Time magazine announced the shortlist Tuesday for its 2012 “Person of the Year” award, which reportedly will be handed out sometime Wednesday in a once-highly anticipated annual rite.
Time’s eight-member shortlist for the award includes two Democratic presidents, a former Democratic presidential candidate, a prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorist, and “Undocumented Americans,” presumably taken as a whole.
While the list includes Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani women’s rights activist who was shot this year by the Taliban, and the team of scientists responsible for discovering the Higgs Boson particle, Time has also nominated a handful of more controversial persons, each with their own unique accomplishments and challenges.
Short-lister President Barack Obama was re-elected to the presidency in 2012, overcoming obstacles such as an approximately 8 percent national unemployment rate and concerns about his administration’s handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack.
“Undocumented Americans,” roughly twelve million of whom live in the United States, have earned TIME shortlist status prior to earning green cards or U.S. citizenship, presumably for their courage.
Mohammed Morsi was added to the list for winning the Egyptian presidency as the candidate of a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated party, overcoming American criticism of his views on the 9/11 attacks. Morsi has doubted al Qaeda’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks, citing lack of “evidence,” and has called for a scientific conference to “seek the truth.”
Bill and Hillary Clinton are listed together, seemingly by virtue of a 37-year marriage that has been hampered by admitted infidelities with Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky. Hillary Clinton decided to step down this year after one term as U.S. Secretary of State, and has recently suffered a litany of harrowing physical ailments that will prevent her from testifying at this week’s Benghazi hearings.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, formerly an employee of Google CEO Eric Schmidt and an Obama Cabinet prospect, has made the list at age 37. Mayer contributed $35,800 to Obama Victory Fund in 2012, and $30,800 in 2011 to the Democratic National Committee.
Last year, TIME named “The Protester” its Person of the Year for his/her struggles during the Arab Spring, and also for staging disruptive demonstrations against U.S. capitalism in New York’s Zuccotti Park and elsewhere.
The magazine, published continually since 1923, is currently run by executive editor Radhika Jones, a Paris Review alum, and managing editor of Richard Stengel, who worked as a speechwriter for then-Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley. Unlike its historic competitor Newsweek, TIME still has a print issue for the time being, and thus a magazine cover to bestow the honor.