Time has just released its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and there are some perennial favorites (Barack Obama, Oprah), some recent newsmakers (Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg), some villains (Anwar al-Awlaki, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, Kim Jong Un, all of whom get very brief write-ups), some entertainers (Justin Bieber, Patti Smith), and some offbeat choices (like “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua, who was photographed with actual tigers).
Of course, half the fun of these lists is seeing which celebrity writers they assigned to which personality. Here are some that caught our eye:
- Michele Bachmann: Rush Limbaugh applauds her “unapologetic conservatism” and insists she’s not “the fringe outlier depicted by the mainstream media.”
- Wael Ghonim: Gets a write-up from Mohamed ElBaradei, who says he “embodies the youth” that freed Egypt.
- Joe Biden: “The partnership between any President and Vice President is like a shotgun wedding,” writes Rahm Emanuel, but he says the Biden/Obama marriage has been stunningly successful.
- David Petraeus: Robert Gates calls him the “premier soldier-scholar of his time, an officer who has twice altered the course of military history.”
- Gabrielle Giffords: President Obama does the honors here, saying that Giffords has earned such admiration—before and after the shooting—because “she embodies the best of what public service should be.”