2012 Person of the Year: For the second time since 2008, Time Magazine named President Obama its “Person of the Year” for 2012. The article is a frank and thought-provoking tale of why he won this award for a second time. The fact is simple, “people trust him.” I see him as someone who has my back, not someone who has the rich guy’s back. How he pulled off a resounding reelection win at the polls on November 6th is nothing short of amazing. He showed us exactly how to use technology, a stellar grassroots effort and surrounding oneself with the right people can accomplish. All learned and molded from his years as a community organizer, though Republicans like Sarah Palin consider that start in public life a joke.
Time Magazine: Since the moment Obama arrived on the national scene in 2004, the very idea of leadership has been under assault. Many of the old institutions that once anchored the American Dream have been bled of public confidence. Banks, Big Business, the news media and Congress all polled at or near record lows during his first term. Obama himself was the target of uncommon vitriol, but he has somehow managed to keep the public’s faith.
To understand how he kept his job, the best place to start is where he did. In early 2011, David Simas, a former registrar of deeds in Taunton, Mass., who had become a senior White House aide, switched on what might be called one of the largest listening posts in U.S. history. For months on end, two or three nights a week, Simas and his team secretly gathered voters in rented rooms across the swing states, eight at a time, the men separated from the women. The Obamans poked at their guinea pigs’ animal spirits, asked for confessions and played word-association games. (Among swing voters, Democrat often elicited Barack Obama, and Republican would yield words like old and backward.) Live feeds of the focus groups were shown on computer screens at campaign headquarters in Chicago. The first discovery Simas made held the keys to the kingdom. “Here is the best thing,” he said of Obama when he went back to home base. “People trust him.”
Congratulations to President Obama on this award. Call him whatever you will, he will go down in history for having accomplished amazing feats that other presidents dreamed of. President Obama proves that servant-leadership is all about — serving the faceless, the nameless and the powerless.