NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – President Barack Obama has been named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2012.
“Part of the reason we chose President Obama was because of the big re-election victory, but it’s also because now with the second term mandate, he’s in a position to really try to drive through some additional big change,” editor-at-large Mark Halperin told 1010 WINS.
“People forget how much big change he drove through in his first term in office, now he’s got another chance to do that,” Halperin added. “The ability to not just realign the electorate but to realign our politics and the policies that come from Washington.”
The short list for the honor included Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head for advocating for girls’ education, as well as Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Italian physicist Fabiola Giannati.
Obama also received the honor in 2008, when he was President-elect.
“It’s unusual for a president to be ‘Person of the Year’ twice in both the year he was originally elected and then re-elected — George W. Bush is the only other one to be named that way,” Halperin said.
In an interview with Time, Obama said his re-election “may have been more satisfying a win than 2008.”
“We’ve gone through a very difficult time,” Obama said. “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. That’s a good thing.”
Last year, Time honored “The Protester,” citing dissent across the Middle East that spread to Europe and the United States, saying the protesters reshaped global politics.
Time’s “Person of the Year” is the person or thing that has most influenced the culture and the news during the past year for good or for ill. In 2010, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg received the honor.
Other previous winners have included Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Bono.