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26 Nov, 2020 21:04

‘Failing upward on steroids’: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is nominated for TIME’s Person of the Year. Critics have pounced

‘Failing upward on steroids’: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is nominated for TIME’s Person of the Year. Critics have pounced

Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer is under consideration for TIME magazine’s famous annual ‘Person of the Year’ title, a turn of events which has utterly dismayed critics of her record of governance.

On the nominee list, published on Wednesday, Whitmer is featured alongside some fellow Democrats, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Republicans, including President Donald Trump. 

Besides politicians, the nominees include singer Billie Eilish, rapper and ex-presidential hopeful Kanye West, Pope Francis and Prince Harry of the British royal family.

While readers do get to vote on who they think should win the title, it’s the magazine’s editors who will make the final decision and announce it, on December 10.

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Whitmer’s appearance on the list of nominees considered for the title has rubbed quite a few critics the wrong way and they were not shy about taking to social media to list the governor’s perceived misdeeds.

Many were instantly reminded of Michigan’s perhaps most infamous and ongoing crisis: the lead-poisoning of water in the city of Flint, which began in 2014.

While Whitmer entered office last year on promises to address the serious health issue, some on Twitter were eager to point out that “Flint still doesn’t have clean water.” 

“This is failing upward on steroids,” tweeted journalist Jordan Chariton.

Others complained about Whitmer’s efforts to combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – some saying she essentially had blood on her hands, while others felt her orders were authoritarian.

“I hope she wins so she can take her rightful place alongside the 1938 Time Person of the Year,quipped one person, not-so-subtly comparing Whitmer to Adolf Hitler, once chosen by TIME as ‘Man of the Year.’

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Some drew comparisons between Whitmer’s nomination and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recent Emmy win, despite controversies surrounding his handling of New York’s epidemic. Cuomo will receive the award for his televised pandemic briefings, though many argue that his mismanagement of the crisis led to the state being ravaged by virus.

A few did, however, think the Democratic governor was a great choice for the accolade.

As for Whitmer, Republicans in her state have introduced articles of impeachment against her over her Covid-19 restrictions, asserting that she abused her authority. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in October that the first round of her orders, which were among the strictest in the US, were unconstitutional.

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