When German Chancellor Angela Merkel was named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2015, then presidential candidate Donald Trump called out the publication for ignoring his greatness. In the last year though, Trump showed the world he had staying power by pulling off the win when the media was convinced he had no chance. Whether you agree with him or not, there is no mistaking his influence, and that is why he edged out Merkel to become 2016’s ‘TIME Person of the Year’
TIME isn’t afraid to ruffle some feathers with their selections, and that is evident by last year’s choice of Merkel, despite the overwhelming criticisms she was facing with her open door refugee policy. Many questioned the magazine’s decision at that time, but much like this year’s selection of Trump, TIME has stated that the award is not an endorsement, but instead a reflection of the influence someone has had, good or bad.
It is hard to ignore the stark difference between the magazine’s 2015 and 2016 picks as Merkel and Trump are often seen as polar opposites. During his campaign, Trump did acknowledge that he saw Merkel as “a really great world leader”, but of course jumped at any opportunity to draw attention back to her flaws.
Trump isn’t afraid to express his opinions on Twitter, even if it leads to a frenzy of criticism in the press, and that is evident with his tweet after Merkel stole the title last year, saying: “I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany”.
I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2015
Well, TIME apparently showed the president-elect that they would pick him. He just needed to prove everyone wrong and win the seat of what some would call the most powerful person of the free world.