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Imitation and Insincere Flattery

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Stanislav Belkovsky is often quite a clown, but usually not a boring one.  After all, how many pundits out there like to open an article by quoting themselves?  That’s exactly how he begins his latest piece of analysis posted to Yezhednevny Zhurnal, the translation of which came over on today’s JRL, which argues that President Dmitry Medvedev has taken up a new idol to imitate – not his mentor and superior, Vladimir Putin, but rather the new visiting U.S. President, Barack Obama.  Who says Obamamania never caught on in Russia!

Belkovsky’s main evidence is based on fashion tastes and similar photographs (though I am sure I could find photos of Sarah Palin wearing the same colored suits as Obama).  Anyways, this is not the main focus of the wandering article, but the most entertaining one.

Everybody knows that Medvedev doesn’t think that any American is his boss, but it looks like Belkovsky is looking to stir the nationalists’ hornet nest.

As recently as two weeks ago, while on a visit to Egypt, Medvedev staged a photo op against the background of the Sphinx and pyramids –in dreamy solitude and casual dress.

Why? Because one month earlier, Barack Obama staged exactly the same photo op in that same place — also in solitude and casually dressed.

And the fact that Medvedev showed up for his first meeting with Obama in the Kremlin dressed  exactly as the U.S. President — dark bluesuit,  red tie, white shirt — that was noticed by many.

So, the Russian president has consistently and stubbornly imitated Obama. What does it mean in  strategic terms? That from now on, Medvedev regards Obama as his boss.

He has found a new top man for himself and recognized him.