President-elect Donald Trump has been named TIME Magazine‘s Person of the Year for 2016. President-elect Trump first became a Republican candidate for president in June of 2015, when he made the announcement after riding down an escalator at Trump Tower. He was also in the running for the award last year.
However, TIME ultimately named German Chancellor Angela Merkel as person of the year for 2015. Trump later reacted to TIME’s selection on Twitter.
I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2015
This year was different. Trump, a businessman who had never been elected to public office before, earned the GOP nomination for president after defeating 16 seasoned Republican challengers. To the surprise of many, he defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the general election on November 8, earning 306 electoral votes (after Michigan was finally called) to Clinton’s 232.
Though he lost the popular vote, President-elect Trump was the first Republican nominee to receive over 300 electoral votes since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
— TIME (@TIME) December 7, 2016
For nearly a year and a half, the world watched with wonder as President-elect Trump made his improbable journey to the White House. On his way to victory, President-elect Trump not only faced criticism from Democrats but from members of his own party, as well. Whenever it appeared that his campaign might be in trouble, he kept moving along and defying the odds.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 7, 2016
The morning after the election, House Speaker Paul Ryan, who wasn’t necessarily President-elect Trump’s most loyal supporter during the campaign, spoke of the incredible accomplishment. As Time reported back then, Ryan described President-elect Trump’s victory as the most “incredible political feat” he had ever seen.
The news that President-elect Trump has been named TIME’s person of the year for 2016 should not come as too big of a surprise. The announcement that President-elect Trump had officially received the honor came from TIME‘s managing editor, Nancy Gibbs, who revealed the news on NBC’s TODAY Show.
Gibbs also claimed that 2016 was one of the more “straightforward years” when it came to picking the winner. She later elaborated and described why President-elect Trump was chosen.
“When have we ever seen a single individual who has so defied expectations, broken the rules, violated norms, beaten not one, but two political parties on the way to winning an election that he entered with 100-to-1 odds against him? I don’t think that we have ever seen one person operating in such an unconventional way have an impact on the events of the year quite like this.”
Writing for TODAY, Eun Kyung Kim described how President-elect Trump bested a total of ten other candidates. Per TIME, a few of the other candidates on the shortlist included Russian President Vladimir Putin, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, The Flint Water Crisis Whistleblowers, singer Beyonce Knowles, and Clinton. Clinton finished as the runner-up to President-elect Trump this year.
TODAY also describes how President-elect Trump’s first appearance on TIME’s cover came back in 1989. This will mark his 10th appearance overall.
Trump named person of the year by ‘Time’ https://t.co/Qf2ImxCY1x
— Mashable (@mashable) December 7, 2016
Speaking in a phone interview with Matt Lauer after the announcement was revealed, President-elect Trump said that it was a “tremendous honor” to be named the magazine’s Person of the Year. President-elect Trump also addressed being labeled as “President of the Divided States of America” on the magazine’s cover.
“When you say ‘divided states of America,’ I didn’t divide them,” Trump told Lauer. “They’re divided now, there’s a lot of division. And we’re going to put it back together and were going to have a country that’s very well healed.”
In the interview, President-elect Trump also told Lauer that former governor of Massachusetts and 2012 GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney still has a chance to become the next Secretary of State. Romney was once a fierce critic of President-elect Trump, but he later congratulated him on his victory. He has also met with him on more than one occasion since the election.
“We’ve come a long way together,” Trump said in the interview when asked about Romney.
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) November 30, 2016
Per TODAY, TIME has been appointing a Person of the Year each year since 1927, though it was originally known as “Man of the Year.” TODAY further describes how the winner is based on whoever has had had the greatest influence “on the news and the world,” whether good or bad, during the given year.
President-elect Trump, the 90th person to receive the Person of the Year award, will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017.
[Featured Image by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images]