This one coulda fallen into Cafe Society or IMHO, but I figure the MERITS of each candidate will call for debate (hence, it could probably ALSO be started in the PIT!:))
Ok, here goes: A few midseason predictions (unless we see some late year news story):
AH-nuld/Gray Davis/Whoever Wins California Gov- It HAS been the weirdest story of the year…Gulf War included.
Sadaam Hussein- If Time had been honest, Bin Laden would have been the person of the year in 2001 in that he had the biggest impact on the year. Guliani won it instead because the outcry is too great when they pick a “bad guy”. If the award is viewed in its true sense (greatest impact on history or the year)instead of an HONOR, Sadaam qualifies. His regime had the world debating and destroyed or altered diplomatic relations. Possible offshoots of this one could be: Dubya (not likely), the UN, The US Military, or Imbedded Reporters (Time likes weird ones).
US Supreme Court- Had a PRETTY landmark session.
First Openly Gay Episcopal bishop. Symbolizes the big advances in the gay rights movement that saw a reversal of sodomy laws, a broader discussion of gay marriage, and Queer Eye For the Straight Guy!
Until Ah-nuld, Dean had been one of the biggest media darlings of the year. He was the only prominent candidate to speak out against the war and after the war he pushed ahead of the pack. If he gets this cover to Time, he locks up the nomination.
Any other candidates? Remember, concepts can also be nominated (like the year they awarded it to MOTHER EARTH).
Keeping in mind what the award is all about, which is the most influential person and not necessarily the best person, it absolutely has to be George W. Bush. Given all that’s happened this year, it could be nobody else.
Karl Rove, the evil mastermind behind it all. W hasn’t influenced anyone or anything, but he has been influenced by many. As Bush said on the Daily Show this morning (last nite), “I am a follower of American politics.”
Also, (and I offer this with a grain of humour) but considering with hindsight how little influence President Bush had on the UN Security Council prior to Gulf War III (and the on going displays of recalcitrance within Iraq since), one could argue that few people have had less influence over world events.
I’d vote for either George W. Bush or Saddam Hussein, though neither of them influenced world events in a positive manner.
Bush has the edge, though, since the current editorship is a bunch of wusses who don’t have the stones to give the “Man of the Year” award to a guy who’s unpopular with the United States – just look at how Rudy Guilliani was chosen over Osama bin Laden back in 2001, for instance.
It is not necessarily the “most influencial” person of the year (in which case, let’s face it, it would pretty much always be a US president) but the person or concept who personifies what happened in that year over another.
I think the person who personifies Iraq 2003 is Hans Blix.
Tony Blair might also be in with a shout, personifying as he does the worldwide schism over Iraq 2003.
George W Bush? Nah… He is a mere puppet whose strings are pulled by the PNAC members. Without an army of speech writers, Bush is simply reduced to a mere reborn sputterer.
So, how about the men and women behind the scene … The PNAC members and Karl Rove who took the American tax payers, the embedded journalists, and the world’s shock-and-awe watchers for a pre-emptive ride.
Agreed - Bush is a mouthpiece for a coterie led mainly by Rumsfeld. This war’s existence and aftermath are mostly his doing. Besides, having given it to Bush before he even took office, Time is unlikely to give it to him again - he’s had his turn.
But more fundamentally, I’d give it to the emergingly-aware and increasingly-politically-active youth of the developing world. I do like that idea, but wouldn’t limit it to just Iran. Although they represent only a potential and not results in most cases, the total adds up to something that inevitably will have results in the expansion of democracy, free enterprise, and civilization.