TODAY | December 15, 2009
>>> and finally in this half hour, the moment we've all been waiting for. who will be named "time" magazine's person of the year? here with the exclusive reveal is "time's" managing editor, richard stengel . richard, good morning. welcome back.
>> good to be here.
>> before we get to the big -- you know we like to draw these things out.
>> let's talk about some of the people who didn't quite make it this year. steve jobs , you talked about him.
>> steve jobs , extraordinary year, influences our lives but not the number one guy.
>> barack obama , not enough.
>> not enough. could be the person of the year every year but not this year.
>> you say great runner, but --
>> inspirational person, but not person of the year.
>> nancy pelosi .
>> first woman speaker of the house , led health care legislation, but not person of the year.
>> those were just teases just to throw us off the scent, i have a feeling.
>> and to write about what was important this year.
>> the one who thought i had a real shot, i mentioned this the other day, was the architect of the new strategy in afghanistan, general stanley mcchrystal. how close did he come?
>> very close. we have a strong piece by joe kline about stanley mcchrystal. i think he really was the prime mover behind the change in the afghanistan strategy. and by the way, he's going to be influencing our world for years to come.
>> also chinese worker who made the final cut, not the chinese worker. so the winner is?
>> the winner is ben bernanke , the chairman of the federal reserve . the most powerful, least understood government force shaping our lives. it's a throwback cover like a person of the year cover from the '40s or '50s. it's a great story by our senior correspondent, michael grunwald. it's basically about how he is influencing how the economy operates.
>> you basically go out and you say that had it not been for some of the actions he has taken -- and he's the first to admit --
>> -- he didn't do everything right, you think the country and perhaps the world would have fallen way past a recession into a depression?
>> right. i mean, he was the great scholar of the depression. and basically he saw what looked like another depression coming, and he decided he would do whatever it takes to forestall that. and basically i think he did. it could have been a lot worse. there are things that he could have done better. one of his responsibilities is for full employment in society, and he hasn't really stepped up on that, but basically in terms of influencing how the economy went this year, bernanke was the guy.
>> and this is bound to create some buzz in washington because tomorrow there's a senate committee vote on whether he should have another term.
>> yes. and look, he's been criticized from left and right, from liberals and conservatives, you know, for being, you know, king ben, you know, running the unelected fourth branch of government. he's a controversial figure.
>> yeah, but he goes in before that senate committee tomorrow, he's got to just bring a copy of the magazine and say look. how can you say no to the person of the year?
>> exactly. i think he should do that, matt. and, of course, remember, he's a republican appointed by a democratic president. it's the democrats on the committee that are going to vote to confirm. it's a really interesting combination of factors.
>> all i want to say is he is the one i picked.
>> actually, meredith, you were right.
>> i think you were right last year, too.
>> person of the year. 2010 .
>> we'll see you in 362 days.
>> happy holidays. thanks very much. "time's" person of the year issue hits nusz stands on friday.
>>> just ahead, moving van spotted