President Barack Obama. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
David Jackson, USA TODAY
Time magazine has named President Obama its "Person of the Year" for 2012.
"For finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union, Barack Obama is TIME's 2012 Person of the Year," writes editor Richard Stengel.
The runners-up: Pakistan women's rights activist Malala Yousafzai (who was seriously wounded in an attack by the Taliban), Apple CEO Tim Cook, Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi, and Higgs boson physicist Fabiola Gianotti
In a profile of Obama that includes an interview with the president, Time's Michael Scherer writes:
"In mid-December, as Obama settles into one of the Oval Office's reupholstered chairs -- brown leather instead of Bush's blue and gold candy stripes -- the validation of Election Day still hovers around him, suggesting that his second four years in office may turn out to be quite different from his first.
"Beyond the Oval Office, overwhelming challenges remain: deadlocked fiscal-cliff talks; a Federal Reserve that predicts years of high unemployment; and more unrest in places like Athens, Cairo and Damascus. But the President seems unbound and gives inklings of an ambition he has kept in check ever since he arrived at the White House to find a nation in crisis.
"He leans back, tea at his side, legs crossed, to explain what he thinks just happened. 'It was easy to think that maybe 2008 was the anomaly,' he says. 'And I think 2012 was an indication that, no, this is not an anomaly. We've gone through a very difficult time. The American people have rightly been frustrated at the pace of change, and the economy is still struggling, and this President we elected is imperfect. And yet despite all that, this is who we want to be.'
"He smiles. 'That's a good thing.'"