Barack Obama named 'Person of the Year' by Time magazine | world | Hindustan Times
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Barack Obama named 'Person of the Year' by Time magazine

world Updated: Dec 17, 2008 21:43 IST

US President-elect Barack Obama, who scripted history by becoming the first black-American to be voted to the White House, was on Wednesday named the 'Person of the Year' for 2008 by the prestigious Time magazine.

The 47-year-old charismatic Democrat, who will be sworn in as President on January 20, was chosen the 2008 'Person of the Year' "for having the confidence to sketch an ambitious future in a gloomy hour," the US-based magazine said.

It said he showed "the competence that makes Americans hopeful he might pull it off."

Recent winners of the coveted title included Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the American soldier and the online public.

The magazine told its readers that they were unlikely to be surprised to see Obama's face on the cover of its latest issue, which will also include 26 never-before-seen photographs of the US President-elect.

"He has come to dominate the public sphere so completely that it beggars belief to recall that half the people in America had never heard of him two years ago.

"He hit the American scene like a thunderclap, upended our politics, shattered decades of conventional wisdom and overcame centuries of the social pecking order," it said of Obama, who has featured on its cover 15 times in the past two years.

Four runners-up for this year's title were also announced by the magazine apart from 17 "people who mattered".
The runners-up were US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Republican Vice Presidential candidate and Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin and China's Zhang Yimou, Creative Director of August's Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing.

The "people who mattered" included the released Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and Tina Fey, the actress who impersonated Palin during the US Presidential election campaign.

Time began selecting a 'Man of the Year' in 1927 and has selected a man, woman or group every year since. In one year it chose the computer for the title.