WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Time Magazine named U.S. President-elect Donald Trump its person of the year on Wednesday, citing the upheaval in American politics brought about by the New York businessman’s election campaign and victory.
“It’s hard to measure the scale of his disruption,” Time said in its announcement, noting Trump’s career as real estate magnate and reality television star before he won the presidency on Nov. 8.
The Republican president-elect, who will be sworn in on Jan. 20, ran an unconventional and controversial campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Time noted that views of him were deeply divided.
“For those who believe this is all for the better, Trump’s victory represents a long-overdue rebuke to an entrenched and arrogant governing class,” the magazine said.
“For those who see it as for the worse, the destruction extends to cherished norms of civility and discourse, a politics poisoned by vile streams of racism, sexism, nativism.”
The magazine said its short list for person of the year included Clinton, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and singer Beyonce.
“It’s a great honor, it means a lot,” Trump told NBC’s “Today” show in an interview shortly after the announcement.
But he rejected Time’s characterization of the country as fractured. The magazine’s cover called him the “president of the divided states of America.”
“I didn’t divide them, they’re divided now,” he told NBC. “We’re going to put it back together.” He added: “I think putting ‘divided’ is snarky.”
Time makes its annual choice based on the impact a person has on world events, for better or for worse. Last year the magazine chose German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Previous winners have ranged from Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler.
Reporting by Susan Heavey, Doina Chiacu and Bill Trott; Editing by Alden Bentley and Frances Kerry