On Monday, Dec. 5, Time revealed its 10-person shortlist for 2022 Person of the Year, narrowed down by the magazine’s editors based on who they felt had the most influence on the world this year.
Last year, Time bequeathed the title to the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk, calling attention to his rise as a figure in tech through his advancement in automotive and spacecraft engineering.
Zelenskyy was highly favored to eventually win out as the “most influential” personality this year after he launched onto the world stage for defying Russia’s invasion of his country, Ukraine.
Zelenskyy was formerly a comedian and actor who won the presidency of Ukraine in 2019.
“Zelensky’s success as a wartime leader has relied on the fact that courage is contagious,” Time reporter Simon Shuster writes in an article announcing the decision, describing Zelenskyy’s leadership throughout the war and his rise to the world stage.
In the cover photo, Zelenskyy is depicted surrounded by the people of his country, as well as Ukrainian flags and sunflowers (the country’s national flower).
Progressives criticized the inclusion of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on TIME’s 2022 shortlist for “Person of the Year.”
“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski grilled TIME Executive Editor Ben Goldberger on Monday for making DeSantis a finalist.
“Ron DeSantis makes no sense to me!” she said after alluding that his spot on the list was a “placeholder.”
Goldberger retorted that DeSantis was impressive in his landslide reelection.
The Florida governor is on “the cusp of really being the front-runner for the Republican nomination,” he said.
“Zelensky is on the cusp of winning the largest land war in Europe against a country 10 times its size,” analyst John Heilemann said.
“That’s the victory he has in his sights. Ron DeSantis won Miami-Dade County, so those are kind of like the parallel,” he added.