Joe Biden and Kamala Harris named Time’s person of the year

Magazine says US president-elect and VP ‘offered restoration and renewal in a single ticket’

US vice-president-elect Kamala Harris  and president-elect Joe Biden. Photograph:  Jim Lo Scalzo

US vice-president-elect Kamala Harris and president-elect Joe Biden. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo

 

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been named Time magazine’s person – or persons – of the year for 2020.

The magazine said: “Together, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris offered restoration and renewal in a single ticket. And America bought what they were selling: after the highest turnout in a century, they racked up 81 million votes and counting, the most in presidential history, topping Trump by some 7 million votes and flipping five battleground states.”

The accolade for Mr Biden sees him follow in the footsteps of Barack Obama (2012) and Donald Trump (2016). Last year’s winner was climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Mr Biden (78), who served two terms as vice-president to Barack Obama, will become the oldest person to assume the office of US president when he is sworn in on January 20th. Ms Harris will become the first woman, the first black and the first person of Asian descent to be inaugurated vice-president.

The Person of the Year is usually an individual, but multiple people have been named in the past. In recent years the magazine has also taken to recognising groups or movements. In 2017, the magazine selected “The Silence Breakers” of the MeToo movement, and in 2018, chose to designate journalists who were imprisoned or killed for their work.

Prior to naming this year’s winner on Thursday, the magazine announced four finalists, included Mr Biden and Mr Trump – as well as two broader categories: the movement for racial justice, and frontline healthcare workers and Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious diseases scientist. Mr Trump has been on the shortlist every year since he won the 2016 election.

Time has named a person of the year since 1927. The selection represents “an individual but sometimes multiple people who greatly impacted the country and world during the calendar year”, the magazine says. The designation is not necessarily an honour. Rather, it recognises figures who have “influenced the news, for better or for worse”, according to the magazine.

Along with its Person of the Year honour, Time magazine named the Korean pop group BTS as its Entertainer of the Year, and basketball star LeBron James was crowned Athlete of the Year. – Guardian