In the week before Time's editors make their choice, there's always a lot of dinner-table speculation about who really deserves it. And in the age of cable, when what used to be broadcast only across the dinner table or the office water cooler has become a staple of television programming, the speculation turned to an argument, fierce at times, on television.
Since Time's editors make the choice based on who had the greatest impact on the world in the previous 12 months, some people argued fiercely that there could only be one choice, and that would be Osama bin Laden, to which my response was, you have got to be kidding.
Picking Osama would have been like picking the disease over the person who found its cure. Polio had a terrible impact, too, but it is Dr. Salk, the man who found its cure, that we remember as important.
Osama has not found the cure or the answer for anything. He is the one who got it backwards; the one who mistook our strengths for weakness; the one who thought we had no values because we don't tell our people how to pray; the one who mistook free speech for lack of purpose.
No, the winner couldn't have been Osama. The winners are the ones who came together and said, when you attack one of us, you have attacked all of us and we will not rest until you are brought to justice.
It is the American people, every citizen of this country, who are the real men and women of this year. And having Rudy Giuliani accept on their behalf is just fine with me.
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