Russians love him. The Levada polling organisation (not especially friendly to Putin) has been polling about him for 15 years. His lowest rating – lowest rating – (did I say lowest?) was 61% in June 2000, these days it’s in the 80s. (Question 1, Long Trend). Most Western politicians would sell their mothers into slavery to get up to 61%. But, asks the puzzled NYT reader, why would Russians like him? Results, that’s why; check out the illustration. You’d like it too, if you had a leadership team half as effective.
He’s popular outside too. Despite widespread belief in the servile Western media that Putin is “isolated”, a lot of countries are happy to invite him to visit. The photo that says it all is here.
He’s macho. When he takes his photographer along in his “private” moments, it’s to show him wrestling tigers, petting leopards, landing large fish, wearing tough guy headgear, hurling people around the judo mat. What do our leaders do in their photographed “private” moments? Golf.
Even the false rumours about him are macho. Affairs with beautiful young women, not pedophilia or secret homosexuality.
He’s got a real army. With air defences, fighter planes, modern tanks, tough special forces. So a fun little air campaign won’t be possible. Besides, Russia hasn’t lost many wars, has it? And they never give up; just ask the Mongols.
He’s Russian. And Russians are all horrible. Except for Pussy Riot.
He’s smarter than our team. Well… doesn’t he prove this every day?
You can’t bully him. Ditto.
He’s not going anywhere. He’s staying right there in Russia. And that, for the geographically challenged, is a great big country not very far from anywhere.
And one bonus reason. He knows gold is a better investment than US Treasuries.
And just one more. Russian babes say they like him. Imagine the campaign “Babes for (insert the name of your wearisome leader)”. Didn’t think you could imagine it without feeling a bit nauseous. Well, OK, there was Obamagirl. But that was fake.