Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and FBI special counsel Robert Mueller are all on Time magazine’s shortlist to be named 2018’s Person of the Year, Time is reporting.
Since 1927, the venerable magazine has honored the person who has influenced the news the most the previous year. In most cases, the recipient has been a person, but there have been times when the honor was bestowed upon an idea or a metaphor (for example, The Silence Breakers and the #MeToo Movement in 2017), and in one case a planet (Planet Earth, 1988).
However, that honor doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual’s contributions to the news are good; in fact, sometimes just the opposite is true. Case in point: the magazine named Adolf Hitler Person of the Year in 1938. Similarly, in 1988 the magazine named Planet Earth Planet of the Year, due to the emerging environmentalist movement and the fact that that year marked a major turning point in addressing major pollution and other environmental issues.
For the 2018 honor, the magazine has narrowed the choices down to three men whose names come up in headlines at least once per day; and in some cases, multiple times per day.
Already an honoree in 2007, Putin continues to be a looming figure on the stage of ongoing world events, both in Russia and here in the U.S.
— President of Russia (@KremlinRussia_E) December 7, 2018
In Russia, Putin has been consolidating his iron grip on the former Soviet Union country for the better part of two decades now. Here in the States, Putin’s purported influence continues to be investigated (more on that in a few paragraphs), as prosecutors are trying to figure out just how much (if any) influence Putin exerted on the presidential election in 2016.
Speaking of investigations:
Since May 2017, the former FBI director has been investigating possible collusion between Russian agents and Donald Trump’s campaign. Already the investigation has resulted in 33 people (and entities and organizations) being hit with criminal charges, and a handful are already behind bars and/or facing sentencing.
Meanwhile, the one person who has yet to be named in the investigation – and who, it is believed, will be named when the final report comes out, is Donald Trump.
If he’s given the honor in 2018, it would be the second time in three years, Trump having been named Person of the Year in 2016 when he won the presidential election. This year, Trump has dominated the headlines for his controversial border policy that resulted in families being separated and held in different detention camps, as well as for the ongoing Mueller investigation.