President Barack Obama Named Time's Person of the Year

TIME Person of the Year 2012
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From a shortlist that included a Pakistani teenager, the new leader of Egypt and a former president, Barack Obama has for the second time been named Time magazine's person of the year.

In an essay on the weekly decision, Michael Scherer, the magazine's White House correspondent, points to "the Obama effect," and how it can be quantified.

"It could be measured — in wars stopped and started; industries saved, restructured or reregulated; tax cuts extended; debt levels inflated; terrorists killed; the health-insurance system reimagined; and gay service members who could walk in uniform with their partners," Scherer wrote.

SLIDESHOW: Time person of the year covers.

The selection of Obama by the magazine was announced today on NBC's "Today" show.

This is the second time the magazine has bestowed the honor on the president. Four years ago, as president-elect after his victory over John McCain in 2008, he was also given the honor.

Other contenders on the magazine's short list this year included Malala Yousafzai, the teen Pakistani advocate for education for girls who was shot by the Taliban, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The magazine named 17-year-old Yousafzai 2012's runner-up.

"Since October her message has been heard around the world, from cramped classrooms where girls scratch out lessons in the dirt to the halls of the U.N. and national governments and NGOs, where legions of activists argue ever more vehemently that the key to raising living standards throughout the developing world is the empowerment of women and girls," Aryn Baker, Time's Middle East bureau chief, said in a profile.

Last year, amid the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street movement and other action around the world, "the protestor" was named Time's person of the year. In 2010 it went to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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