"She's the first woman Speaker of the House, in some ways she may be the strongest Speaker of the House in decades," Stengel said. "She has piloted what is probably the most important legislation in decades through the House… She's a really, really interesting and pivotal figure."
Other finalists include Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, the Chinese worker, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Jamaican Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt and President Obama. Obama was named Time's 2008 Person of the Year, but this does not disqualify him from winning this year. Stengel noted that past presidents, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, have been named multiple times.
Pelosi may be facing tough competition, even within the realm of politics. Stengel said that he was leaning in a clear direction when it came to picking a winner, which is ultimately up to him.
"One name that jumps out at me is Stanley McChrystal… And I think I'm leaning in that direction," he said. "He really has single handedly, I think, reshaped the Afghanistan policy."
Time's 2009 Person of the Year will be announced on NBC's this morning.