Now that the midterm elections are finally over, we turn now to the important work in December: list making. What were the biggest stories of 2014? Who were the biggest winners and losers in politics? Which 19 cats best depict the state of budgetary debate in the US?
And of course, we await with bated breath the selection of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Last year the honor went to Pope Francis, but this year the pontiff will find himself eclipsed by, er … Ferguson protesters?
Few lists are likely to contain a combination of individuals like Taylor Swift, Vladimir Putin, the protesters in Ferguson and Apple CEO Tim Cook. Enter Time’s shortlist of finalists for its 2014 Person of the Year.
Time’s Person of the Year is, according to the magazine, an individual or group who, for better or worse, has had the biggest impact on the world and news over the course of the past year.
Last year, Time crowned Pope Francis as its 2013 Person of the Year.
Time editors have narrowed their list down to the eight individuals below and will reveal their selection for the 2014 Person of the Year on TODAY on Wednesday.
This year’s list also adds in a suggestion from last year that didn’t make the cut for 2013: Vladimir Putin. It’s a lot easier to make that case this year, now that Putin has gobbled up Crimea and is slowly trying to suck in Donetsk and Luhansk as well. On top of that, Putin supplied the weapon system (if not the crew) that shot down a Malaysian Air commercial flight over the civil war. If it hadn’t been for the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Putin would have been the dominant player on the world stage.
In contrast, one person makes a very noticeable departure from the list of finalists. Barack Obama didn’t make the cut, which Time editor Nancy Gibbs chalks up to Obama’s “difficult year.” These eight finalists, Gibbs says, had more influence than Obama “in different ways, in different spheres.” When an American President can’t make it on the same list of influencers as Taylor Swift and Roger Goodell, that’s one seriously lame duck in the Oval Office.
Who would get the nod from Hot Air readers in this list of finalists? Take the poll, and leave your suggestions in the comments section. We may work on our own list later this month.