Monday, December 17, 2007

Time Magazine's Person of the Year

It's that time of the year again. The period of the year in which Time Magazine chooses its person of the year. It isn't always the person who has done the most good, but the one that has had the biggest impact, right or wrong. Sometimes it isn't even a person, with a computer winning one year and everyone winning last year.

This year's list is a little more conventional (in the order of the most popular):

J.K. Rowling

Al Gore

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Condolezza Rice

Steve Jobs
General David Petraeus

Vladimir Putin

Hu Jintao

In typical, smug, Time fashion, the list is made up of people whom the media elite believes are worthy of the "Person of the Year" title. Rowling, the author of one of the biggest selling books of all time. Al Gore the crowned king of nature. Ahmadinejad, the man most likely to get attention and terrorize his neighbors. Vladimir Putin, the dictator that won't go away.

There are a few that I think clearly make sense. Steve Jobs, certainly an entrepreneurial powerhouse. General David Petraeus, the man who has single handedly changed the debate on the war of Iraq. Hu Jintao, a man has transformed the Chinese economy and society. I have to eliminate Jobs because, although he continues to reinvent himself and his business in profound ways. I simply don't see his contribution as "Person of the Year" in scope. I think Jintao and Petraeus clearly qualify. They have both changed the world. But Time Magazine is an US Magazine and I'm an American, so guess who I voted for in Time's survey?

Petraeus has not only change the war in Iraq, but will possibly change the Presidential race of 2008 and US policy for years to come. Petraeus has become so successful that he is now forcing Democrats (who have staked their future on defeat) to come across as though they are running against the troops. Petraeus could change the political landscape for years to come.

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