Kamala Harris, first vice president named Time's 'Person of the Year'

The vice president-elect was chosen alongside President-elect Joe Biden - the first time two running mates have been chosen together.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris jointly named Time's 'Person of the Year' (photo credit: REUTERS)
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris jointly named Time's 'Person of the Year'
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US 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 US president-elect is known to always be nominated as Time's Person of the Year. Since the creation of the title, every serving president of the United States has been a Man or Person of the Year at least once with only a few exceptions.
But what makes this year special is that it is the first time the vice president has been nominated alongside the president-elect. Not only that, but Kamala Harris will also make history as becoming the first woman, the first Black and the first person of Asian descent to be inaugurated vice president.
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.
“I may be the first woman in this office, but I will not be the last,” Harris said in her election victory speech in November.
“That’s about legacy, that’s about creating a pathway, that’s about leaving the door more open than it was when you walked in.”
In its story announcing the result, the magazine explained its choice, saying "Biden had the vision, set the tone and topped the ticket, but he also recognized what he could not offer on his own, what a 78-year-old white man could never provide: generational change, a fresh perspective, and an embodiment of America’s diversity."
"For that, he needed Kamala Harris: California Senator, former district attorney and state attorney general, a biracial child of immigrants whose charisma and tough questioning of Trump Administration officials electrified millions of Democrats,"  Time Magazine continued. On another hand, the outstanding break of Harris glass ceiling is remarkable, as the vice president has never before been a woman, or Black, or Asian American.
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 US 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.
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.
The Person of the Year is usually an individual, but multiple people have been named in the past. The title is one, according to the magazine, signifying "who affected the news or our lives the most, for better, or worse." Time began its tradition in 1927.
Biden, 78, who served two terms as vice president to Barack Obama, will become the oldest person to assume the office of US president when he is sworn in on January 20, 2021. Harris will become the first woman, the first Black and the first person of Asian descent to be inaugurated vice president.
Trump, who has continued to claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him and that he is the rightful winner, is not expected to attend the inauguration.
Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg last year became the youngest individual winner of the accolade. The 16-year-old Swede inspired young people to take action in 2019 against climate change, grabbing headlines when she regularly skipped school to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament in a push for her government to curb carbon emissions.
Along with its Person of the Year honor, Time magazine named the Korean pop group BTS as its Entertainer of the Year, and basketball star LeBron James was crowned Athlete of the Year.
The winners and finalists for various categories were feted during a prime-time special television broadcast on NBC on Thursday night.