Mitchell Reports | December 14, 2011
>>> " time magazine "'s person of the year is the protester. the choice reflects the stunning nature of the grass roots revolutions in egypt and libya and challenged governments in greece and moscow. in summing up the past 12 months "time" suggests it shows the community at a tipping point. why the protester? let's talk more about why you see this as an historic moment around the globe here and overseas.
>> i think it is a historic moment because these young men and women starting in the middle east and spreading like a virus to europe and america and russia are changing the way we look at democracy. they are bringing a fresh view of democracy. they are threatening power and are trying to lib list democracy. we are at a historical moment. it's not just looking back but looking ahead. they will continue to inspire people in the year ahead as well.
>> i was talking to middle east experts about the arab awakening, the arab spring or winter or whatever you want to call it. one of the notable things about what happened in egypt is that these were not political protests per se . the people who are protesting are not the people coming into governments.
>> no. in fact i was just in egypt and tunisia a couple of weeks ago. the spirit was people who are fed up and frustrated. they didn't know what they were for but they knew what they were against. like so many of the protests in the middle east and the west these were educated and young people who wanted a change. and they got part of the change that they wanted in toppling hey have no t gotten is what succeeds that. they are better at protesting than they are about governing. we'll see what happens.
>> the other thing is what is happening at home, the occupy movement and tea party movement. we are seeing anger in our institutions. could this lead to another 1968 ? could this lead to a summer of protests at our conventions?
>> i definitely think that's possible. our great cover story speculates that you have to go back to a period like 1968 here in america to see that same spirit of protest of people taking to the street, of people so frustrated that they feel like they have to actually get out there. and now that the occupy movement is kind of in hibernation and by all accounts and reporting they are planning for 2012 , which of course is a presidential election year. and in 1968 the demonstrations were at the democratic convention , not really the republican convention . i wouldn't be surprised if something like that happens again this year.
>>> let's talk about the runners up and they are all major players. but let's talk first of all about the person who came in second, admiral william mccraven. not well known, the leader of the seal team that got osama bin laden .
>> right. it's a terrific story. and you learn stuff about him that you didn't know before. but he really is the secret master of special ops and so much of the way american warfare is fought in the 21st century . he is a pivotal figure in everything thwe do. he was the commander of seal team six and he set it up for the president to make the decision and go ahead and capture or kill osama bin laden .
>> one of the most interesting quotes from this piece was that he told the president one of the things we made clear to the president and the national leadership was this is what we do. we do raids. we fly in by helicopters. we assault compounds, we, you know, we grab the bad guy.
>> i mean, he was essentially saying to president obama , we do this all the time. this is our job. it just happens the target in this case is a little bit more profile than who we are usually getting.
>> you mentioned paul ryan . why paul ryan in this context and the others who came in second, third and fourth place?
>> i think representative ryan in many ways has set the tone for the entire presidential campaign , certainly the campaign in the republican party this year by basically focusing early on before other people had done it on the problem of debt, the property of deficits and basically setting up -- this is the standard by which you all are going to be judged by which we will all be judged. when the president did not have a plan, ryan came up with a plan. and i think that characterized the entire debate this whole year and will do that in the year to come.
>> and our thanks to you, rick stengel. thank you for being with us to talk about the person of the year in "time" magazine. we'll