Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bush named 'Person of the Year'

Bush named 'Person of the Year'

Time magazine has given its Person of the Year award to United States President George W Bush.

Time credited him with "sticking to his guns" and persuading voters "this time around that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years".

Mr Bush's clear re-election in November contrasted with a disputed win in 2000.

Time's annual award comes as Mr Bush prepares for his second inauguration, and US forces in Iraq struggle to quell violence ahead of the January election.

The magazine's year-end ritual goes back to 1927, when aviator Charles Lindbergh was given the title.

Last year's Person of the Year was the "American soldier" who bore the duty of "living and dying for a country's most fateful decisions".

The latest issue, honouring Mr Bush, will be on sale from Monday.

Time managing editor Jim Kelly said: "Obviously many supporters of the president will be pleased, many people who do not support the president will probably sigh.

"But even those who may not have voted for him will acknowledge that this is one of the more influential presidents of the last 50 years."

Mr Kelly added that the president had reshaped "the rules of politics to fit his 10-gallon-hat leadership style".


In an interview with the magazine, Mr Bush said he owed his victory over Democratic candidate John Kerry to his foreign policy and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The election was about the use of American influence," he said.

The president's approval rating stands at 49% - the level where it stood in the lead-up to the election - according to a Time poll unveiled on Sunday.

Mr Bush had already received Time magazine's yearly accolade after his first, controversial election in 2000.

He joins six other US presidents who twice won the award - Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower (first as a general), Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

Three-time recipient Franklin D Roosevelt - who was elected four times - holds the record.

1938 - Adolf Hitler
1942 - Joseph Stalin
1952 - Elizabeth II
1963 - Martin Luther King
1968 - Astronauts Anders, Borman and Lovell
1977 - Anwar Sadat
1979 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
1988 - Endangered Earth
1998 - Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr
2003 - The American soldier