Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The New Guy

And law school exams continue to take up most of my time and sanity, but in other news....

Putin named who he will back to be Russia's next president: Dmitry Medvedev (guy on the left).

The picture is old, but I like it because it captures some of the dynamic.

The whole situation is a bit odd. Firs there is the fact that considering democracy's recent passing (she was suffering, it was her time) people the world over (who care about Russia) have realized that it really isn't the election campaign that matters, it is everything before. So in that light, Putin's backing of Medvedev has been treated as the election of the next Russian president. Okay, fair enough, nothing more wrong with that than with anything else that has been going on. So you would think with Russia's recent side stepping towards authoritarianism, they would try and set Medvedev up as a serious intimidating leader right? Not so much.

At least to me the whole thing had been a bit more like Putin introducing his long time girlfriend to mother Russia. In most of the press conferences Medvedev has sat there next to Putin nodding along, as Putin basically said "oh you are going to like him so much, he's such a nice boy."
The most significant quote I have seen from Medvedev was that he would appoint Putin prime minister, which just seemed a bit like "oh, I don't have opinions, I'll just do whatever he tells me to."
But who knows what will happen. My Russian politics teacher from last year in Austria thinks it is all a red haring so Putin can deal with all the wannabe presidents and people pressuring him to stay in office now so he can pull a switcheroo later with another guy. He hasn't stated his reasons yet though. I don't know, sounds crazy enough for Russian politics.

Apparently in the Russian blogosphere they have been making fun of Medvedev a lot. Ironically, for the same sort of petty thing I would: his last name means bear. The word for bear in Russian is pretty to begin with as it is a combination of the words med (honey) and ved (an old verb for to know), i.e. the creature that knows where the honey is (if you were wondering 'ev' is just a standard ending for surnames). Anywho, Mr. Bear being the president of Russian is a amusing tantalizing notion...even for Russians apparently.

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