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One for the Table's Favorite People of 2012

by the Editors
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One for the Table's favorite food people

Nate Silver

for making me a little calmer.
—Gary Ross

Nate Silver

Vice-President Joe Biden

for being charming and endearing and stalwart and proving that Vice-President is a real job!
—Amy Ephron

Joe Biden

Vicki Soto

Vicki Soto, lost her life at Sandy Hook Elementary School as she attempted to protect her students during a senseless and horrific massacre. Hiding her students in a closet and facing the gunman, she saved some of them. Vicki's tragic death reminds us all of the power of teachers and caregivers who place the safety of their charges above all else and who, in the face of danger, protect the most vulnerable because that is what heroes do.
—Dr. Nancy Berk

Vicki Soto

Chris Christie

for being the only governor in the country who's as large as the state that elected him.
—Alan Zweibel

Chris Christie

Jennifer Lawrence

whose versatility and pitch perfect performances have put her in the top of the class!
—Amy Ephron

Jennifer Lawrence

Gabby DouglasGymnast Gabby Douglas

As someone who was a very bad gymnast in high school–too tall, too stiff–I could do just enough to know that what Olympic gymnasts can do is impossible. Trust me, it’s difficult even to walk across the balance beam without falling off, much less do aerial cartwheels and back handsprings. The uneven bars? Terrifying to try almost any remotely difficult move. And did I mention that my hands were bleeding and callused every day? So it was with total awe that I watched U.S. team member Gabby Douglas win the all-around competition (in itself a wonder, as each event requires different skills) in the 2012 Summer Olympics. And it was not just because she is the most effortless, natural gymnast I have ever seen; it was her profound confidence, poise and joy in performing–and at age 16 in the biggest spotlight in the world. I had almost stopped watching women’s Olympic gymnastics after seeing so many tiny, stunted gymnasts who looked miserable and unhealthy despite their extraordinary athletic ability. Gabby looked like she was having fun. To add that she was the first African-American to win the medal makes it a perfect fairy tale–except that it was real..
—Mary Elson

Elizabeth Warren

for her fearless and vocal defense of the middle class. She should be head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but we are lucky to have her in the Senate.
—Allison Thomas

Elizabeth Warren

Jose Andres

not only because he's such a visionary chef, which he is, but because he's such a great humanitarian (hunger relief work with numerous organizations, like the DC Central Kitchen). His deep Spanish roots notwithstanding, he opened a pop-up restaurant in DC last year that celebrates 300 years of American gastronomy. He's also lectured on food chemistry at Harvard.
—Steven Raichlen

Jose Andres

Ben Affleck

for making ARGO, a smart, intense, clever, political movie about the amazing true story of the secret rescue of six American foreign service workers during the Iran hostage crisis. No explosions, extended car chases, super powers, 3-D, aliens, robots, cute babies, or talking animals were necessary to create this immensely entertaining film. Just great storytelling and first-rate acting. I have hope for Hollywood again.
—Lisa Dinsmore

Ben Affleck

Jim Denevan

Jim Denevan of Outstanding in the Field. No one has done more to connect farmers and fishermen directly to the foodie public.
—Steven Raichlen

Jim Denevan

Richard Wrangham

Wrote the book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human and created the Evolutionary Biology Department at Harvard. Food history before we could even speak.
—Steven Raichlen

Richard Wrangham

President Barack Obama

for most of 2012 I was a nervous wreck, afraid that a tsunami of unregulated campaign financing would sweep away all good sense. So my pick for a favorite person of 2012 is President Obama because he returned to what he believed when he campaigned in 2008. And that turned the tide.
—David Latt

Barack Obama

Mitt Romney

who even when he was having a "personal best" managed to put a toe in his mouth.
—Amy Ephron

Mitt Romney

David Corn and James Carter IV

my votes for "favorite persons" of 2012 go to David Corn and James Carter IV who, by presenting Mitt Romney's 47% video to a wide American audience, may have saved our democracy. (But we still have work to do....)
—Christopher Cerf

David Corn and James Carter IV

Anonymous

...to the person who recorded Mitt Romney's 47% video.
—Jeff Weicher

Anonymous

the empty chair

Clint Eastwood's partner at the Republican National Convention.
—the Editors

Anonymous
compiled by Amy Ephron
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