Hardly a stunner. Historically Time has made it clear that this is a designation, not an award. That it's for the most impactful person of the past year. That's why Hitler was Person of the Year after starting WWII in Europe. But this sure sounds more like an honor than a designation:
"For finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union, Barack Obama is TIME’s 2012 Person of the Year," Time editor Richard Stengel writes.
Time's Michael Scherer, who writes the lengthy profile on Obama for the issue, argues that the president has been given a mandate of sorts.
"He... begins his second term with a better sense of what is possible in his job as well as what is not... He has earned the right to set [the] direction and has learned from experience how to move the country," Scherer writes. "After four of the most challenging years in the nation’s history, his chance to leave office as a great President who was able to face crises and build a new majority coalition remains within reach."
And this is the second time Barack Obama has been Time's choice.