Several top leaders’ names made the list this year as Time Magazine published its annual “100 Most Influential People of 2020” post.
Among those who were selected to be the most influential of this year include pioneers, artists, leaders, titans, and icons. Some of the people selected: President Donald Trump, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Chief Justice John Roberts, and Attorney General William Barr.
President Donald Trump
The president made the list this year, and as Time’s senior White House correspondent Brian Bennett writes, “In nearly four years, his norm-shattering presidency has shown that a President willing to repeatedly slam through the guardrails can bend the government, often to serve his personal political interests.”
The section pointed out Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted in the Senate, and that he “dangled clemency to keep former aides silent and threatened political enemies with jail.”
“Trump’s calculations have had real-world consequences,” Bennett writes, before touching on Trump “[stripping] away environmental regulations,” downplaying the coronavirus pandemic, “[ignoring] calls for a national reckoning with structural racism and [fanning] the flames of racial unrest.” He also pointed out that Trump “helped broker closer ties between Israel and Gulf Arab states, delivering a historic deal.”
“Voters will decide on Election Day whether Trump’s use of power will be a cautionary tale or a preview of more to come.”
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) claimed “presidential leadership is woefully lacking” before noting that he meant what he said on Feb. 26, “I know Joe, we know Joe, but more importantly, Joe knows us.” He pointed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
“Like most Americans, Joe Biden knows hardship; he knows disappointment; he knows sacrifice and moments of contentment,” Clyburn said of the former vice president.
He continued, “It’s one thing to run to lead a country at its high point, but I believe it speaks volumes to Joe’s character that he will fight to lead us through these unprecedented challenges. Joe Biden is honest, compassionate and empathetic — but most of all, he is a public servant.”
Sen. Kamala Harris
“Kamala Harris has always been a trailblazer,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) declared. “She broke barriers in California, made history in the U.S. Senate, and now she’s the first Black woman and first Indian American to be nominated for Vice President by a major political party.”
Pressley called Harris’ nomination as Biden’s running mate “the realization of a dream that so many have struggled for so long to make possible.”
“Kamala every day embodies the beliefs and expectations of little girls and young women who see themselves in her. We speak of our elders and we say, ‘We are, because of them.’ Years from now, a generation of young people will look at Kamala and say, ‘We are, because of her.'”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
The Democratic lawmaker praised Pelosi as a “legendary negotiator” for her work on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement and coronavirus relief in the CARES Act.
“Amid a constitutional crisis, she led the way through a historic impeachment in a solemn and sober fashion to reaffirm the long-standing principle that no one is above the law,” he wrote.
Jeffries concluded, “With an unyielding focus on results, Speaker Pelosi has brought together an ideologically diverse group of House Democrats to get things done.”
Chief Justice John Roberts
“The court has been unchanging in its unyielding commitment to preserve and safeguard its historic place in our constitutional system,” Anthony Kennedy, who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court until 2018, wrote.
In praise of Roberts, Kennedy wrote, “Over the past 15 years, the Roberts court has been shaped by his personal modesty and his professional, scholarly skills. He has strengthened the court and the rule of law it upholds.”
“In this era, when other branches of government and institutions in our wider society are insensitive to their own incivility, the Roberts court continues to decide questions central to the nation in a civil, thoughtful, rational, dignified way. John Roberts and the court teach that we have freedom but must work always to keep it.”
Attorney General William Barr
Time’s White House correspondent Tessa Berenson wrote of Barr, “When President Donald Trump told his Ukrainian counterpart on July 25, 2019, that he would have William Barr give him a call, Trump immortalized Barr’s role in the politically motivated pressure campaign that led to the third presidential impeachment in U.S. history.”
She described Barr as “a protector of his boss.”
“It’s not clear whether Barr is guided by loyalty to Trump or a belief in sweeping Executive power,” Berenson wrote. “Either way, he has proved himself a top defender of the President.”
Among the several others listed as the “most influential” of 2020 include rapper Megan Thee Stallion, basketball star Michael Jordan, singer Selena Gomez, actor Tyler Perry, the Black Lives Matter founders and soccer player Megan Rapinoe.
Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel said of Fauci in the article, “Dr. Fauci doesn’t sugarcoat his words and refuses to be pressured by politicians. He delivers the truth, as difficult as it may be to hear, earnestly and with one goal: to save lives.”
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