As manufactured non-news events go, they don’t come much bigger than Time‘s annual Person of the Year luncheon. Yesterday, indicted former House Majority Leader Tom Delay, NBC anchor Brian Williams, blog queen Arianna Huffington, actor Emilio Estevez, and Newark mayor Cory Booker convened at the Time-Life Building to discuss who, for better, or worse, most affected Americans’ lives in 2006.
Not that anything they said mattered much—Time‘s editors are already well along in their deliberations, though the final determination hasn’t been made, according to managing editor Rick Stengel. “We have some trains that are in motion already, which is not to say we couldn’t switch to someone else quite quickly,” he said during the cocktail hour. One possibility, according to a pair of Stengel’s deputies: a concept cover about the “Axis of Incompetence” comprising George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. Good luck getting them to pose for the photo.
DeLay also thought Rumsfeld deserved consideration—not for the way he screwed up the Iraq War, but for the way he nobly fell on his sword for the administration. The ex-Congressman added that he had several other suggestions. “One of ’em’s [incoming House speaker] Nancy Pelosi,” he told Radar. “What she’s going to do to America I think is just awful, but it’s going to be massive, and I think she deserves consideration.”