(TIME / AFP / Getty Images)

Time magazine has named President Obama its "Person of the Year," for the second time in four years. (Winners in between: Ben Bernanke, Mark Zuckerberg, and protesters). 

"For finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union, Barack Obama is TIME’s 2012 Person of the Year," the editors write.

The short list included Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani education rights activist shot by the Taliban in October, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, and physicist Fabiola Gianotti. 

In the magazine cover story, Michael Scherer reports that after the 2012 presidential election, Obama started working on a “40,000-foot” list of issues he'd like to tackle in his second term. Among them: climate change, early childhood education, college costs, electoral reform and prison reform.   

He also reports on the difficulty Republicans had going negative against the president.

“There was almost nothing that would stick to this guy, because they just liked him personally,” Romney deputy campaign manager Katie Packer Gage told Time. 

“The kind of traditional negative campaign that the Obama campaign did was not available to our side,” added Stephen Law, who as president and CEO of American Crossroads spent $85 million on anti-Obama ads.