U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were jointly named Time magazine’s 2020 “Person of the Year” on Thursday, chosen from a list of finalists that included the man Biden vanquished at the polls – President Donald Trump.
The Democratic former vice president and his running mate, a California senator whose election broke gender and racial barriers, together “offered restoration and renewal in a single ticket,” Time said in a profile of the pair, published online with its announcement.
Following the most tumultuous U.S. presidential campaign in modern times, waged in the throes of a deadly pandemic, economic devastation and a strife-torn national reckoning with racism, Biden and Harris prevailed in an election that drew the highest voter turnout in a century
Time editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal credited the victors with succeeding in “an existential debate over what reality we inhabit.”
“For changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are Time’s 2020 Person of the Year,”
Trump, the 45th U.S. president and Time’s 2016 Person of the Year – so honored a month after his upset election victory as the Republican nominee that year – was among three other finalists in the running this year, Time said.
The two others, both group candidates, were the healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic, and participants in the racial justice movement sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.