Joe Biden, Kamala Harris named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were revealed as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year on Thursday, beating out fellow front runner President Donald Trump. Time unveiled its selection for the honor from a shortlist Thursday night during an NBC broadcast special.
“Biden had the vision, set the tone and topped the ticket,” Time said in a story explaining its choice. “But he also recognized what he could not offer on his own, what a 78-year-old white man could never provide: generational change, a fresh perspective, and an embodiment of America’s diversity.
“For that, he needed Kamala Harris: California senator, former district attorney and state attorney general, a biracial child of immigrants whose charisma and tough questioning of Trump administration officials electrified millions of Democrats.”
Time had already narrowed the possibilities to Biden, Trump, frontline health care workers and infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the movement for racial justice that swelled after the police killing of George Floyd.
The criteria for Person of the Year is someone (or something) that “affected the news or our lives the most, for better or worse.” It’s not an award like the Oscars, but rather a recognition of a person’s impact. Time’s editors make the final choice.
Time uses a loose interpretation of “person.” Previous selections have included The Silence Breakers of the #MeToo movement in 2017 and the Ebola-fighting health workers of 2014.
Last year’s Person of the Year was teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, who set a record as the youngest person to take the title. Trump was previously chosen in 2016, sparking a social media furor at the time.
In Time’s reader poll, the magazin’s audience picked essential workers, which encompasses the health care professionals, delivery people and grocery store employees who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic all year long. Fauci as an individual came in second.
CNET’s Steven Musil contributed to this report.