Although being chosen Time‘s Person of the Year isn’t necessarily a compliment, the editors’ choice of Vladimir Putin was a cop-out. “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Time didn’t name [General David] Petraeus as the person of the year,” writes Michael Barone, “because its editors didn’t want to spotlight and honor American success. This was not always so, as you can check by looking at Time‘s archive of person of the year (originally man of the year) selections over the years.”