Barack Obama, person of the year? I don’t think so

Time Magazine is about to announce their Person of the Year for 2008. In each of the past several issues, they’ve asked four “prominent individuals” whom they would choose for Person of the Year. Here are the 16 choices from the four December issues of the magazine:

1 Kathleen Parker
1 U.S. Military
7 Barack Obama
2 Sarah Palin
1 billions of poor and disenfranchised
1 single mothers and grandmothers
1 American people
1 Ludwig von Mises
1 Oprah Winfrey

I just don’t understand the fascination with naming Barack Obama person of the year for 2008. What has he done? He’s done nothing for me. He’s done nothing for you. Sure, he’s got a lot of ideas for solving America’s problems (ideas that I believe will be very difficult to implement). Sure, he ran a long and successful presidential campaign. Sure he was elected president. But so were dozens of other men before him. Big deal.

I would agree that President-elect Obama is one of the more prominent and influential personalities in the United States in 2008. But let’s give him a chance to lead before we crown him Person of the Year.  And while I’m at it, I don’t understand why Sarah Palin is up there either. If you read me often, you know how much I like Governor Palin. But Person of the Year? Come on folks.

Listen, I know the arguments. People are saying that Obama (and Palin for that matter) electrified the American people. He fostered hope for those who were hopeless. He “galvanized the people of the U.S. and inspired a whole world.” He showed how far a black man can go in this country. I say fine. However, I have no more hope today than I had a year ago. I guess I’m always hopeful for a bright future. I’m always hopeful that tomorrow will be better than today. I’ve always believed that any person, man or woman, black or white, has the power to go as far as he or she wants. And I just don’t need any politician to tell me that. And that’s why I say Obama has done nothing for me, yet.

But don’t get me wrong. Barack Obama will be my president next month. Though I did not vote for him, I have high hopes for our country under his leadership. But let’s get him sworn in first. Let’s see what he can accomplish. Let’s see how he can navigate the waters of Washington to get things done. And if next December we all feel we’re better off than we are today, then how about Person of the Year for 2009?

Note: Time has said that they will announce the 2008 TIME Person of the Year on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday, December 17, 2008.