Time Names Ben Bernanke 2009 ‘Person of the Year’

Fed chairman gets honor; Usain Bolt fourth

Time magazine made its perennially over-hyped “Person of the Year” announcement on the “Today” show Wednesday morning. Its choice? This one was surprising: Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve.

“The story of the year was a weak economy that could have been much, much weaker,” Time said. “Thank the man who runs the Federal Reserve, our mild-mannered economic overlord.”

Gotta give Time some credit here. It appears they went with the person they thought mattered, rather than who they thought would sell the most magazines — like Barack Obama, whose “2008 Person of the Year” issue sold more than 478,000 copies at the newsstand. (For some perspective, the issue the week before that sold 91,854 single copies.)

What’s more, they didn’t choose Twitter.

The runners up, according to Time:

2. General Stanley McChrystal
3. The Chinese worker
4. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
5. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt

Note: Time put up an online gallery of their POY covers dating back to 1927. Pretty cool way to spend 15 minutes of your, uh, time.