Angela Merkel is Time's 2015 Person of the Year
December 9, 2015 5:17 AM   Subscribe

Chancellor of the Free World. "German chancellor Angela Merkel, whose leadership has helped preserve and promote an open, borderless Europe in the face of economic turmoil and an ongoing refugee crisis, is TIME’s 2015 Person of the Year."

This will mark the first time in almost 30 years, and the fourth since its creation in 1927, that Person of the Year has been an individual woman.

Runners-up for this year included:

ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
The Black Lives Matter movement
Athlete and Television Personality Caitlyn Jenner
Uber Founder Travis Kalanick
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani
Businessman and Presidential candidate Donald Trump
posted by XQUZYPHYR (78 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Keep on chancellin' in the free world Angela Merkel!
posted by blue_beetle at 5:29 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


I know you've been up all night, waiting, XQUZYPHYR...
waiting for it... your post composed, the times and dates checked... waiting for it...
it is coming
posted by Auden at 5:44 AM on December 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am so thrilled to see this though I hate the cover portrait they've chosen. It doesn't do her justice.

Also, only 4 women in almost 90 years? No wonder regular old women have so much trouble with media coverage

Until 1999 the default title for the award was “Man of the year”, changing to person of the year thereafter. Surprisingly though, those three wins for individual women were all before that date: Wallis Simpson in 1936, Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 and Corazon Aquino in 1986.Source
posted by infini at 5:45 AM on December 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


What the FUCK is up with the runners-up?
posted by iffthen at 5:50 AM on December 9, 2015 [25 favorites]


Uber founder? Donald Trump?!?
posted by valkane at 5:51 AM on December 9, 2015


ISIS?!!?!
posted by valkane at 5:52 AM on December 9, 2015


Time's online Reader's Poll results, (which closed last Sunday):

10.2% Bernie Sanders
5.2% Malala Yousafzai
3.7% Pope Francis
3.5% Barack Obama
3.1% Stephen Colbert
3.0% Refugees
2.9% Narendra Modi
2.7% Elon Musk
2.6% Cecile Richards
2.4% Angela Merkel ...
posted by Auden at 5:53 AM on December 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


Still a little irritated that the popular vote was completely discounted. Bernie won the vote from the people, but isn't even a runner-up.
posted by Mayor West at 5:53 AM on December 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


What the FUCK is up with the runners-up?
Uber founder? Donald Trump?!?
ISIS?!!?!

As with every Time Person of the year, the Time Person of the Year is not an award or an accolade, it's about someone who made the most impact that year (in the eyes of the editors), for better or worse.

I know this, because I was Time's 2006 Person of the Year.
posted by Karaage at 5:54 AM on December 9, 2015 [104 favorites]


The Uber founder is a bit much, but Donald Trump and ISIS seem like perfect candidates. Trump's influence is limited to America, but you can't argue that the two of them aren't influencing where the world is going in 2015.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:55 AM on December 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, in the real world, Bernie Sanders Wins Readers’ Poll for TIME Person of the Year.

The editors really just don't give a shit, do they?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:55 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Clocked time of joke in 2007: 0:02:00
Clocked time of joke in 2008: 0:09:00
Clocked time of joke in 2009: 0:13:00
Clocked time of joke in 2010: 0:03:00
Clocked time of joke in 2011: 1:00:00
Clocked time of joke in 2012: 0:04:00
Clocked time of joke in 2013: 0:13:00
Clocked time of joke in 2014: 0:14:00
Clocked time of joke in 2015: 0:37:00
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:58 AM on December 9, 2015 [106 favorites]


now i'm waiting for my mefi magazine cover.
posted by Karaage at 5:59 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, in the real world, Bernie Sanders Wins Readers’ Poll for TIME Person of the Year.

The editors really just don't give a shit, do they?


Bernie Sanders hasn't really done much yet. He has to win the nomination, then win the Presidency, then get some of his proposals made into law.

At the moment, he's just an older Barack Obama, promising the Moon, but in reality it's doubtful he'll even get into orbit, even if elected.

So no, the popularity vote by people who bother to vote shouldn't be definitive of anything. That's the height of pandering.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:01 AM on December 9, 2015 [19 favorites]


Previous Winners - Time's Person of the Year: 1927-2015 (Wikipedia) (... "Man of the Year" until 1999!)
posted by Auden at 6:13 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like the 1966 winner: "The Inheritor"
posted by Auden at 6:16 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a travesty. Merkel's unending support of austerity, in the face of overwhelming evidence that it doesn't work, and in fact makes things worse, has spread suffering across Europe. It's also led to the rise of the extreme right wing.
Throw in the unbelievably fucked up Berlin airport and the utter corruption at Volkswagen and this is just unbelievable.
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:21 AM on December 9, 2015 [15 favorites]


Still a little irritated that the popular vote was completely discounted. Bernie won the vote from the people, but isn't even a runner-up.

In 1998, professional wrestler Mick Foley won the "popular vote" for Man of the Year (before they changed it to "Person of the Year"). Likewise, he did not make the runners-up. Online polls are prone to ballot-stuffing, and are wisely discounted by the editors in these cases.
posted by Etrigan at 6:22 AM on December 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is a travesty. Merkel's unending support of austerity, in the face of overwhelming evidence that it doesn't work, and in fact makes things worse, has spread suffering across Europe. It's also led to the rise of the extreme right wing.
Throw in the unbelievably fucked up Berlin airport and the utter corruption at Volkswagen and this is just unbelievable.


So you agree she had a lot impact on the world this year, excellent!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:30 AM on December 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


Well, in that sense, not as much as ISIS.
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:32 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Still a little irritated that the popular vote was completely discounted. Bernie won the vote from the people, but isn't even a runner-up.

Metaphor for the actual Presidential election process? :P

While I kind of get why they don't just let readers decide everything, and agree that let's wait until Bernie Sanders crushes Hilary and whichever clown the GOP chooses... why even bother to have a popular poll if you're going to ignore its results entirely?

And I have to echo What the FUCK is up with the runners-up? I mean. Take out Trump and the ISIS douche canoe, and at least put Malala on the short list.
posted by Foosnark at 6:34 AM on December 9, 2015


I was Time's 1957 Person of the Year. I was born that year. And they knew I'd do great things.

They were wrong, but hey, it's just a magazine, after all. Still, I'm sure they're right about Angela Merkel.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:36 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


re: Sanders and the Times online poll:

Top Contributors - Senator Hillary Clinton Campaign Finance Cycle:
(top donors to this candidate in 1999-2016)

Citigroup Inc $824,402 $816,402 $8,000
Goldman Sachs $760,740 $750,740 $10,000
DLA Piper $700,530 $673,530 $27,000
JPMorgan $696,456 $693,456 $3,000
Morgan Stanley $636,564 $631,564 $5,000
EMILY's List $609,684 $605,764 $3,920
Time Warner $501,831 $476,831 $25,000
posted by Auden at 6:38 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Eh, it's no worse than all the other years' choices, and much better for being a woman. Just curious, does the mag's write-up include any mention of the horrible austerity program she's been pushing? I imagine Greek readers would have something to say about her negative impacts this year.
posted by mediareport at 6:41 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Campaign contributions definitely are why they selected a current governing world leader who is driving policy for Europe as opposed to a senator who is currently second place for his party's nomination and makes the internet excited. Donald Trump is a dangerous racist, but he's driving the national conversation more than Sanders at this point.

I get it, I also like Bernie Sanders, but he's not the Person of the Year. If we're lucky, maybe he'll get to be Person of 2017.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:44 AM on December 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


That's the height of pandering.

No, I'm pretty sure 2006 was the height of pandering. To (claim to) open the nomination to public input and then ignore it altogether is just condescension.

That said, maybe 2006 was on to something after all. None of these terrible, awful people and instutions--ISIS, Trump, Merkel--would have any influence on the world if it weren't for at least some measure of popular support. Maybe we need a redux of 2006, just with a different editorial slant to show who really makes a difference.

TIME Person of the Year 2016: You, You Fucking Asshole. You Fucked It All Up.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:49 AM on December 9, 2015 [12 favorites]


Well, Stalin won it twice. So did Nixon. Kissinger got one, and so did Hitler and Mark Zuckerberg.
posted by Auden at 6:53 AM on December 9, 2015


No presidential candidate has ever been chosen as M/POTY. The nearest they've ever come to selecting a presidential candidate was Reagan in 1983, when he was already President and shared the accolade with Yuri Andropov.
posted by Etrigan at 6:54 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Predictably, I've already seen a bunch of right wing wing pro-austerity assholes calling this a huge victory.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:54 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Still a little irritated that the popular vote was completely discounted. Bernie won the vote from the people, but isn't even a runner-up.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Bernie Sanders Wins Readers’ Poll for TIME Person of the Year.

You know those online votes are non-scientific, and are usually afflicted by gamesmanship by tech savvy Internet constituencies, right? For example, Ron Paul won the 2011 poll. In 2006, Hugo Chavez won. In 1998, Mick Foley won.

It's like that Modern Library reader poll of the top 100 books that had BATTLEFIELD EARTH and ATLAS SHRUGGED as the top two novels of all time.

In the "real world" Bernie Sanders is down 30 points in the national Democratic primary polling and leading the polls in 0 states.
posted by mpbx at 7:00 AM on December 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


why even bother to have a popular poll if you're going to ignore its results entirely?

I have heard rumors to some kind of financial scheme in which generating clicks to one's website somehow creates revenue based on placement of advertisements thereof.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:01 AM on December 9, 2015 [29 favorites]


Metafilter: Hitler and Mark Zuckerberg
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:04 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, her influence (and her finance minister's) is undoubtedly massive - she's one of the main reasons this youth unemployment map and this overall employment rate map are so depressing. Policy is being decided by the core at the expense of the periphery.
posted by kersplunk at 7:04 AM on December 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


In the "real world" Bernie Sanders is down 30 points in the national Democratic primary polling and leading the polls in 0 states.

And Time Warner is doing its part
posted by Auden at 7:04 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Time Warner $501,831 $476,831 $25,000

Time Warner doesn't own Time Magazine anymore, Time, Inc does.
posted by octothorpe at 7:04 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


And to further illustrate the youth crisis in the failing Eurozone countries: http://one-europe.info/user/files/Hanna/Youth_Unemployment_Europe_1990-2013.png
posted by kersplunk at 7:06 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Time Warner doesn't own Time Magazine anymore, Time, Inc does.

Roseanne Roseannadanna: "Never Mind."
posted by Auden at 7:11 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


In the "real world" Bernie Sanders is down 30 points in the national Democratic primary polling and leading the polls in 0 states.

2 states.
posted by Etrigan at 7:12 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


And Time Warner is doing its part

So what you're saying is that Time should've named Bernie Sanders their Person of the Year because an unscientific online poll said so, and that their failure to do so is because they are in the tank for his rival?
posted by mpbx at 7:12 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


What was scientific in Time's methodology for choosing Merkel?
posted by Auden at 7:14 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like the 1966 winner: "The Inheritor"

One of Batman's least-impressive villains.
posted by rokusan at 7:14 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


2 states.

He slipped in the polling average for NH; Clinton has regained a very narrow lead.

And there's been one poll of Utah, so you can't do a polling average, which... sure, believe that if you want, I guess.
posted by mpbx at 7:15 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like the 1966 winner: "The Inheritor"
One of Batman's least-impressive villains.


but wasn't that... Batman?
posted by Auden at 7:19 AM on December 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


What was scientific in Time's methodology for choosing Merkel?

I'm not arguing it was or should be, I'm merely questioning the logic of using the online poll as evidence that they should've made a different choice.
posted by mpbx at 7:19 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is anyone actually suggesting a senator from a small state with no real power was more influential this year than the de facto leader of a continent who has made decisions with big repercussions for several hundred million people?
posted by kersplunk at 7:19 AM on December 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


No, but we are suggesting that the editorial board of TIME Magazine are jerks.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:20 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2007: n/a
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2008: n/a
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2009: 29 min
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2010: 4 min
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2011: n/a
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2012: 10 min
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2013: 2 min
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2014: 2 min
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2015: 4 min

Median: 4 min
Mean: 8.5 min
Standard Deviation: 10.5 min
posted by Reverend John at 7:34 AM on December 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


Being able to brigade an online poll doesn't mean Bernie should be runner-up. That said, he'd be hella better than some of their other runner-ups.

What was scientific in Time's methodology for choosing Merkel?

Reality?
posted by bgal81 at 7:37 AM on December 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Some day Jeff Lebowski's gonna get his due.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:38 AM on December 9, 2015


Hooray for Merkel and Germany made a great choice in her. Germany is plagued with shading and bad press, but nevertheless gets greener all the time and is welcoming large numbers of those fleeing war, for their lives, and the lives of their children. She is the choice, indeed. Unflappable in the midst of the generalised hysteria that characterizes our times, Angela rocks it steady. Time made a great choice, especially when you see what else they were thinking.
posted by Oyéah at 7:45 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dear Bernie fans:
This isn't about you.

It's about why Time Magazine -- a very worldly, multinational magazine, mind you -- would vote for Angela Merkel, the elected leader of a major nation, to be their person of the year.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with the US Democratic Party politician who is polling a distant second. It has to do with a world leader who has been trying to guide their government -- and their entire continent -- through a huge economic and a huge immigration crisis.

Repeat, oh thou derailers who are, in effect, diminishing the contributions of a duly elected female leader of a major country, with your ill-timed Rom Pauling Bernieing... this is not about you.

(It's not even about Bernie, because I suspect he wouldn't approve of you trying to steal her thunder.)
posted by markkraft at 7:56 AM on December 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


Oh, and as an addition... Barack Obama won Person of the Year in 2008, *AFTER* he was elected the first African-Americant US president... and even then, there was a lot of controversy about his accomplishments to deserve the nomination.

Maybe you should see if he survives Iowa first.
posted by markkraft at 8:06 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would just like to add to markkraft's post about the stealing of Angela Merkel's Time Person of the Year award thunder by Bernie Sanders supporters to say that I now realize that it wasn't SNL's Gilda Radner character Roseanne Roseannadanna character who said, "Never Mind." It was, in fact, Gilda Radner's character Emily Litella.
posted by Auden at 8:10 AM on December 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


But surely Bernie has had more influence on his party and the national conversation than The Donald, who is even less likely to get his party's nomination and is only notable for being an especially scary clown.
posted by WCWedin at 8:10 AM on December 9, 2015


As for Merkel, her legacy is mixed at best, especially considering that her austerity policies are putting one of history's greatest efforts toward peace and cooperation at existential risk. The apologetic shrug that Time crafted around those events is pretty fucking gross.
posted by WCWedin at 8:15 AM on December 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


But surely Bernie has had more influence on his party and the national conversation than The Donald, who is even less likely to get his party's nomination and is only notable for being an especially scary clown.

Except that Trump is currently doing much better in the polls, relatively speaking, than Sanders, and Trump's crazy, racist ideas are the subject of nightly news reports. I hope you're right long term, and I think Trump is a better runner up than winner, but right now he's the conversation.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:16 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


But surely Bernie has had more influence on his party and the national conversation than The Donald, who is even less likely to get his party's nomination and is only notable for being an especially scary clown.

As of today, the moderate position on immigration is to not ban ALL Muslims. The Overton window has achieved warp speed
posted by Etrigan at 8:19 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


And Time Warner is doing its part

Sure not Person of the Year, but Bernie was already on Time's cover this year, as were Clinton (controversy), Trump, Pope Francis, Black Lives Matter (and sort of a second time), ISIS (again), and refugees arriving in Europe. Here are all of the 2015 US covers.
posted by msbrauer at 8:34 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


The silly thing about this argument every year is largely that it's the only time of year that Time magazine seems to get any paid attention to it at all.
posted by Karaage at 8:39 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


"History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind with the bucket."
- "The History Boys", Alan Bennett
posted by markkraft at 8:39 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


[A couple comments removed; let's maybe not have this devolve entirely into a meta-argument about Bernie Sanders' campaign, or a reactionary Yeah But Hillary twist on that.]
posted by cortex at 8:43 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some facts about German Chancellors and Time's Person of the Year:

- Angela Merkel is the fourth chancellor to have received the award, after Adolf Hitler (1938), Konrad Adenauer (1953), and Willy Brandt (1970).
- She is the first to have received the award after reunification.
- She is the first to have lived in the East Germany.
- She is the first woman chancellor to have received the award.
- She is the second chancellor to have been a member of the centre-right CDU and won the award, following Adenauer.
- She is the second Lutheran chancellor to have won the award, after Brandt.
- She is the second chancellor and winner to have been married twice, after Adenauer.
- She is the third chancellor and winner to have been born in territories that were part of the former West Germany.
- She is the third chancellor and winner to have been born in a Hanseatic city, in Hamburg. Adenauer was born in Köln, and Brandt was born in Lübeck.
- She is the first chancellor and winner to have received an unwelcome, uninvited back rub from a sitting US president.
- She is the fourth chancellor and winner to have spoken German as a first language.
- She is the fourth chancellor and winner to seriously, are you still reading this.
posted by qcubed at 8:43 AM on December 9, 2015 [15 favorites]


Either Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or Donald Trump should've been the pick based on their criteria:
The person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse.
They should change the name to Newsmaker of the Year to avoid the annual confusion caused by people misinterpreting it as an endorsement.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:45 AM on December 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


But surely Bernie has had more influence on his party and the national conversation than The Donald, who is even less likely to get his party's nomination and is only notable for being an especially scary clown.

That is demonstrably inaccurate, other than for the scary clown epithet.
posted by blucevalo at 8:55 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


.... look, the whole Time's Person of the Year thing is just absurd.

The only good that can possible come from it is the yearly trap set by XQUZYPHYR for the Person of the Year = YOU! joke.

The idea that we have measured and weighed the influence of all humans on the planet and person X - "YOU" (2006) or "THE INHERITOR" (personal favorite, 1966), or "THE GOOD SAMARITANS" (2005)... no.

I'm a Sanders supporter. I am. I'm actually fine with the Merkel choice (I would have given it to Putin), she's a powerful player on the world scene. I also think that political decisions went into this year's choice, and for the listings of the runners up, and for the exclusion of Bernie Sanders.
posted by Auden at 9:03 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, this Bernie thing.

Remember how so many of you bristled at the notion that you guys might all be secret sexists? That you're all feminists and what not? And so when a woman wins this relatively pointless award, instead of taking note and moving on, you're coming across as really stridently against this.

If, really, you want to believe that Time chose to ignore the online polling results because of political concerns, should others start being all hot and bothered over other online poll winners in the past not having received it?

Hugo Chávez won the online poll in 2006 when I won it in the magazine. I guarantee you I exerted no political pressure on Time to do so.
Rain won it in 2011, but was it racism against Koreans that made them pick someone else?

For crying out loud, not everything is about Bernie Sanders. You make yourselves and your candidate look so much worse imagining conspiracies everywhere.

It's a fucking online poll. Colbert massaged those in the past to get a bridge named after him.

If you trust those, then why don't you trust all those Fox News online polls too?
posted by qcubed at 9:10 AM on December 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, over on Wikipedia...
posted by markkraft at 9:35 AM on December 9, 2015


I also think that political decisions went into this year's choice, and for the listings of the runners up, and for the exclusion of Bernie Sanders.
Auden

A useful exercise for Bernie supporters to ground themselves in these situations is to replace "Bernie Sanders" with "Ron Paul".

As noted above, Paul won the 2011 poll, and many other online polls, because his supporters were infamous for flooding such polls. Do you think Ron Paul should have been Person of the Year in 2011, or even a runner-up, based on the poll?

If not, consider the implications for your own position. It may also help to recall that the Paulites also invoked vast corporate and media conspiracies to explain the huge discrepancies between how they believed Paul was or should be doing and how he was actually doing.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:41 AM on December 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


But surely Bernie has had more influence on his party and the national conversation than The Donald, who is even less likely to get his party's nomination and is only notable for being an especially scary clown.

That is demonstrably inaccurate, other than for the scary clown epithet.


Did you read their write-up? They basically took the long way around to saying, "He's a train wreck, but racists like him, and the media ate that shit up like ambrosia." No one sensible is talking about him except to laugh at his latest stunt. His poll numbers are starting to look shaky and we're months from the first primaries. He might end up Person of the Year in 2016 for running third-party and spoiling the election in favor of the Dems.

I understand why they put him on the shortlist – media's gotta media and all – but that doesn't make it any less dumb.
posted by WCWedin at 10:43 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not to pick nits, but "Vergangenheitsbewältigung" doesn't mean anything close to "Wrestling the past into submission" ... That would be "Vergangenheitsüberwältigung", which is equally clumsy and also not really a word. Arrgh, somebody's wrong on the internets...

Anyway, a better translation would be working through (or maybe coming to terms with) the past.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 11:27 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Based on form from 2012, 2008, 2004 and 2000, Time's 2016 choice will be the newly elected US predident, so it's understandable that they didn't want to choose any presidential candidate this year.
posted by Autumn Leaf at 5:56 PM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


The editors really just don't give a shit, do they?

I have no idea about Time, but I can speak to solid editorial decision-making, and I think it's fair to say most editors give a huge shit about decisions on their covers and annual traditions like these. And I'm sure the online voting was both for traffic and for information and having been the person accountable for online promotion and results for similar things my guess was a digital team member was getting bothered regularly for up-to-the-minute updates.

I would also guess that Time is looking to have a variety of picks over time representing international scope, hopefully some awareness of gender bias in coverage, who will consent to be photographed if that's critical, what kind of story they can write that is discussion-provoking and what will drive sales and further Time as well as inform and delight the reader. From that viewpoint I think Merkel is a gutsy choice because I think other covers would probably have resulted in more single-copy sales.

How you get to vote again: don't buy Time, although I'm willing to bet you don't support them with many dollars to create either online polls or print issues and your traffic probably provided them with at most 25 cents this year. I don't either, hey.
posted by warriorqueen at 6:08 AM on December 10, 2015


As far as Sanders goes, Merkel is unquestionably more powerful and influential. I think that Time made the right choice.

On the other hand, we now have something like 25% of the country throwing their support behind a self-described socialist, while a fairly sizable portion of the leading Democratic candidate's supporters view him favorably.

That is something that's pretty interesting, isn't something that we've really seen before, and doesn't jive at all with any recent electoral patterns.

The continued emergence of the far-right isn't really a surprise, but for ~50% of the population to say "Yeah, Socialism has some good ideas that we can use" is unfathomable in the narrative of American politics that we've been told for the past decade. Bernie doesn't seem to be indicative of any observable trend -- there has been no resurgence of left-wing politics at any level, Sanders is a political outlier in the legislature, and he somehow emerged as a viable candidate without the support of the monied interests that decide most of our elections for us.

Either Bernie is truly exceptional; he's indicative of a trend that we haven't really recognized yet; or our elections are doing an astonishingly poor job of reflecting the interests of the electorate. The reality is probably a little bit of each, but the truth of the matter is that, 2 years ago, nobody would have anticipated that a socialist Jew from Brooklyn would be polling slightly behind Hillary Clinton.

I'm not saying that Sanders should have even been on the shortlist, but I do think that we need to be talking about this.
posted by schmod at 8:31 AM on December 10, 2015


No one sensible is talking about him except to laugh at his latest stunt.

...except for the plurality of Republicans that support him, and the 2/3rds majority who agree with his policy to exclude people based on their religion, and the even higher percentage than that who feel enthusiastic about him if he wins the nomination.

Oh, yeah, right. No one sensible.
posted by markkraft at 8:49 AM on December 10, 2015


On the other hand, we now have something like 25% of the country throwing their support behind a self-described socialist

25-30 percent of Democratic primary voters (i.e., people more likely to view socialism favorably to start with) is significantly less than "25% of the country".

Either Bernie is truly exceptional; he's indicative of a trend that we haven't really recognized yet; or our elections are doing an astonishingly poor job of reflecting the interests of the electorate. The reality is probably a little bit of each, but the truth of the matter is that, 2 years ago, nobody would have anticipated that a socialist Jew from Brooklyn would be polling slightly behind Hillary Clinton.

If you'd told me two years ago that [insert any Democrat here who is even slightly politically different from Hillary Clinton] would be polling at almost exactly the same level that the last person who took on Hillary Clinton was polling at in the December before the election, I suspect I would have believed you.
posted by Etrigan at 8:58 AM on December 10, 2015


"we now have something like 25% of the country throwing their support behind a self-described socialist, while a fairly sizable portion of the leading Democratic candidate's supporters view him favorably. That is something that's pretty interesting, isn't something that we've really seen before"

Yes we have... the best example being the Weimar Republic, though we also saw similar things with FDR.

What it really says is that our economy hasn't recovered yet, and that austerity has been a drag on it, which has hurt both the poor and middle class, and shut younger people out of the market for good jobs, while locking in an advantageous position for employers vs. employees when it comes to wages and benefits.

The fact is, we would be better off risking inflation, deficit spending, and overheating the economy than stuck in the duldrums, where all the money and power keeps flowing to the very rich.
posted by markkraft at 8:59 AM on December 10, 2015


At the risk of responding to a bit of a derail...

" almost exactly the same level that the last person who took on Hillary Clinton was polling at"

I checked out that claim previously, and it's not really true in any meaningful way.

Yes, it is true that some of the polls from back then show similarish margins. If we were to use this time period in 2007 and use RealClearPolitics' methodology for determining the average, we'd get a result like +17 Clinton back in mid-Dec. 2007, as compared to +24.6 today. Those are hardly "almost exactly the same level", though...politically, 7-and-a-half points are a big chasm to cross, and the underlying details were far more hopeful for Obama back then than for Sanders now.

For starters, those same polls show that Clinton only averaged about 41% support among Democrats. as compared to 55% today. Basically, she wasn't seen as someone the Democrats could really unify behind in any way other than getting a weak plurality of support. That's not the case in this election.

The polling details also showed that Obama was the most popular second choice candidate by about a 2-1 margin. In comparison, the polls I have seen show Hillary Clinton to be the most popular second choice this time around, by a wide margin... which is to say, undecided voters will tend to gravitate towards her to a significant degree.

At this time in 2007, it was still very much a three candidate race, with Edwards having a much more significant shot of winning than O'Malley. The big difference being, Edwards' supporters significantly favored Obama as their second choice. When people gradually settled on a candidate, they settled on Obama, not Clinton, making the polls much closer. This, plus winning most of the early state victories, led to him winning the delegate race, despite narrowly losing the popular vote among Democrats.

The fact is, it is not surprising that someone running well to the left of Hillary would do as well as Bernie has done. It's quite possible that a more established Democrat like Elizabeth Warren could actually be much closer in the polls. The reason why it's Bernie running, and not Warren (or Biden) is perhaps the real thing to be talking about.

The fact is, they knew that Hillary Clinton has this race sewn up far more so than in 2008, when she ran against a very, very popular young Senator -- and a top Democratic fundraiser and campaigner, with lots of friends and allies, as a result -- who was already viewed as a likely future president in 2006, and who got into the race earlier, raised more money than Clinton did, spent that money more wisely, and had a stronger grassroots campaign.

All Obama's most skilled people seem to be working for Hillary Clinton now, with the exception of those who are well-paid pundits.

"I do think that we need to be talking about this"

... and presumably, how it relates to Angela Merkel.
posted by markkraft at 9:58 AM on December 10, 2015


Taking it to MeMail.
posted by Etrigan at 10:14 AM on December 10, 2015


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