RON HART: Obama and Putin, a study in similarities

Published: Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 09:18 AM.

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — As Obama and Congress publicly debate what engraving style to use on the “Save the Date” card they will send to Syria’s President Assad (fully telegraphing our unnecessary military action), Vladimir Putin chuckles.

Bombing Syria was about Obama saving face after the public ultimatum he gave. It’s also about Putin; those two preening narcissists do not get along. Ever since the dust-up over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden being given asylum, they have been in a diss-ing match. Their testosterone-fueled tempest culminated last week at the G-20 Summit when the two men engaged in a St. Petersburg measuring contest.

The tension is clear. Obama intentionally arrived thirty minutes late at a dinner Putin hosted at the G-20 Summit.  In photo ops, Obama and Putin sit across from each other with uncomfortable smiles and brooding silence. It looks like a holiday gathering at a relative’s house.

There was an awkward moment when the G-20 emcee requested a few words from the ruthless ex-Marxist spymaster and calculating assassin; both Putin and Obama rose to speak.

These two leaders do have something in common: they both like to blame problems on others. Putin blamed Snowden being stuck in Russia on Obama for revoking his visa so he could not travel. Putin might eventually release Snowden, but only if he can then hunt him.

Putin has other provocations to his credit. He has said that gay athletes participating in the 2014 Olympics in Russia will be arrested. This is bad news for mankind but great news for the world's two straight male figure skaters.

The Obama administration let it leak that their like-minded “redistribution of wealth” ideologue Putin has amassed a personal net worth of $69 billion as a result of gaining control of political office. That makes Fidel Castro’s $1 billion look paltry.  

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