This is the time of year when media types begin bloviating about the person who has most impacted the country in 2008. Well, there's not much drama this time around because of Barack Obama's amazing achievement. But there are other folks who have influenced us greatly as well. Please consider the following list.
Congressman Barney Frank, Senator Chris Dodd & Security and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox These three were given the charge to watch the financial system in America, to make sure Wall Street greedheads and other pernicious people did not hurt the folks. So tell me, how did these guys do?
Mr. Cox, a former Republican congressman himself, simply did nothing, allowing bad mortgages to be traded like sports cards as he fiddled in his lavish office.
Frank and Dodd, as finance chairmen in the House and Senate respectively, actually promoted irresponsible mortgages in the name of "inclusion," the liberal concept of giving people stuff if they can't buy it. Also, Dodd took a sweetheart mortgage from the failed Countrywide credit company, which saved him close to $100,000! And Frank publicly said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in good shape "going forward," just weeks before both government entities collapsed.
I'd say these three had quite an impact in 2008.
Sarah Palin The governor of Alaska completely upstaged John McCain and, depending on your political point of view, was either a breath of fresh air or the ruination of the Republican Party. Either way, she impacted in a huge way.
Senator Ted Stevens & Governor Rod Blagojevich These two proved once again that political corruption knows no party. The Republican Stevens and the Democrat Blagojevich should now get their own reality program entitled "Scamming with the Pols."
I especially like the Governor speaking on the phone about getting bribes for delivering Barack Obama's Senate seat, all the while knowing he was under investigation by the Feds. I mean, even O. J. Simpson would not have been that dumb. Well, maybe I'm overstating.
On the positive side, Hillary Clinton and John McCain both ran spirited campaigns against President-elect Obama, and that helped the nation decide a new direction.
Michael Phelps and the U.S. Olympic Team performed with class and skill in Beijing. When Phelps hits the water, the impact is amazing.
But above all this year, the U.S. military has had a major impact on the country and the world. Overcoming enormous obstacles to bring a measure of stability to the beleaguered people of Iraq, our forces have performed brilliantly. And, along with NATO troops, American troops continue to protect the Afghan people from the horrors of the Taliban.
These brave, unselfish men and woman proved once again in 2008 that America is a noble nation, and their impact and sacrifice should be positioned in the forefront of any "person of the year" exposition.