Time magazine named President-elect Donald Trump its “Person of the Year” on Wednesday in one of the least-surprising picks in the publication’s recent history. While other candidates like Hillary Clinton and Nigel Farage were in the running, it’s hard to imagine how the editors of Time could have settled on anyone other than Trump. His campaign and, ultimately, his election has changed the course of American history. As ridiculous as any other choice would have been seen in the present, it would look even more absurd in hindsight.
Trump appeared on the Today Show on Wednesday for an interview where he discussed being the “Person of the Year.”
“It means a lot, especially with me growing up reading Time magazine,” Trump said. “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.”
In making the announcement, Time Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs noted that the selection was not necessarily supposed to be an honor. The “Person of the Year” is the individual who had the biggest impact; whether that impact is for the good or for the bad is not always part of the calculation.
“When have we ever seen a single individual who has so defied expectations, broken the rules, violated norms, beaten not one, but two political parties on the way to winning an election that he entered with 100-1 odds against him?” said Gibbs. “I don’t think that we have ever seen one person operating in such an unconventional way have an impact on the events of the year.”
Gibbs admitted, though, that there was no consensus among Time’s editorial staff as to whether or not Trump’s impact would be a positive one.
“The fascinating thing this year is I’ve never seen so much agreement over who had the most influence and the most disagreement whether it was for better or worse,” said Gibbs.
While pleased about being chosen, Trump wasn’t as happy with the subtitle to the article which named him the “President of the Divided States.”
“Well, I think putting ‘divided’ is snarky,” he told Matt Lauer. “But it’s divided. I’m not president yet so I didn’t do anything to divide.”