The American Activist, the grassroots Tea Partying activists, have been the real surprise of 2009 and the real "Person of the Year" according to AFP's Tim Phillips:
Without a doubt, everyday Americans concerned about the future of their country have had more of an impact this year than any politician, Fed chairman, or celebrity. ...
Sometimes these tireless activists ask me if doing their part is really making a difference. CNN and Rasmussen polls show a majority of Americans oppose the current health care bill. That shift in opinion came because people paid attention and got their neighbors to pay attention, too.
But more than that, I tell them to look at Washington. The genuine uprising among constituents has pushed cap-and-trade off the congressional agenda for the year, and pushed back the deadline for a health care bill from August to Christmas.