The Farcical Nature of Russian Politics: Putin Rides a Motorcycle Edition

There is no denying that Russian politics, especially on the national stage, are mainly a farce. Putin and Medvedev in the months leading up to an election, tour Russia demonstrating their virility through the political equivalents of arm wrestling. Last week, Russia watched as Putin went scuba diving for buried treasure in southern Russia, while Medvedev unveiled a new battle flag for the Eastern Military’s 11th Paratroops Brigade. Yesterday, Putin pulled ahead in this year’s Russian Leader Machismo Contest when he hopped on his Harley and led the Night Wolves Motorcycle Club around Novorossiysk. Can you imagine Obama kicking off his re-election campaign by leading a pack of Hell’s Angels to the Iowa straw poll…?

Barack on a Bike

Sometimes I wonder what I would do if we had these types of virile displays from Obama. Maybe I would use them to say “Hey, look you naysayers, Obama will squash your opposition not through reason and logic but through sheer strength” as the video of Putin leading the pack of motorcyles seems to suggest. What examples of Obama we do have, however, when juxtaposed with displays by Putin and Medvedev, make him appear like some sort of hybrid Mr. Miyagi- baby whisperer (the latter video being one of my all-time favorites of Obama).

Now if only that fly was Gaddafi and that baby was Congress then maybe he would start seeing approval ratings similar to Medvedev’s…

Note: The Danger Room is one of my favorite blogs on foreign affairs and usually one of the first sites I go to each morning. I highly advise you to add it to your bookmarks and make it part of your daily routine too!