It’s a decision which has split opinion just as the US presidential election did. But Time Magazine has decided to name Donald Trump as its Person of the Year.
The magazine said that the choice was down to the political surprise Mr Trump had brought with his unexpected victory. Announcing its new cover star, Time said: “It’s hard to measure the scale of his disruption.” The magazine noted Mr Trump’s diverse career as a real estate tycoon and then reality television star before he managed to take the election.
It added that for those who backed Mr Trump’s win, it represented a “long overdue rebuke to an entrenched and arrogant governing class.” The magazine revealed that it had put together a shortlist which also included Mr Trump’s rival to take the keys to the White House, the Democrat Hillary Clinton. Time also considered the Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan along with singing superstar Beyonce. The Russian president Vladimir Putin was also in the shortlist, as was former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who is a close ally of Mr Trump.
The title marks the close of a remarkable year for Mr Trump. He described Time’s decision as “a great honour,” adding that it meant a lot to him. He follows outgoing president Barack Obama as a Time cover star. The cover is designed to recognise the person who has “for better or for worse” done the most to influence the events of that year.
Time magazine editor Nancy Gibbs said that Mr Trump has reminded the US that demogoguery feeds on despair. She said he had empowered a hidden electorate by bringing the reason for its anger to the mainstream.
Mr Trump took part in an interview to go with his cover shot. He said that he believes there was no Russian interference in the election. Despite his wealth, he said that he understands and represents workers, adding that they loved him.