Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been named Time magazine’s person – or persons – of the year for 2020.
The magazine said: “Together, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris offered restoration and renewal in a single ticket. And America bought what they were selling: after the highest turnout in a century, they racked up 81 million votes and counting, the most in presidential history, topping Trump by some 7 million votes and flipping five battleground states.”
The accolade for Biden sees him follow in the footsteps of Barack Obama (2012) and Donald Trump (2016). Last year’s winner was climate activist Greta Thunberg.
In recent years the magazine has also taken to recognizing groups or movements. In 2017, the magazine selected “The Silence Breakers” of the MeToo movement, and in 2018, chose to designate journalists who were imprisoned or killed for their work.
Prior to naming this year’s winner on Thursday, the magazine announced four finalists, included Biden and Trump – as well as two broader categories: the movement for racial justice, and frontline healthcare workers and Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious diseases scientist. Trump has been on the shortlist every year since he won the 2016 election.
Time has named a person of the year since 1927. The selection represents “an individual but sometimes multiple people who greatly impacted the country and world during the calendar year”, the magazine says. The designation is not necessarily an honor. Rather, it recognizes figures who have “influenced the news, for better or for worse,” according to the magazine.