NEW YORK, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- In its annual "Who's Next" year-end
double issue, Newsweek names those people who will be making news in the
months and years ahead. Newly elected Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, on the cover
of the December 27 issue (on newsstands Monday, December 20), is featured not
only because he will inevitably make most shortlists for vice president in
2008, but also because he has the "star power" to work with the GOP on
bridging Red-Blue divisions and getting some things done for the country.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041219/NYSU003 )
Obama is fully prepared to step into a leadership role for the Democratic
Party, reports Senior Editor Jonathan Alter. Obama stops short of calling for
a "religious left" to counter the political power of the religious right, but
he wants the party to reconnect to what he sees as its roots in a moral
imperative: "This shouldn't be hard to do. Martin Luther King did it. The
abolitionists did it. Dorothy Day [of the Catholic Workers] did it. Most of
the reform movements that have changed this country have been grounded in
religious models. We don't have to start from scratch." The task now, Obama
says, is for Democrats to "reclaim and reassert in very explicit language that
our best ideas rise out of communal values," a process that Obama began in his
now famous keynote speech at the Democratic convention in July.
In addition to Obama, the "Who's Next" lineup includes people who will be
making headlines in the coming year in the realms of politics, business,
media, fashion, sports, art, education, entertainment and technology. Those
* Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the third-ranking Republican in a
majority soon to expand to 55 members and a point man on hot-button
issues ranging from gay marriage to Social Security. Santorum's
combatively devout approach is one Republicans are hoping will expand
their control in the decade ahead by winning over traditional Catholics
in Great Lakes states and Hispanic voters everywhere-and one Santorum
has told friends he thinks can propel him to the presidency someday.
* Andrea Jung, CEO of Avon, whose sales have jumped 45 percent (from $5.3
billion to a projected $7.7 billion in 2004) since Jung took over in
1999. Jung has poured millions into research and development, overhauled
the colors, textures and packaging of Avon products, developed a new
line for young women and expanded into overseas markets. Now her name is
cropping up on shortlists of candidates to turn around even bigger
* Tom Castro, the founder of Border Media Partners, the nation's largest
privately held Hispanic radio company. Recognizing that Spanish-language
radio is a jewel amid a dreary media sector, investors have poured $240
million so far into BMP, which Castro calls "probably the most powerful
force in American radio."
* Julie Mehretu, a 34-year-old artist whose ambitious canvases have earned
her attention as a significant emerging talent. One of Mehretu's
abstract paintings now hangs in New York's Museum of Modern Art.
* Thom Browne, a menswear designer whose hand-tailored clothing, sold in a
few high-end shops, is made to look good and wear well over time. "My
clothing is not retro at all. But it's inspired by a true American
sensibility of the '50s and early '60s," says Browne.
* Michelle Monaghan, a 27-year-old actress from a tiny farming town in
northeast Iowa who stars in next year's "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (with
Robert Downey Jr.) and "Syriana" (with George Clooney).
* Susan Hockfield, a neurobiologist who in August was named MIT's first
female president. Women run many prestigious universities, but it is
still a very big deal when a woman presides over one of the world's most
elite scientific institutions. Hockfield is the first life scientist to
run MIT, and that distinction might matter most in the era of burgeoning
* Craig Newmark, the founder of the wildly popular Internet bulletin board
craigslist. Six million people every month use Newmark's free service to
search for jobs, apartments and mates. Newmark's current task is to
manage the list's meteoric growth while maintaining what he refers to as
* Donald Young, an African-American tennis phenom who has evoked
comparisons not only to fellow lefty John McEnroe, but to most every
American star of recent vintage.
A "Where Are They Now?" section catches up with some of Newsweek's past
picks for "Who's Next," a feature the magazine first began in 2001. The
section contains updates on former Who's Next-ers like political satirist Jon
Stewart, last year's cover choice; Alberto Gonzales, a 2002 pick whom
President Bush recently nominated for Attorney General; Bill Frist, a 2001
pick who is now the Senate majority leader; Sarah Hughes, a 2001 pick who won
the gold medal in ladies' figure skating at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games;
Freddy Adu, a 2002 choice who became the youngest player in the history of
Major League Soccer; and San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, a 2003 pick who
made headlines this year for authorizing gay marriages in his city.
The special issue also features the annual "Perspectives" roundup, a
review of the year's best cartoons and quotes.
(Read entire cover package at www.Newsweek.com.)