The Case For Palin As Time Person Of The Year?!?!

Time Person Of The Year

Time Person Of The Year

Jason Linkins, writing for the Huffington Post, examines Jon Friedman’s case for Sarah Palin as the Time magazine Person of the Year.  Is he (Friedman) kidding???  America finally elects the first African American president in the history of our country with his uplifting, inspirational campaign of hope, change and renewal, and this guy believes SARAH PALIN should be considered???

Look, people. Barack Obama is going to be Time Magazine‘s Person Of The Year. You can pretty much put that in the bank, where it will probably end up accruing as much value as anything else you’ve placed in a soon-to-be-nationalized bank over the past year. And honestly, given the fact that every President of the United States gets to be Time Magazine‘s Person Of The Year, everyone should be okay with it. Even those opposed to Obama can take heart in the fact they gave the honor to Vladimir Putin last year.

That’s not stopping a few people from mounting quixotic campaigns for others. Take this column from MarketWatch’s Jon Friedman. He thinks that the Person of the Year honorific should go to Sarah Palin. You remember her, right? Sure you do, she will not ever go away! Anyway, Friedman believes a case can be made for Timeto “go out on a limb and select Palin over the obvious pick, President-elect Barack Obama.” And it’s not because Friedman thinks Obama’s undeserving. “Obama revolutionized and electrified the political scene, becoming the first African-American to win the U.S. presidential election,” he notes. “Further, he accomplished a far-reaching goal. He made politics seem accessible and relevant to a nation of disenfranchised Americans, including generations of African-Americans.”

But Palin, according to Friedman, “achieved something remarkable in her own right,” namely, “it was possible for (truly) anyone to rise to political prominence on the national stage, whether she strikes you today as an inspiration or a punch line.”

Right! And the same thing can be said for Admiral James Stockdale!

Friedman continues:

Palin’s overnight fame seemed even more unlikely than that of Obama, who had followed a carefully scripted game plan designed to capitalize on the disillusionment over such better-known and seasoned rivals as Hillary Clinton and John McCain. By contrast, Palin emerged as the accidental celebrity of politics.

Remember, only a handful of political junkies outside of Alaska knew much about Palin as recently as Aug. 28. Then, 24 hours later, John McCain tapped her to be his running mate and unwittingly unleashed Palinmania. McCain was the presidential candidate on the Republican ticket — but was there ever any doubt about which one was driving the media train? It was Palin.

I think that if Friedman’s under the impression that Palin’s rise to prominence didn’t come about through a “carefully scripted game plan,” he should go back over the cloak-and-dagger tick-tock that brought her from Alaska to Ohio for her big day out as the GOP Veep pick. She had a convention speech reformulated to her specifications, remember? I seem to recall that some new clothes got bought for her or something? And I find it hard to believe that anyone really believes that the McCain campaign “unwittingly unleashed Palinmania.” The whole point of having her on the ticket was to unleash some mania for a moribund campaign that had decided that an ever-escalating series of stunts to win news cycles was necessary to win the election.

And anyway, there was also that whole thing about Palin being the largest drag on the McCain ticket? To me, that sort of cuts against the notion that it’s a good thing for “anyone to rise to political prominence.” Maybe it’s important to know that the Vice President isn’t in charge of the Senate and stuff!

Anyway, Friedman can rest assured that the magazine will undoubtedly pretend to give Palin a fair hearing. Managing Editor Rick Stengel will pull out all the stops where this pretense is concerned, up to and including empaneling a group of elites to weigh in on the matter. Of course, this year’s panel includes NBC News’ Brian Williams — who’s likely to go all-in with some historical waxing on the Obama presidency, Elizabeth Edwards — a fellow at the progressive-leaning Center for American Progress, actor John Slattery — who canvassed for Obama in Virginia, and Representative Artur Davis (D-AL) — who went to law school with the President-Elect.

So, I’d say the cards are well nigh stacked in Obama’s favor. But even if none of that were true, Stengel’s got an even stronger reason to give Obama the nod. With Election Day newspapers emerging as the only truly profitable model of print media out there, Time would be foolish to pass up a chance at that gravy train.

The Case For Palin As Time Person Of The Year

________________________________________________________________________

Sarah Palin Should Be Time’s Person Of The Year

NEW YORK — Time magazine has a nice problem: It can choose between two compelling newsmakers as its 2008 Person of the Year.When it announces the winner next month, will Time opt for Barack Obama or Sarah Palin?

Of course, these aren’t the only contenders, by any means. But Time Warner’s Time has been known to zig while the country zags. The magazine may select someone who doesn’t have a link to the just-concluded presidential campaign. Time likes to make off-the-wall choices, in an effort to look controversial and manufacture publicity, such as Vladimir Putin, the prime minister of Russia, a year ago and “You” two years ago.

“You” was a nod to the raging popularity of social-network Web sites and the empowerment of individuals in a digital world. At the time, I thought the pick was as dumb as dust and said so in print. I subsequently saw the wisdom and recanted my criticism, to Time’s satisfaction.

Obamamania vs. Palinmania

Does Time have the nerve to go out on a limb and select Palin over the obvious pick, President-elect Barack Obama?

Sure, Obama revolutionized and electrified the political scene, becoming the first African-American to win the U.S. presidential election. Further, he accomplished a far-reaching goal. He made politics seem accessible and relevant to a nation of disenfranchised Americans, including generations of African-Americans. That’s no small feat in itself.

Then again, Palin, the oft-mocked governor of Alaska, achieved something remarkable in her own right. She showed it was possible for (truly) anyone to rise to political prominence on the national stage, whether she strikes you today as an inspiration or a punch line.

Palin’s overnight fame seemed even more unlikely than that of Obama, who had followed a carefully scripted game plan designed to capitalize on the disillusionment over such better-known and seasoned rivals as Hillary Clinton and John McCain. By contrast, Palin emerged as the accidental celebrity of politics.

Remember, only a handful of political junkies outside of Alaska knew much about Palin as recently as Aug. 28. Then, 24 hours later, John McCain tapped her to be his running mate and unwittingly unleashed Palinmania. McCain was the presidential candidate on the Republican ticket — but was there ever any doubt about which one was driving the media train? It was Palin.

Picking Palin

I hope Time selects Palin for these reasons:

Palin, even more than Obama, made politics seem exciting every day. Obama, presumably, will get many opportunities to be named a Person of the Year during the years he occupies the White House (particularly if and when he leads America out of Iraq and helps us achieve economic prosperity). It would be fun to watch so many Americans go nuts because Time, once again, chose someone unexpected.

No doubt, plenty of jaded readers will ask, who cares?

It’s a fair point but, ultimately, a short-sighted one. Yes, the relevance of weekly news magazines has receded dramatically during the digital era. Still, Time’s Person of the Year is probably the only end-of-the-year award that matters anymore.

Jim Kelly, the former Time managing editor who now holds the same title at publisher Time Inc. is fond of calling the Person of the Year speculation “America’s favorite parlor game” — and he is correct. If nothing else, it is entertaining to make a pick, like with the nation’s preoccupation with holding Oscar pools every year.

There’s nothing wrong with lightening up a little now and then.

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One response to “The Case For Palin As Time Person Of The Year?!?!

  1. Another barf bag, please…

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