Time Magazine just unveiled its Person of the Year for 2012—and it's President Obama. Managing editor Rick Stengel explained, "We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Obama is both the symbol and in some ways the architect of this new America."

The feature story by Michael Scherer frames the selection as inevitable after Obama's re-election:

The Obama effect was not ephemeral anymore, no longer reducible to what had once been mocked as “that hopey-changey stuff.” It could be measured — in wars stopped and started; industries saved, restructured or reregulated; tax cuts extended; debt levels inflated; terrorists killed; the health-insurance system reimagined; and gay service members who could walk in uniform with their partners. It could be seen in the new faces who waited hours to vote and in the new ways campaigns are run. America debated and decided this year: history would not record Obama’s presidency as a fluke.

There were four runners-up for the Person of the Year honors: Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi; Fabioli Gianotti, who discovered the Higgs Boson particle; Apple's Tim Cook; and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen fighting for girls to be educated who was shot in the head by the Taliban.

Last year's Time Person of the Year was the Protester.