by Linda Ikeji
Time magazine has jointly named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris its “Person of the Year.”
Time’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal says Biden and Harris won the honor for “changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world.”
Felsenthal notes, “Every elected President since FDR has at some point during his term been a Person of the Year, nearly a dozen of those in a presidential election year. This is the first time we have included a Vice President.”
He continues, “Joe Biden was elected President of the United States in the midst of an existential debate over what reality we inhabit. Perhaps the only thing Americans agree on right now is that the future of the country is at stake, even as they fiercely disagree about why…. The task before the new Administration is immense: a pandemic to confront, an economy to fix, a climate crisis to tackle, alliances to rebuild, deep skepticism to overcome with many Americans dubious about unity with Trump voters, and an opposition party still very much under Trump’s sway…. This will be the test of the next four years: Americans who haven’t been this divided in more than a century elected two leaders who have bet their success on finding common ground.”
Kamala Harris is the first Vice President to be included in the choice for Person of the Year.
Felsenthal writes: “TIME from its beginnings has had a special connection to the presidency, as a reflection of America and its role in the world. Every elected President since FDR has at some point during his term been a Person of the Year, nearly a dozen of those in a presidential election year. This is the first time we have included a Vice President. In a year that saw an epic struggle for racial justice, and one of the most consequential elections in history, the Biden-Harris partnership sends a powerful message.”
In his letter to readers, Felsenthal writes, “The selection of Person of the Year is rarely easy, and this year was far more difficult than most… In Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, we have two individuals whose election mirrored and moved the major stories of this year and whose fates will shape the nation’s role in the world and the future of the American experiment.”
Time’s other Person of the Year candidates were President Donald Trump; frontline health care workers and Dr. Anthony Fauci; and the movement for racial justice.