Think Psy’s hit “Gangnam Style” is big? It is, and it’s big enough to land him a slot among the nominees for Time’s “Person of the Year Award 2012.”
The nominees have been announced and reader voting has been opened. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 12 and the winner will be announced on Dec. 14. There are 38 nominees in total; last year’s winner was “The Protester.”
To be clear, though, Time’s editors have the final say in the choice of the Person of the Year
Sheldon Adelson – who became the poster boy (or poster conservative) for one percenters who were attempting to buy U.S. elections. Adelson, 79, and his wife spent some $53 million to back Republican candidates.
Ai Weiwei – At 55, he is China’s most famous living artist and one of its most “dogged political dissidents.”
Bashar Assad – Syrian president.
Felix Baumgartner – remember him? He skydived from the edge of space earlier, setting a record.
Joe Biden – the U.S Vice-President, who turned the tide when he bested candidate Paul Ryan in their debate.
Michael Bloomberg – New York City mayor.
Bo Xilai – Bo Xilai, 63, is the former Communist Party boss of the Chinese megacity of Chongqing. He was once a rising political star, but now awaits trial on multiple criminal charges.
Chris Christie – GOP governor of New Jersey.
Bill Clinton – the former President was instrumental in Barack Obama’s re-election.
Hillary Clinton – Secretary of State.
Stephen Colbert – vote for him. Seriously, anyone who can make Maxim’s Hot 100 list as a write-in (the list is supposed to be women) has to be a strong candidate.
Tim Cook – Apple’s CEO, who has a tough job trying to stay the course in the wake of former and late CEO Steve Jobs.
Gabrielle Douglas – women’s all-around title champion in the Summer Games.
Mario Draghi – president of the European Central Bank.
Mo Farah – Great Britain’s Mo Farah won both the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters at the Summer Games.
Sandra Fluke – a law student at Georgetown, she complained about being denied a chance to testify at a GOP-run House of Representatives hearing on insurance coverage for birth control. Rush Limbaugh then called Fluke a “slut,” which was roundly criticized by both Democrats and Republicans. This was often considered the first shot in what the Democrats called the GOP’s 2012 “war on women.”
Roger Goodell – NFL commissioner since 2006.
The Higgs Boson – Time has made “things” Person of the Year before, so what about the so-called God particle?
E.L. James – you may not know her, but you know her trilogy: “Fifty Shades of Gray.”
Jay-Z – Rapper, husband to Beyonce, and father of Blue Ivy Carter.
Kim Jong Un – not the sexiest man alive, but the leader of North Korea, following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il.
The Mars Rover – Curiosity is another non-person candidate for the title.
Marissa Mayer – formerly a key exec at Google, and now the CEO of Yahoo.
Mohamed Morsi – democratically elected president of Egypt.
Benjamin Netanyahu – Israeli Prime Minister.
Barack Obama – newly re-elected U.S. president, and 2008’s Person of the Year. Need we say more?
Michael Phelps – Phelps, 27, set a new standard at his fourth and final Summer Games as the most decorated Olympian ever: he has now collected 22 medals, 18 of them gold, in his competitive career. He retired after this year’s Summer Games.
Psy – speaking of Psy, his hit “Gangnam Style” has become a worldwide smash and recently became the most viewed YouTube video of all time. He recently admitted, though, that he sometimes tires of it.
Pussy Riot – the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot became “real news” when three of its members were sentenced to two-year jail terms for their February 2012 performance in Moscow’s main cathedral denouncing the Russian Orthodox Church’s support of authoritarian President Vladimir Putin.
John Roberts – Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he cast the deciding vote on Obamacare, ruling it constitutional.
Mitt Romney – need we say anything?
Karl Rove – once known as Bush’s brain, he was nearly apoplectic on Fox News when Obama won re-election.
Paul Ryan – Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate.
Jon Stewart – he joins his Comedy Central cohort Stephen Colbert on this list of candidates. The two have often been called a better source of real news than CNN, MSNBC, and certainly, Fox News.
Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein – retired general Thein Sein, 67, is Burma’s President, while Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, 67, is the country’s top dissident and now an elected member of parliament. These two reach the list as their combined efforts are transforming a nation that has felt five decades of brutal military rule.
Undocumented Immigrants – another unconventional choice, this nominee reaches the list as it becomes clear that the hispanic and immigrant vote can soundly sway an election.
Xi Jinping – Xi Jinping, 59, has begun assuming power as China’s top leader.
Malala Yousafzai – a now 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for advocating women’s education.
Should celebrity win out over social issues? Who do you believe should be named Person of the Year?