Runners-up were Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani women's rights activist who survived after being shot in the head and neck by Taliban; Apple CEO Tim Cook; Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi; and scientist Fabiola Gianotti. In 2011, Time picked "The Protester."
The magazine unveiled its Person of the Year selection on the "Today" show on Wednesday.
The president's reelection in November showed "the Obama effect was not ephemeral anymore, no longer reducible to what had once been mocked as that 'hopey-changey stuff,'" Time's Michael Scherer wrote in the accompanying cover story. "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. It could be seen in the new faces who waited hours to vote and in the new ways campaigns are run. America debated and decided this year: history would not record Obama’s presidency as a fluke."
The cover features a silver border--just the fourth time in Time's 89-year-history the magazine was published without its trademark red. Time.com also published a slideshow featuring "never-before-seen images of the Obama presidency" from Election Night to Newtown.
“It was easy to think that maybe 2008 was the anomaly," President Obama told Time in an interview. “And I think 2012 was an indication that, no, this is not an anomaly. We’ve gone through a very difficult time. The American people have rightly been frustrated at the pace of change, and the economy is still struggling, and this president we elected is imperfect. And yet despite all that, this is who we want to be. That’s a good thing.”