But after talking to Wakeford, I understood how people made their choices. I even fainted a little for Rudd. Our lovely conversation on this very important topic, which has been easily edited for length and clarity, follows below.
Wakeford: Staff Meetings [for SMA] should really be a reality show. It’s like an intense debate with legal style arguments. There are suddenly raised voices and a lot of passion. At People, we take our journalism very, very seriously, and we take whoever we choose very seriously because it leads the national conversation for that day. When you’re on the cover of The Sexiest Man Alive, you’re the most talked about person in America to that day. “
CNN: So how did you land on Rudd? (After much debate, Wakeford is the final decision-maker.)
“Well, everyone comes to the table with different names and different arguments for who they should think it should be. And when his name was mentioned, something clicked on me. It just felt right. He’s a slow burn. He’s a , who does’ not push himself forward in a sexy way or in a dominant way. He does not fall for the famous fool. And he is very focused on his craft and does a good job. But when you talk to people about it , you suddenly get this surprising wave of intense enthusiasm, and he just got it. “
CNN: How does your choice fit into the present moment?
“We want stability. And we want security, and we want comfort. The last two years have been so unsettling. But we also want to laugh, and he’s a good guy, always on the joke and so self-ironic. That meet him, he has such an amazing energy, and yes, he is sweet in real life. “
CNN: So that’s his overall factor?
“Yes, he’s a good man. It’s not just about his looks. It’s not just about his green, soulful, hazel eyes. He’s smart. And he does it well. He is [raised] $ 13 million through charity [for] Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. He’s not a show off. He’s just a great guy and he’s just easy to like. I never think I have had so much positivity around the election. When you think about it, he just reminds you that the funny boy at school at the back of the class who was quiet and then said something really funny and made you laugh. “
CNN: How did so many different people agree on the final choice?
“We have a lot of different personalities of people. And when you get different corners of different types of people who all say ‘yes’, I think that’s great.”
CNN: How did you choose the last cover photo?
“It’s about the eyes, and the intimate image was just so amazing … and the little glimmer of the biceps. The subtle sexiness is what we like.”
CNN: And how did Paul react when he heard he was the chosen one?
“Of course he was happy and thought it was funny. He knew everyone would scratch their heads.”
So Rudd is a fun, all-encompassing amazing guy. Yes, it’s sexy. Plus, now I see in a new light Rudd’s eyes and hair and well, I also think the biceps.
Thanks for that, Dan.
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