TIME Reveals Its Short List for Person of the Year 2012

While TIME’s annual Person of the Year unveiling is a carefully choreographed dance with a secretive, often unpredictable result, this year TIME decided to narrow the field and reveal its shortlist -- just one day before the grand reveal.

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The unveiling of TIME’s Person of the Year is less than 24 hours away, and on the Today show Tuesday morning, hosts named the eight frontrunners for this year’s cover. The short list rounds up an elite list of famous names in business, politics and science. It includes Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban for her crusade for better girls’ education; U.S. president Barack Obama; Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi; and Bill and Hillary Clinton for their global humanitarian and political activism. Two prominent business leaders also made the cut: Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, and Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, along with the Higgs Boson — the particle of the year — and the three scientists who discovered it.

(MORE: See Every Person of the Year Cover from 1927 to 2011)

Following last year’s group choice of “The Protester,” the only group to appear on this year’s list is “Undocumented Americans” — a pick that highlights the demographic growth and increasing political power of Latino Americans and the ongoing struggle over U.S. immigration policy.

All eight candidates appeared on TIME’s online reader poll, but none took first place. TIME’s online voters have already revealed their choice for this year’s top newsmaker: Kim Jong Un. More than 5.6 million people voted for the supreme leader of North Korea, although his results and those of other high scorers got a boost from members of Internet forums like 4Chan. While TIME’s editors have the final say and don’t make their selection based on the poll results, “it’s always interesting to see where some of our preferred candidates end up,” says TIME executive editor Radhika Jones.

Each year since 1927, TIME has named a newsmaker of the year: the person that most influenced our world this year – for good or for ill. Last year’s choice, The Protester, came out on top of runners-up including the newly minted Duchess of Cambridge and Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei. The choice is always kept under tight wraps until the minute the magazine cover is unveiled. TIME managing editor Rick Stengel will reveal this year’s Person of the Year Wednesday, Dec. 19 on NBC’s Today show at 7 a.m.

Q&A: Everything You Wanted to Know About TIME’s Person of the Year — Except Who It Is

59 comments
Disgusting
Disgusting

Mr. Obama is Time Magazines Man of the Year.  

His qualifications for Man of the Year are right up there with his qualifications for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Fawning, gushing, giggling, idolizing, white-guilt, naive, immature, worshipping, rose colored glasses, blinded, ignorant, awe-struck, etc.  Nothing more...nothing less.

SueKlawitter
SueKlawitter

I don't  know what you people at Time smoke, or maybe its in the water!!! THE MAN OF THE YEAR 2012?  Have you all lost it?  This man has NO ACHEIVEMENTS.  NONE!!!!

SassyLexis
SassyLexis

I officially put Time magazine on the same level as National Enquirer.  This will be my one and only post on this website and not waste my money ever buying another one again. 

happypillfan
happypillfan

Malala should get it.  Why the hell is the Egyptian dictator in the making on the list ?

AlexandrGolubev
AlexandrGolubev

Kim Jong Un is the real Person of the Year! I voted for him.

FightingIrish
FightingIrish

You did forget one notable person, who is in the process of turning American manufacturing upside-down. A person who, in the past few years, has revolutionized the car and space industries. And his car has already won Car of the Year in several magazines. I'm talking Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, perhaps the Thomas Edison of the 21st century. How's THAT for a non-polarizing choice? Well, there's always next year.

DouglasLow
DouglasLow

Don't give it to Hillary-- the surprise might cause her to fall again and worsen her concussion....Besides --she wouldn't remember winning it, due to her present concussion.....LMAO

mahmoudaboulaila
mahmoudaboulaila

Mohamed Morsi is a vague person, he didn't prove any good intentions, and disappointed lots of people who voted for him. If he is the man of the year, it would be because of the events happening around him, not because of his character.

CourtneyHammett
CourtneyHammett

I really hope Malala gets this. It'd really show the positive direction the world could take because of her.

Dr-TarekRizk
Dr-TarekRizk

Morsi is the first real elected president by the Egyptians I'm proud to support him

ballard2626
ballard2626

The thousands of visionaries bettering mankind as a whole over at CERN deserve the recognition. 

Used2BCityGirl
Used2BCityGirl

The teachers and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown should be chosen, in light of what has happened.

ËgTornado
ËgTornado

well , morsi seems good for egypt now 

rasha
rasha

gooooooooooooooo dr morsi u r in our hearts

jkaravidas
jkaravidas

if i'm not wrong this is about the TOP MEWSMAKER of the year and NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST. so what if Morsi is a dictator (and he clearly is) he is a newsmaker because he is what he is. And stop thinking that if something is important in the US the rest of the world should care about it. i dont know and i dont care to know about "undocumented alliens", Hillary & BillClinton and some CEO that does a good job running his/hers bussines.

I think Malala fits perfectly for the place as person of the year. an previously unknown girl who became news worldwide for a humanitarian and brave ideal

wjw33
wjw33

Did you guys kick that crazy dictator's son, Kim fun-Ill, off the list? Thanks. I'm still not sure if this is Time or The Onion.MALALA if you please.

jtchun777
jtchun777

Fair worldwide leadership for Hillary and brave enlightening for Malala, it will be difficult to elect one person.

alesau
alesau

GO UNDOCUMENTED AMERICANS.....GO!!!!! THE POLITICAL POWER OF LATIN AMERICANS IN THIS COUNTRY IS GOING UP!!!

mcbrown41
mcbrown41

I think the staff of Sandy Hook Elementary should be the TIME Person(s) of the year.  

lvgirl09
lvgirl09

NEWTOWN CT SHOULD BE PERSON OF THE YEAR -

miclaroc
miclaroc

PLease elect MALALA YOUSAFZAI she is an all-time HERO and ROLE MODEL

Dachman
Dachman

This list is absolute garbage. You have Malala Yousafzai fighting for women's rights and Morsi the new up and coming dictator? Morsi is and his pals are going to be a cancer to Egypt and region for years to come. He will be the one telling his goons to shoot a girl like Malala Yousafzai in Egypt for years to come.

It is just amazing this is really the best they can come up with...

JerryAdler
JerryAdler

If I go to Mexico illegally am I an undocumented Mexican ?

Nonnormalizable
Nonnormalizable

Particle physicist here. I'm shocked that Time is still reprinting simply wrong things like "the three scientists who discovered [the Higgs]"! Two collaborations, each of about 2,500 people, discovered the Higgs! Your earlier paragraph nominating the Higgs was woefully, awfully wrong! I really feel very bad for the harm you're doing to understanding of science. Here are two references, by a former professor of mine and a Sci Am journalist, that explain the many errors.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/11/29/person-of-the-year-nomination-for-higgs-boson-riddled-with-errors/

http://profmattstrassler.com/2012/12/05/my-version-of-the-higgs-time-paragraph/

ResrchInstitute
ResrchInstitute

Time...You should take note of George Lucas as a choice instead of your pathetic list. See @rickyschultz1 comment below. THAT is worthy of the title "Man of the Year." HE should be your choice, not a bunch of overpaid CEOs and horrible politicians or leaders.

rickyschultz1
rickyschultz1

where is George Lucas?! my hero of the year--for his gracious unselfish act to benefit the children of our nation.  he sells his Star Wars franchise to Disney for $4.07 BILLION and announces he will DONATE 100% of the proceeds to an educational foundation.

if there is an American more worthy of being honored this year, i missed it.  Bravo Mr. Lucas may your magnanimous act inspire others among the wealthy elite. you have raised the bar. i am awed by your generosity. clearly, The Force is with him, a true warrior of The Light!

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

MEMO TO TIME MAGAZINE:

The following is a list and explanation for why many of your nominees are, well, ill-considered (to put it nicely):

1) Barack Obama - He already "won" the Nobel Peace Prize (making a joke of the Nobel Committee), and "won" that re-election by pandering to minority voters, and by "not being Mitt Romney." He should share his award with the news media, who acted as an extension of his campaign team (read: Chris Matthews).

2) Mohammed Morsi - Already behaving like a DICTATOR as the leader of Egypt, and allowing a series of suppression measures to take effect. Ohhh yeeeaaah, but Egypt got their independence from that other dictator, right??!!

3) "Bill & Hill" (Clinton): Bill was impeached as President, lost manufacturing jobs, slashed the military/intelligence budgets, and keeps popping up to support Democrats with his Southern-swagger. Hillary bungled Benghazi, and now refuses like a wuss to testify before Congress.

4) Marissa Mayer (of Yahoo!): Ummmm, why? Yahoo! is currently running 2nd place behind GOOGLE. Ohhh yeaaah, because she personifies the Top Management Mommy of 2012 (i.e. working as an executive after just giving birth). Way to go on appealing to the female demographic!

5) Tim Cook (of Apple): Again, ummmm, why? The Apple product line (iPod, iPhone, iPad, Macbook) is lackluster, and further innovation currently seems unlikely. Ohhh yeaaaah, because he happens to be gay! Of course, why not sensationalize how a gay man is running the world's most innovative company?! Sheer genius!!

6) Higgs Boson (and its discoverers): For the last time, ummmm, why? According to sources (http://zeenews.india.com/news/space/there-may-be-two-higgs-bosons-not-one_817498.html), there may be 2 Higgs Boson particles - not one. The science is still unsettled on the matter, and the scientists have not yet pronounced any kind of final judgment on the matter. Never mind that the particle is not a 'person' as well...

7) Undocumented Americans - Time, get it through your head: UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS ARE NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS. They are illegal aliens, who must obtain citizenship, or be deported. How dare you behave like a crackhead, and tarnish "Person of the Year" by nominating a group of 12+ million criminals.

In other words, Time, you're essentially playing a Game of Identity Politics with Obama, "Bill & Hill," Mayer, and Cook. With Morsi, you're nominating a guy who's behaving like a dictator. With Higgs Boson, the science is unsettled. With illegal aliens, you cross the line, and clearly believe pandering to your Hispanic readership is more important than behaving like a professional news organization (that should be reporting on their criminality, and not aiding/abetting it).

Shame on you for exhibiting such a lack of judgment.

ResrchInstitute
ResrchInstitute

How about choosing A REAL HERO for person of the year instead of a bunch of people who only want to pat themselves on the back and LIE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND TAKE OUR RIGHTS AWAY! Choose REAL HEROS LIKE VICTORIA SOTO, THE TEACHER WHO SACRIFICED HERSELF FOR HER STUDENTS LAST FRIDAY!. THAT WOULD BE A RESPECTIBLE PERSON TO CHOOSE. STOP LETTING YOUR DAMN POCKETBOOKS DETERMINE WHO YOU CHOOSE!

rasha
rasha

@jkaravidas hay dear i am rasha from egypt and let me tell u that u r wrong about our presedent ......its all about a very bad media in egypt thats makes u think like that

MikaelTrotta
MikaelTrotta

@alesau...please. What political power? They continue to vote for the Democratic Party, despite all the broken promises. "Just wait...be patient...just wait...we'll pass immigration reform." Nothing happens. Then there's another election cycle. The same promises are made, and the Latino voters forget about all the unfulfilled promises, and vote for same politicians who broke every single promise made to their Latino base. "We're working on it, keep waiting...be patient...ultimately, we'll get a bill passed." Again, nothing happens.  

LesMoore
LesMoore

Hitler was Man of the Year in 1938.

ResrchInstitute
ResrchInstitute

@rickyschultz1 NOW THAT is the best suggestion I've seen all day on this site. GOOD ONE! Time's horrible list of traitors, overpaid CEOs and dictators makes me nauseous.

MCaudebec
MCaudebec

@mrbomb13 I really cant tell if your trolling. None of your opinions make sense and you have no facts to back up your statements. 

ResrchInstitute
ResrchInstitute

@mrbomb13  FINALLY, SOMEONE with some SENSE actually responds! TIME you are a part of the problem. You encourage people who are IMMORAL, ILLEGAL, TRAITOROUS LIARS and who DO NOT REPRESENT ANYTHING GOOD IN HUMANITY. You need to rethink your choices. Mohammed Morsi? REALLY!??? The dictator who is expelling Christians from Egypt?!! You want to put him on your list. YOU ARE JUST PATHETIC!

TommyC
TommyC

@ResrchInstitute Okay, the Tea Party lunacy aside, I'm just going to make the point that this is for the PERSON of the year, and not the Hero of the Year.

 It's not who's done the most good, it's who has been the most newsworthy.  This 'award' has been handed to the likes of Hitler before, even.

Disgusting
Disgusting

@MikaelTrotta @alesau - I disagree.  Children of illegal immigrants can now obtain a drivers license.  Baby steps, but I'm sure there is more to come.  The Orange County Register (CA) has decided to no longer use the term "illegal immigrants" when reporting on people who are in the country illegally.  The media seems to take the "undocumented" approach.  Just look at the post your responded to:  they consider themselves "undocumented Americans."  How on earth can you be an undocumented American?

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

@MCaudebec @mrbomb13 I can assure you that I'm not trolling.  All of my comments are based upon widely available sources.  A simple GOOGLE or Yahoo! search will yield all relevant articles.

To make it easier, I will state with certainty with of my statements are true:

1) Obama did win the Nobel Peace Prize after his election victory in 2008.

2) Obama did win re-election not by emphasizing his own platform, but instead by tearing into his opponent's.

3) Obama did win re-election by capturing sizable majorities of the minority and youth vote.

4) All of the facts on Bill Clinton are widely available.

5) Hillary will not testify on Benghazi, due to a concussion (even though they could have re-scheduled the hearing for when she felt better).

6) Marissa Myer did give birth before assuming the helm at Yahoo!

7) Tim Cook is indeed a gay man.

8) Higg Boson was cited in my original post.

9) Illegal Aliens are not automatically American citizens; they must be naturalized before attaining citizenship.  

10) Remaining in the country without becoming a citizen is a criminal act, whereby the punishment is deportation.

I personally invite you to now substantiate your side.

ResrchInstitute
ResrchInstitute

@TommyC  Now the BEST choice if you want to get into all that was made by @rickyschultz1"Where is George Lucas?! my hero of the year--for his gracious unselfish act to benefit the children of our nation. he sells his Star Wars franchise to Disney for $4.07 BILLION and announces he will DONATE 100% of the proceeds to an educational foundation. If there is an American more worthy of being honored this year, i missed it. Bravo Mr. Lucas may your magnanimous act inspire others among the wealthy elite. you have raised the bar. i am awed by your generosity. clearly, The Force is with him, a true warrior of The Light!Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/12/18/time-reveals-its-shortlist-for-person-of-the-year-2012/#ixzz2FR3EKLES"THAT is a choice worthy of that "award." NOT the horrible list that Time decided was their choices.

ResrchInstitute
ResrchInstitute

@TommyC @ResrchInstitute And so you would choose Hitler again if you had a choice? Is someone who happens to just be a good CEO worth putting on the list? I don't think so. Is putting a person who lies to the American people repeatedly and hides the truth to save their own asses a good thing? Is choosing a new dictator who expels Christians from Egypt a good choice? Those are NOT people who are worthy of being put on the list. If you want to put someone on the list, then make them WORTHY of something other than running a company. It is rediculous!

RyanKramer
RyanKramer

Eh. They gave it to George twice, so Obama's no stretch at all.

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

@LesMoore Are you implying that my statements are false?  If so, would you please be so kind as to furnish evidence that would substantiate your position?

I look forward to your reply, and bonjour to you too, sir.

LesMoore
LesMoore

Beacuase if it's on the internet, it has to be true . . . bonjour.

MCaudebec
MCaudebec

@mrbomb13 @MCaudebec alright, good points you proved me wrong. Only one I disagree with is "The Apple product line (iPod, iPhone, iPad, Macbook) is lackluster, and further innovation currently seems unlikely." Im sure Apple will be bringing a lot more innovation in 2013. I agree this year was certainly not there most innovative. But I guess we need to take into consideration the fact that Apple made a ton of changes internally this year

A transition away from Google Maps, Scott Forstall being fired and Jonathan Ive taking control of Human interfaces and the OSX and iOS teams combining into one team as Creg Fedreghi becomes SVP of iOS. As well as Bob Mansfield starting a new Semi Conductor team.