TIME magazine has named President Barack Obama person of the year for 2012. This is the second time for Obama; he was TIME's person of the year as President Elect in 2008. Here's how TIME editor Richard Stengel explained their choice:
In many ways, Barack Obama is the 21st century version of this new American. But he’s more than just a political figure; he’s a cultural one. He is the first President to embrace gay marriage and to offer work permits to many young undocumented immigrants.
Once again, Obama is leading America in the midst of a crisis. The nation is slowly crawling out of a recession, we're mired in fiscal cliff talks, and we're reeling from the recent tragedy. Maybe we can all draw inspiration from some of his best quotes.
- America's never been about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government.
- No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. I want to get this done and we can get it done.
- ... while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
- You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth.
- [D]emocracy is not something that is static; it’s something that we constantly have to work on. [...]democracy is a little messier than alternative systems of government, but that’s because democracy allows everybody to have a voice. And that system of government lasts, and it’s legitimate, and when agreements are finally struck, you know that nobody is being left out of the conversation. And that’s the reason for our stability and our prosperity.
- [In response to the Newtown shooting.] We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law -- no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that -- then surely we have an obligation to try.
- [W]e were inspired by the fierce dignity of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as she proved that no human being can truly be imprisoned if hope burns in your heart.
- I have never been more hopeful about America.
Who else has inspired you in 2012?
Image via TIME Magazine