Donald Trump Battles Ryan Coogler, Robert Mueller, Vladimir Putin For Time Mag’s Person Of Year

Ryan Coogler

Black Panther co-writer and director Ryan Coogler, murdered Washington Post op-ed columnist Jamal Khashoggi and Russian ruler/alleged U.S. election influencer Vladimir Putin join President Donald Trump in contention for Time magazine’s Person of The Year 2018.

NBC News’ Today got the jump on this year’s derby finalists and will unveil the winner on Tuesday. Here is the shortlist:

  1. President Donald Trump
  2. Separated Families
  3. Vladimir Putin
  4. Robert Mueller
  5. Ryan Coogler
  6. Christine Blasey Ford
  7. Jamal Khashoggi
  8. March for Our Lives Activists
  9. Moon Jae-in
  10. Meghan Markle

Coogler turned Black Panther into a cultural coup that also yielded massive box office success, Today noted this morning. Prior to this year’s blockbuster, based on the Marvel comic and the first with a predominantly black cast, Coogler rose to fame with Fruitvale Station and Creed. Black Panther turned him into “certifiable gold.” The superhero hit was nominated last week for a Golden Globe, and the entertainment industry expects an Oscar nomination will follow next month for the barrier-breaking film.

Trump, famously, is Time Person of the Year-obsessive, going back long before he became a presidential candidate. “I knew last year that @TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn’t include me in their Top 100,” Trump tweeted back in 2012 when he headed the birther movement claiming President Barack Obama held the Oval Office illegally.

Trump finally nabbed the Time win in 2016 after his unconventional campaign landed him in the White House to the amazement of most political pundits. Last year, realizing he was destined for runner-up status, Trump famously tweeted he’d declined the honor:

“Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year,’ like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot,” POTUS tweeted, adding, “I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”
Horseradish, responded Time, then crowned “The Silence Breakers”  – Time-speak for #MeToo – its Person of the Year.

Tea leaf readers today noted Trump has not yet tweeted he’s given this year a pass.

Interestingly, Trump PotY competition list this year is largely of his own making. Among them.

  • Separated Families is Time-speak for victims of Trump’s baby-snatching border policy.
  • Putin is much in the news since his alleged meddling in the 2016 election in favor of Trump, for his apparent hold over the winner including that headline-making joint presser in Helsinki at which Trump looked and sounded like an overweight lap-dog being let out for a walking on a very short leash. Putin already has been named Person of the Year by Time in 2007 when the former KGB bigwig was ending his second term as President of Russia and prepping to take over as Prime Minister.
  • Mueller is a household name since he was appointed special counsel to look into Putin’s involvement in Trump’s election and any Trump participation.
  • Ford is the university prof who became a victim of Trump’s rally mockery when she accused his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during their teen years in the Washington D.C. area. Kavanaugh now is seated on the top court.
  • Khashoggi continues to dominate headlines two months after he was strangled and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where the Saudi national had gone to get papers for his upcoming marriage. Trump has dodged blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite the CIA’s conclusion MBS was likely puppetmaster of the premeditated murder, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is now facing allegations he has been advising MBS how to weather the political/press storm.
  • Trump is sure to have something to say if Moon Jae-in is named Person of Year, given that Moon is in the running, Time reports, for his historic summit with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un, on their border.
Reading Monday’s finalists announcement, Today co-host Savanah Guthrie made a point of noting the mag selects the person who has had the most impact on the world, good or bad, seeming to suggest Trump and Putin were front-runners. Indeed, since the magazine-selling stunt started in 1927 with Charles Lindbergh, “winners” have include Adolph Hitler (’38), Joseph Stalin (’39, ’42), Richard Nixon (’71, ’72) and the Ayatollah Khomeini (’79).

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