State Attorney General Bob Ferguson was little known outside of Washington until his time as President Trump's courtroom foe. Now he's among Time's "100 Most Influential People."
Washington state must have quite a bit of clout in this world, if you believe Time magazine.
Four people with deep ties to the state were recognized in the publication’s 2017 incarnation of its “Most Influential People” list.
Two — Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and philanthropist Melinda Gates — have been recognized before. Newly anointed were Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
Ferguson, a chess aficionado, made his name this year as a calculating legal foe to President Donald Trump. Ferguson isn’t shy about poking at the commander in chief after his team’s courtroom victories.
“Star Trek” legend and civil-rights activist George Takei lauded Ferguson for Time magazine. Takei, who spent part of his childhood at an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II, said Ferguson’s courtroom triumph reminded him of his time in the camp.
“Every morning at the school, in a black, tar-paper barrack, we began the day by pledging allegiance to the flag: ‘With liberty and justice for all,’ ” wrote Takei.
“Bob Ferguson clearly believes everyone deserves those guarantees, no matter their background. That is, after all, what makes us Americans. We are a country of immigrants. And it was thrilling to watch him speak out in the court of law in order to ensure a better and truer democracy.”
Gen. James Mattis, who calls Richland, Wash., home, became defense secretary under Trump this year, arguably becoming the world’s most important military man (though he long ago left the Armed Forces). Robert Gates, who served as defense secretary in two presidential administrations, wrote about Mattis for Time.
“Jim Mattis is a worthy successor to the only previous general officer to serve as Secretary of Defense, General George C. Marshall. Mattis shares Marshall’s deep knowledge of history, his strategic vision, his appreciation of both America’s national interests and its values, his tough-mindedness about policies and people, and his integrity. Like Marshall, Mattis is also unafraid to speak truth to power,” wrote Gates.
As a co-founder of the Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates’ philanthropic vision put her on the list of influencers.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg regaled Gates’ empathetic nature.
“Her vision for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has helped lift the lives of millions of people. Its work reflects her impatient optimism. Her ability to think big and move fast. Her love of numbers. (Bill’s not the only data geek in the family.) Her passionate commitment to empowering women and girls, seen in the foundation’s support for increasing access to contraceptives in developing countries. Her fundamental belief in human dignity. It’s all there, woven tightly into the DNA of one of the most ambitious and generous philanthropies in history.”
Jeff Bezos was recognized not for Amazon’s swelling influence but for his other-worldly ambitions. The magazine selected Buzz Aldrin to describe Bezos’ mark on the world:
“In my recent visit to his Blue Origin rocket company near Seattle, nearly 50 years after my moonwalk, I was heartened to see a space-geek extraordinaire become a passionate patron of helping to shape the future of America’s space program via his entrepreneurial spunk, imagination and, yes, willingness to put dollars where his dreams are.”