Last night, Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel hosted a distinguished panel of guests to debate the question that always surfaces around this time of year: who should be Time's Person of the Year?
Stengel co-moderated the good-natured debate with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- Time's Person of the Year in 2001. Panelists like Barbara Walters were encouraged to bring lists of possible Person of the Year candidates who met the title's criteria, which includes having a global impact in the past year, for better or worse.
After running through lists of possible Person of the Year winners that included Bernie Madoff, Captain "Sully" Sullenberger and the Iranian protesters, the six-person panel ended the night in a three-three split. Walters agreed with TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz and Gayle King that "the guys from Twitter," meaning Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, should take the prize. Giuliani, "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio and Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravensthal all voted for "the economy," settling on some amalgam of Ben Bernanke and the unemployed American worker as Person of the Year.
Giuliani, an unabashed Yankees fan, said his first choice would be Derek Jeter. Later, when Stengel pressed him on Jeter's global impact, Giuliani said, "It's the World Series," before quickly suggesting Series MVP Hideki Matsui instead.
Later, Giuliani suggested other self-proclaimed "right wing" candidates like General David Petraeus, Roger Ailes and Rush Limbaugh.
Walters suggested Nancy Pelosi, Steve Jobs, Michelle Obama, Warren Buffet, Google, the Taliban and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But Walters also made a case of Madoff, "You put Bernie Madoff on [the cover]...and you're going to have more discussion and more stuff and more people buzzing."