Tonight, Diane Sawyer, former aide in the Nixon White House who also was an editorial assistant for RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, made her debut as anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight. She did not get around to mentioning her old boss.
But over at NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams found some time for the thirty-seventh President. He reported on a blog called Teqnolog, which this weekend examined the thousands of images at Time magazine’s site to determine whose face had appeared on that venerable newsmagazine’s cover more often than any other.

The winner was not a complete surprise. I recall reading in Time once or twice in the last fifteen years that Richard Nixon had been on the cover more often than anyone else. But Technoloq did a breakdown on the 15 others who had appeared on the cover ten times or more. Here they are:

RN – 48 covers
Ronald Reagan – 45
Bill Clinton – 33
George W. Bush – 31
Jimmy Carter – 27
Barack Obama – 24
Gerald R. Ford – 20
Lyndon B. Johnson – 19
George H.W. Bush – 18
Dwight D. Eisenhower – 18
Hillary Clinton – 16
John F. Kennedy – 14
Saddam Hussein – 12
Franklin D. Roosevelt – 11
Al Gore – 10
John McCain – 10

It should be mentioned that these figures include covers in which the sixteen mentioned appear with other people, such as Henry Kissinger, or Leonid Brezhnev, or each other. (In fact, in 1976 Reagan, Carter and Ford were on the same cover.) In Nixon’s case, he appeared by himself on 24 of his 48 covers, while FDR and Hussein were solo on almost all of their covers.

It may not be much of a surprise that the Secretary of State was the only woman on this list (though the former Governor of Alaska may catch up by 2012), but to have Saddam Hussein appear on more covers than, say, Stalin or Castro or Gorbachev or even Churchill is somewhat startling.

The blog pointed out that President Obama, in less than two years, or about 100 weeks, since he scored his first Time cover, has risen to sixth place on this list, while it took RN until the early Seventies, nearly two decades after his first appearance, to get to 24 covers. Teqnolog remarked that at this pace, it would take Obama only another two years to surpass RN, by which time he’d still be in his first term, and that if he were re-elected and featured as frequently as he is now, he could perhaps have his face on as many as 150 covers.

And even if the President failed to be re-elected, he’d still stand a good chance of building on such a number – FDR, JFK, Reagan, and of course RN were on the cover more than once after leaving office.