Ned Lamont wouldn’t have won his primary without them, and no matter what anyone says, Lamonts victory sent a clear message to the country.
    They’ve ushered in a new era of politics.

    Reply

  89. chophouse says:

    Ned Lamont. It was his successful race against Lieberman in the primary that convinced the Dems they could actually OPPOSE the Republicans rather than react to them. Tuesday would not have happened without Lamont showing the way in Connecticut.

    Reply

  90. daCascadian says:

    The Internet
    Because it made possible Riverbend (bless her), YouTube, blogs, Crooks & Liars, DailyKOS, the popularity of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart as well as Howard Dean`s rise, Blue America`s fund raising, MoveOn etc; the platform for the people`s media which Benjamin Franklin would INSTANTLY understand the importance of. It also allows all those people far away from home to communicate with their loved ones; think about the troops in Iraq for instance.
    The internet is the framework that has enabled all this other stuff & this is the year that it really came of age. A global phenomena that is nurtured and maintained by oodles & oodles of unknown faceless people with passion all over the world working in just about any environemt imaginable to keep it “alive” so that it can fulfill its potential.
    The `net is the face of the human race as it is & has been, supporting what it can become.
    Person of the Year ?
    Hell Ya !!!
    “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” – T.E. Lawrence

    Reply

  91. slipkid says:

    Howard Dean
    w/2nd to Al Gore
    What’s more important?
    The US gov. or the world Enivorment
    The short and long of it.
    slipkid

    Reply

  92. wtfwjd? says:

    Is Mark Halperin on the committee? Maybe it will be Matt Drudge, whom Halperin calls “the Walter Cronkite of his era.”

    Reply

  93. vwcat says:

    I just read your article for the Austrailian newspaper and it’s excellent. The return of the realists is fabulous.

    Reply

  94. Sharoney says:

    Howard Dean.
    For all the reasons mentioned above, and one other.
    To watch Rahm “This election is solely due to my genius” Emanuel’s swollen head explode.

    Reply

  95. Alex says:

    George W Bush.
    One man has never wrecked a political party so completely as Simple Mind has done to the Republican party. He’s single-handedly destroyed Reaganism and that brand of conservatism (something the Democratic Party could never do).
    He’s done some serious damage to the US reputation on the world stage and here at home with a so-complete set of failed policies.
    He’s completely destroyed Iraq and started a nuclear arms race ala the Cold War.
    He’s set the world back 50-60 years.
    Yep. He’s my candidate for Time’s Person of the Year. It’s an igniminious award in the way Hitler won the “Person of the Year” award.

    Reply

  96. vwcat says:

    Nancy Pelosi!
    Woman of history.

    Reply

  97. wtfwjd? says:

    Mark Foley and Ted Haggard.

    Reply

  98. Mike Solberg says:

    Who will it be? Nancy Pelosi.
    Who should it be? Patrick Fitzgerald. He is a man making frighteningly important and consequential decisions nearly every day, and he makes them in a reality based, non-partisan way. He is tough as nails in the face of corruption, but does not pursue a personal or political agenda. That’s what an American hero should do.

    Reply

  99. gq says:

    Not the American voters. Only 40% of us voted. Not impressive if you ask me.
    I don’t think you can have Pelosi without Reid. The two did a generally good job holding their caucuses together and they needed each other. (Chafee didn’t do anything to deserve it other than being the last of the Liberal Republicans, a tragedy.)
    For media, I’d choose Keith Olberman. When cable television has been purged of any White House critics. I think Olberman deserves it more than Stewart/Colbert because its much tougher to be on MSNBC.
    Really though, I think this should be the year of the Philanthropists (Buffett, Soros, Gates). I’ve always been critical of Gates, but he has delivered big time lately. As have Buffet and Soros. In a time when so many wealthy people just want to get more wealthy, these people are putting their money where their mouth is.

    Reply

  100. ahem says:

    Colbert and Stewart.
    Pelosi has the disadvantage of not having the same presence as a parliamentary party’s leader in fronting an election campaign. And she only takes the speaker’s chair in January.
    Keith Olbermann might deserve a mention, for taking a fairly bold step in speaking out against the administration’s rhetoric. For bloggers on the left, whose criticism is often as much of a insider media that is more comfortable with parroting the official line, conventional wisdom and he-said/she-said stories, he’s been a beacon.
    On a wider stage, perhaps fitting the traditional ‘Person of the Year’ title: The Iraqi Insurgent. Ideally, with Michael Ware writing a profile (or set of profiles) based on his experience covering Iraq. Because it’s the insurgency that has defined this year. ‘The American Voter’ is frankly short-term navel-gazing by comparison, and will be perceived as such.

    Reply

  101. oofer says:

    Howard Dean, The 50 State strategy in the face of such internal opposition from the party regulars, Shumer, Immanuel, Reid, the DLC, Clinton,the whole group of them.
    I see Dean as having engineered this Democratic victory by MAKING opportunity knock at the Dem’s door. Each race, the rebuilding of the broken Demorcatic machinery at the ground level and the quiet, even progress he made, in spite of resistance and derision, makes him the man of my year.

    Reply

  102. Stan Franco says:

    Definitely John Mark Karr. His revelations came as a welcome break from the boring news about Iraq.

    Reply

  103. lewp says:

    If I were a gambling man, I’d say Pelosi. First woman speaker of the House. That’ll likely tip the balance in a year where there’s no single, clear standout.
    But I like the Colbert (and Stewart) idea, for that WC dinner performance alone.

    Reply

  104. winnipeger says:

    I want controversy therefore I nominate…
    Rachel Corrie..a non person to most of the people on your list.
    Naive, idealistic, full of guts and courage of convictions, willing to go against the herd, stand alone. And unlike your list, a person who got absolutely nothing in return for everything.
    Other than that there are only 2 or 3 names on the list I would even piss on if they were on fire….to quote the boys at the filling station.
    Posted by Carroll at November 9, 2006 11:38 PM
    one big problem with this one, carroll: rachel corrie died in 2003. it’s pretty hard to be “person of the year” when your dead.

    Reply

  105. resignedidealist says:

    Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. Together, they helped bring politics to everyone. Their skewering of the ones in charge day after day, along with Colbert’s performance at the Correspondence dinner, topped off with Youtube/internet replayability helped show what a mockery today’s government is. Look at the demographics at which group were the largest in terms of age. It’s exactly Colbert’s and Stewart’s demographics.
    I think these two helped make politics feel cool and sexy, if we did the right thing by voting against these imbeciles.

    Reply

  106. anon says:

    Jeff Stryker.

    Reply

  107. Stranger says:

    Howard Dean, for reasons that should be obvious.

    Reply

  108. JRB says:

    The YouTube guys.

    Reply

  109. Carroll says:

    I want controversy therefore I nominate…
    Rachel Corrie..a non person to most of the people on your list.
    Naive, idealistic, full of guts and courage of convictions, willing to go against the herd, stand alone. And unlike your list, a person who got absolutely nothing in return for everything.
    Other than that there are only 2 or 3 names on the list I would even piss on if they were on fire….to quote the boys at the filling station.

    Reply

  110. slingshot says:

    Yup, Howard Dean. Basta.

    Reply

  111. DantonJ says:

    Very simple:
    The average United States Voter.
    S/He said enough was enough.

    Reply

  112. JS says:

    The American Voter………
    For proving its relevance once more.

    Reply

  113. Frank says:

    Sacha Baron Cohen for his Borat portrayal.
    In this global desert of lies, Borat is a welcomed “truth” oasis deserving of some artistic recognition ..His participation in the southern religious revival segment was the crown of hilariousness.
    I’d like to see a face of honesty on a magazine cover rather than the sameo sameo face of “cultured” hypocrisy.
    Only in art can truth be revealed.

    Reply

  114. Jason says:

    Al Gore’s movie played a significant role in raising awareness about global warming. We may look back to it as the trigger for creating an environment where it is more politically viable to significantly reduce the U.S.’s greenhouse emissions.
    I don’t have a name, but I think whomever is most responsible for the failures in Iraq is a good candidate, although obviously not for good reasons. But if you’re measuring greatest impact someone had on the U.S.’ present and future, whether good or bad, I think the continued missteps in Iraq will haunt us for decades.

    Reply

  115. steambomb says:

    This one is a no brainer. Either Nancy Pelosi or Howard Dean.

    Reply

  116. Gordon Coale says:

    Riverbend
    http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/
    A young woman in Baghdad who has lived, and eloquently written about, our occupation in Iraq in her blog Baghdad Burning.

    Reply

  117. Robert Morrow says:

    Barack Obama – so they can hype him some more. Fine with me.

    Reply

  118. orionATL says:

    oh for christ’s sake, clemmons!
    it’s howard dean.
    he was the architect and steady captain at the wheel of the 50-state strategy that paid of so well for democrats.
    in coming back from a vicous, inane, and unfair media attack provoked by an operative of one of his democratic opponents (wes clark) in 2004, to lead the democratic party organization, he demonstarted both his character and his desire to serve the nation, in greater magnitude than any of the politicians you have named.
    the democratic party is rising now from the ashes of 2004 and from the demograhpic and economic changes begun in the of 1970’s. howard dean made this BRAND NEW democratic party a competent political entity.
    howard dean deserves the honor.
    will he be recognized. not in a month of sundays?
    it’s like a world serris with st. louis and detroit vs a world series with the (new york market) yankees and the (LA market) dodgers.
    which names make more money for the corporations conducting the contest.

    Reply

  119. John DeLong says:

    Does anyone read TIME anymore? And what qualities is TIME using to choose a person of the year – presumably, they’re looking for a cover to sell magazines. So, check the demographics of the readership and choose a personality (note the difference) that has been market tested as exciting the target demographic. In the event of a choice between two or more “exciting” personalities, either 1) confess inability to distinguish and select all, or 2) introduce the factor of “gravitas” (or just choose a name that is not anglo-saxon) to furhter burnish the esteem in which the TIME brand is held.
    You must have better things to do.

    Reply

  120. Pissed Off American says:

    John Conyers. If for nothing else than the fact that a few years in Washington haven’t made his testicles atrophy, like it seems to have done to the rest of its residents.

    Reply

  121. Pan Pan (anon) says:

    Albert Pujols has to be a leading candidate.

    Reply

  122. required says:

    Bill Clinton –
    It was his finger wagging confrontation with Chris Wallace that caused the political landscape to change in this election season.
    Plus his Katrina charity work, Africa AIDS work, and his behind-the-scenes help and advice he provides to so many people.

    Reply

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