So, why the hell is Palin on this list and not Clinton? It is, put
frankly, the difference between the popular girl and the girl who ran
the high school volunteer program. Sarah Palin’s the popular girl —
there are people that adore her, people that want to be like her and
people that hang on her every word because of some ephemeral quality
(looks, money, ability to be cutting to those she doesn’t like, all of
the above) that makes her popular in a certain crowd for a certain
period of time. Clinton’s the volunteer leader — it’s an often
thankless job, with students who join just to pad their resumés and the
kind of work that inevitably exposes you at an early age to life’s
What is more likely to have happened here is that at some point Time’s writers added up the liberals, added up the conservatives, and bet they’d get far more angry irate calls from lunatics if they left Palin off the list than if they left Clinton off. How many screaming spitting freakjobs do our receptionists really need to deal with today?
Never attribute to bias (or to some hideously complicated Mean Girls scenario) what cowardice will explain nicely.