"Person Of The Year" Vs. "Story Of The Year"?

This year, I don't think the two are the same.

This week, TIME Magazine named Barack Obama "Person Of The Year".  No surprise there, objectively or not.

And for people who think that does represent media bias, let me remind them the same magazine named George W. Bush "Person Of The Year" after the 2000 and 2004 elections.

But was Obama's election to the White House the story of the year, as some claim?  I believe not.

The story of the year, I believe, should be the one with the most lasting impact.  Depending on what happens in the next four years, Obama could have that kind of impact.  But I think the "economic crisis/meltdown/disaster" qualifies better.

In fact, while it will never be known for sure, the events of mid-September might well have given Obama a residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Remember, in the early part of that month, Republican John McCain led Obama in some polls by double-digit margins.  In West Virginia, where the economic chickens haven't come to roost (yet), McCain was never really behind in most polls.  It all surely gave former Clinton aide James Carville ("It's the economy, stupid") reason to smile (or maybe smirk) more than usual.

In the "most lasting impact" category, I think the story of the year in the Mid-Ohio Valley is the opening of the bridge whose completion marked the end of the Corridor D project.  It's economic impact will be felt for years (although that progress might be slow, given the recession), just as the impact of Interstate 77 was felt in the 1960's and 1970's.

That will be remembered, I believe, long after would-be criminal offenders such as Jason Berecz and Patrick Slider are long forgotten.


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