Hundreds of you sent in nominations for Metro’s Man and Woman of the
Year event, and this morning we bring you the most popular nominees in
both categories.

This has truly been a public event: Metro’s editors play no part in the nomination process, other than tracking the nominations. And so this morning, we can reveal our shortlists.

In the Man of the Year event, the final nominees are: President Barack Obama; founder of the WikiLeaks website, Julian Assange; and the 33 Chilean miners who spent 69 days trapped underground.

And in the Woman of the Year category, the shortlisted nominees are: First lady Michelle Obama; Sarah Palin, potential GOP presidential candidate in 2012; and celebutante Kim Kardashian.

Why did you pick this group of six?

President and Mrs. Obama had the most nominations — but those doing the nominating were split on their reasons.

Many are inspired by how the Obamas handled a tough year — President Obama in the face of a resurgent political opposition; first lady Obama for her work fighting childhood obesity.

But others said the criteria of our event — we are looking for the man and woman who have most affected the news headlines, for better or worse, in 2010 — qualified the Obamas for nomination.

Some readers gloated at President Obama’s decline. Others said that Mrs. Obama’s most important spell in the headlines this year came when she took a very expensive Spanish vacation when the rest of the country was mired in recession.

Julian Assange and Sarah Palin fall into the same category.

Assange continues to cause huge embarrassment to the U.S. government by revealing secret diplomatic messages — an act that either makes him worthy of the death penalty, some say, or a hero of free speech, according to others.

Mrs. Palin is, according to some nominations, an imbecile. Yet to others, she is one of the few politicians not to have been tainted by Washington’s deceit. Her supporters say she speaks for the many, not the elite few.

How to vote

Don’t miss the chance to contribute your opinion to Metro’s annual reader survey.

» To vote for a Man or Woman of the Year, send your vote to

» OR:
» Text 89800 using the following letters to indicate your vote:
A. Barack Obama
B. Julian Assange
C. Chilean miners
D. Michelle Obama
E. Sarah Palin
F. Kim Kardashian

» You can only vote once per text. The poll closes on Friday, Dec. 17, at 5 p.m. Results will be published in a special, end-of-year edition of Metro on Monday, Dec. 27.

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