It's no surprise—Time magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump as its Person of the Year. Speaking on the Today Show, Trump said, "It's a great honor. It means a lot. Especially with me growing up reading Time magazine. It's a very important magazine. I've been lucky enough to be on the cover many times this year— and last year. But I consider this a very, very great honor."
This was in response to Matt Lauer asking Trump about this Tweet from last year:
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
The subheadline for the cover is "President of the Divided States of America." Trump wasn't too thrilled, "I think putting 'divided' is snarky. I didn’t do anything to divide."
Well, Time magazine's managing editor Nancy Gibbs put it his way: "For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year." And the Today Show reminded viewers:
Over its history, TIME has bestowed the title to many presidents, political leaders and industry trailblazers who often view the designation as an honor. However, the magazine also has selected notorious recipients in the past, including Adolf Hitler in 1938, Joseph Stalin in 1939 and 1942, and Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, because of the impact they had on the world at the time.
If you were going to tweet that Hitler was also @TIME man of the year, please just don't.
— Stu Loeser (@stuloeser) December 7, 2016
Okay, how about this?
— Samantha-Jo Roth (@SamanthaJoRoth) December 7, 2016
Other notes from Trump's interview:
- "I believe in free trade. I don't believe in stupid trade."
- He claimed to have sold all his stock in June—and that he let people know. A Washington Post reporter begged to differ:
— Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) December 7, 2016
- Swamp-building is going well: "The stock market is at an all-time record since I've been elected."
- He really hates Alec Baldwin's impression of him on Saturday Night Live, but says, "I like him as an actor." He also thinks SNL is going downhill, "I hosted SNL when it was a good show," and doesn't think it'll be on air for much longer. This was a deflection from Lauer's suggestion that he just not watch the show and then Tweet angrily.
- He talked about his bromance with President Obama. "I've gotten to know President Obama... I really like him!" Yes, they disagree about things, but, "I really like him as a person... I love getting his ideas." He also said that he's spoken to Obama about his cabinet picks and he's taking the President's thoughts about them. He even claimed that Obama approved of one person he chose.
Time's Michael Scherer interviewed Trump for the issue and captures what propelled him to victory. He also notes the tension in this divided country:
It’s an America with rising stock markets despite the tremors of a trade war. A country where a few jobs saved makes up, in the moment, for the thousands still departing. This is a land where a man will stand up in a plane headed to Allentown, Pa., to demand allegiance to the new leader—”We got some Hillary bitches on here? Come on man, Trump! He’s your President, every goddamn one of you!”—and then get banned by the airline from ever traveling again. It’s where a hijab-wearing college student in New York reports being attacked and jeered at in the next President’s name, where American-born children ask their citizen parents if Trump will deport them, where white supremacists throw out Nazi salutes in Washington meeting halls for their President-elect.
It’s a country where many who felt powerless have a new champion, where much frustration has given way to excitement and where politics has become the greatest show on earth. Here men in combat helmets and military assault rifles now patrol the streets outside a golden residential tower in midtown Manhattan. And almost every day at about the same time they let pass a street performer who wears no pants, tight white underwear and cowboy boots, so he can sing a song in the lobby for the television cameras with Trump’s name written in red and blue on his butt. It’s an America of renewed hope and paralyzing fear, a country few expected less than a year ago. Because of Donald John Trump, whatever happens next, it will never be like it was before.