German Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged from a shortlist that included Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Caitlyn Jenner to be named Time's Person of the Year for 2015. The news was announced live on Today this morning. She is the first individual female to hold the distinction in 29 years.
This year's voting process has been especially controversial. In addition to Trump, Putin, and Jenner, the shortlist of candidates included: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State terrorist group also known as ISIS, Black Lives Matter activists, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. Many have taken to social media to blast the choices. Supporters of Bernie Sanders, who won the magazine's reader's poll, also expressed disappointment that the presidential hopeful had not made the shortlist.
According to Time, Merkel stood out as "Europe's most powerful leader," deftly handling the debt crisis and refusing to stand down on Germany's acceptance of refugees even in the face of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
"For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience, and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is Time’s Person of the Year," the magazine wrote.
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