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Kim Jong Un: Voted Person of the Year 2012 By Time Readers!

December 14, 2012

Kim Jong Un is Time's 2012 Person of the Year ... if the magazine's online readers have their say anyway. He was chosen by a landslide margin, hilariously.

Time readers picked North Korean leader over President Barack Obama, Gabrielle Douglas, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Jon Stewart in an online vote.

It doesn't mean Kim will be named Time's official Person of the Year 2012, which is announced December 19; that call is entirely the Time editorial board's.

Still, the son and successor of the late Kim Jong Il - who was also named the Onion's Sexiest Man Alive earlier this fall - received 5.6 million votes.

That's 5.6 million more than either Kim ever got in North Korea! Axis of Evil BURN!!!!

"We don't make our selection based on the poll results," Time executive editor Radhika Jones noted in the blog post that announced the winners.

"But it's always interesting to see where some of our preferred candidates end up."

As has been the case in previous years, users of 4chan launched a campaign to manipulate the poll, pushing North Korea's supreme leader to the top.

Rounding out the top five:

  • Stewart (2.4 million votes)
  • Undocumented immigrants (1.55 million)
  • Douglas (1.51 million)
  • Burmese leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein (1.48 million)

If Kim is chosen as Time's Person of the Year, it wouldn't be a totally ridiculous choice

Shrouded in mystery, the 28-year-old rose out of nowhere over the past year to become one of the world's most powerful and last remaining despots.

More than likely, though, it'll go to Obama or someone more conventional.

Or no one specifically. Sometimes the Person of the Year is not one particular person. In 2011, for example, it was "The Protester." In 2006, it was "You."

The Person of the Year, instituted in 1927, is "bestowed by the editors on the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill."

Also, the person who "embodied what was important about the year."

Barbara Walters cast her own vote this week: David Petraeus.

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