Opinion: Breaking: Barbara Walters rejects Sarah Palin again, picks Michelle Obama as Most Fascinating Person


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Well, the long wait is over.

The holidays can now proceed.

Barbara Walters has announced the official Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Person of 2009.

It’s not Adam Lambert, the oral sex mime. No, it’s not Lady Gaga, the whatever. Nor is it Kate Gosselin. Or even Brett Favre.

And it is definitely not Sarah Palin, who is a Republican making her second unsuccessful bid for the coveted national broadcast honor.


They were all just thrown in for the ratings mix anyway. Along with, of all people, Fox News’ Glenn Beck.

Are you sitting down?

Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Person of the Year is .......Michelle Obama. A Democrat.

No, really.

The first lady will miss the big announcement because she’s in Norway today to watch....

...the U.S. president pick up a lesser honor, something called the Nobel Peace Prize.

Here are some of the things the Most Fascinating Person of 2009 tells Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview about her rough year:

I mean, if you think about this year, I had to get these two beautiful girls settled into a new city, into a new home, into a new school. We got a dog. I visited eight countries with my husband. I planted a garden. I’ve started a mentoring program. It has been everything. And now, here we are at our first Christmas in the White House... [Malia] was still waking up for that 4 o’clock feeding and I’d get up because I’d be the first one to hear her, and he’d be asleep. And I thought: ‘I’m up, I might as well go to the gym. And if I get to the gym, then he’ll have to wake up and do that feeding.’ I get a workout in and everyone will be happy. So you know, if there’s anything that I can attribute these arms to, it’s probably just determination.... I always thought, ‘Well, if I wanted somebody as my state senator, or as my U.S. senator, or as my president, I would want Barack Obama.’ And the only reason he wouldn’t do it is if I said no....

Mrs. Obama said her idea of personal paradise is that one hour of the week alone in front of the TV with the dog Bo.

He thinks he’s a lap dog. He’ll cozy up with me, and I’m just clicking through mindless shows. A lot of, you know, shows about food and design, and all that good stuff. And it’s just quiet, and I’m not thinking about anything for that second -- not about the kids, not about my husband, not about my schedule. If I get an hour of that during the course of a week, it feels like heaven.


You can watch the entire Barbara Walters Most Fascinating Person of the Year show on ABC at -- oh, darn! -- you missed it. It was already on Wednesday. Well, there are still some photographs over here, next to the lengthening list of Tiger Woods’ mistresses (for those at home tracking the scores, early today the updated tally stood at 11).

Last year, as some remember, the Barbara Walters Most Fascinating Person was also a stunning surprise, Barack Obama, coincidentally the husband of this year’s selection. And another Democrat.

Next year’s show is already in the works no doubt, a third straight celebrity cliffhanger with a slightly different title: Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Incumbent Vice President.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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