Obama Is Time's Person of the Year

Winning election was remarkable, but quick, confident transition seals deal for mag

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 17, 2008 9:59 AM CST

(Newser) – Barack Obama “hit the American scene like a thunderclap, upended our politics, and shattered decades of conventional wisdom” on his way to the White House, David Von Drehle writes, and those things alone might make him Time’s person of the year. But already Obama has moved into a new phase, from flashy politician to Mr. Fix It, a man who gets things done.

Obama rattles off an ambitious set of goals for his first two years, confident he can hit them all. “I’ve got a pretty healthy ego,” he says—and amazingly, polls show the public believes he can do it, too. “For having the confidence to sketch that kind of future in this gloomy hour,” Von Drehle writes, “Barack Obama is Time’s Person of the Year.”

The cover of the latest issue of Time, which proclaims Barack Obama the person of the year.
The cover of the latest issue of Time, which proclaims Barack Obama the person of the year.
President-elect Barack Obama speaks about Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich during his meeting with Vice President-elect Joe Biden and former Vice President Al Gore, Dec. 9, 2008, in Chicago.
President-elect Barack Obama speaks about Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich during his meeting with Vice President-elect Joe Biden and former Vice President Al Gore, Dec. 9, 2008, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Newsweek's 2008 special election issue President Obama (on newsstands Thursday, November 6 - Sunday, November 16).
Newsweek's 2008 special election issue "President Obama" (on newsstands Thursday, November 6 - Sunday, November 16).   (PRNewsFoto/NEWSWEEK)
Barack Obama on Men's Health magazine's November cover.
Barack Obama on Men's Health magazine's November cover.   (PRNewsFoto/Men’s Health magazine)
In this image released by Vibe magazine, Democratic presidential candidate sen Barack Obama, D-Ill., is shown on the cover of the November 2008 issue of Vibe.
In this image released by Vibe magazine, Democratic presidential candidate sen Barack Obama, D-Ill., is shown on the cover of the November 2008 issue of "Vibe."   (AP Photo/Vibe)
Barack Obama speaks during a rally ]in Manassas, Va., Nov. 3, 2008.
Barack Obama speaks during a rally ]in Manassas, Va., Nov. 3, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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He hit the American scene like a thunderclap, upended our politics, shattered decades of conventional wisdom and overcame centuries of the social pecking order. - David Von Drehle

For having the confidence to sketch that kind of future in this gloomy hour and for showing the competence that makes Americans hopeful that he will pull it off, Barack Obama is Time's Person of the Year for 2008. - David Von Drehle

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