Time magazine has named its “Person of the Year” for 2007: outgoing President Vladimir Putin of Russia. David Morgan reports for Reuters:
Time magazine named Russian President Vladimir Putin its “Person of the Year” for 2007 on Wednesday, saying he had returned his country from chaos to “the table of world power” though at a cost to democratic principles.
Putin, a former KGB official picked from relative obscurity to be prime minister in 1999 by then-President Boris Yeltsin, will appear on the cover of a special issue of Time as the person the editors believe had the greatest impact on events, for better or worse.
“He’s not a good guy, but he’s done extraordinary things,” said Time managing editor Richard Stengel, who announced Putin’s selection on NBC’s “Today Show.”
Read the rest at the link above. Many expected General David Petraeus, the man who turned the situation around in Iraq, to be named, but he only finished fifth in the magazine’s voting, behind Al Gore, “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling (!?), and Chinese President Hu Jintao. What exactly anyone thought Rowling may have done to deserve the award – or even Hu – wasn’t mentioned.
As last year’s winner, I am disappointed the magazine rewarded Putin, who has installed a puppet successor, murdered, arrested, and blocked from the ballot his opponents, confiscated private property – in short, acted like a full-blown KGB boss. At Time there remains much nostalgia for the good ol’ days of international communism.