President Barack Obama has won Time's "Person of the Year" for the second time. A rare repeat winner, Obama first won in 2008 after becoming the first African-American to be elected president. In Time's introduction to the award, the magazine says he was chosen "For finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union."
The runners up for the award were (in descening order): Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot and nearly killed by Taliban insurgents for defending women's rights; Apple CEO Tim Cook; Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi; and Fabiola Gianotti, one of the lead researchers working on the discovery of the Higgs Boson.
The immediate reaction online has been pretty tepid, as the choice was neither controversial, nor particularly creative. Conor Sen, a contributor The Atlantic, noticed the rather predictable trend emerging.
Time's Person of the Year has now been the winning POTUS in 5 of the last 6 POTUS election years. Pretty uninspired, guys.— Conor Sen (@conorsen) December 19, 2012
In fact, every president since FDR (except Gerald Ford) has won as least once, and every president who got re-elected has won at least twice, though not always in the same years they were elected. (Eisenhower's first win came before he was president.) Repeat winners of the award include Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, George Marshall, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev (who also won Man of the Decade), Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.