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Trumps Love for Putin: a Presidential Role Model

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Trumps Love for Putin: a Presidential Role Model

By STEVEN LEE MYERS

September 8, 2016

New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/09/us/politics/ donald-trump-vladimir-putin.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/z8pn89g

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WASHINGTON  What is striking about Donald J. Trumps latest effusion of admiration for Russias stony-faced leader, Vladimir V. Putin, is how similar it is to the way Mr. Putin is portrayed in Russia: as a necessary foil for an aggressive and flawed American leadership.

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Interviewed at an NBC candidates forum Wednesday night, Mr. Trump offered no account of Mr. Putins achievements, except perhaps for noting an 82 percent approval rating from a polling agency now under legal threat as a foreign agent. Nor did Mr. Trump outline much of a vision for working with him if he became president, beyond pondering how wonderful it would be if Russia and the United States could join forces against the Islamic State.

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Instead he recited a litany of perceived slights or disrespect that President Obama has endured on the world stage, including the awkward arrival ceremony on his most recent visit to China for the Group of 20 gathering. The message, Mr. Trump said, is that Mr. Putin earns more respect now than Mr. Obama.

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Hes been a leader, he said of Mr. Putin, far more than our president has been a leader.

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Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton, campaigning to be Mr. Obamas Democratic successor, sharply criticized the remarks on Thursday. So did some fellow Republicans, including the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, who listed many of the reasons Mr. Putin amounts to an adversary of the United States, not a potential ally.

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But Mr. Trumps view of the Russian president is not uncommon among those who have used him as a measure of Mr. Obamas standing in the world  or more generally the United States standing as the worlds dominant superpower.

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In Russia, it is at the heart of the depiction of Mr. Putin as the bulwark against a conspiring United States. It underlies Mr. Putins attractiveness to nationalist parties in Europe dismayed by what they view as feckless leadership in the face of economic difficulties and the challenge of immigration. And it is shared by those in the Middle East who see Russias intervention in Syria on behalf of its embattled president, Bashar al-Assad as decisive, and not hesitant and convoluted, as American policy has been.

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In 2013, when Mr. Putin brokered an agreement to collect and destroy most of Syrias chemical weapons, thus averting American-led airstrikes that Mr. Obama had threatened, Matt Drudge of the conservative Drudge Report called Mr. Putin, perhaps archly, the leader of the free world. The editors of Forbes magazine ranked him as the most influential world leader, a purely symbolic honorific he has lost and regained since  but one that is trumpeted inside Russia.

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I think he genuinely admires Putin as a strongman who gets things done, said Angela E. Stent, a professor at Georgetown University, referring to Mr. Trump.

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What achievements of Mr. Putins does Mr. Trump admire? Everybody pays attention to him, Ms. Stent said, adding that Russias military operations in Syria since last year have put him back in the center of international diplomacy.

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Russias critics  and certainly the White House  would dispute Mr. Putins accomplishments, noting the corrupted, kleptocratic economy and a stunted political system that has marginalized genuine opposition, at times violently.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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[Educator-Gold] POLITICS ELECTIONS AND ELECTION CAMPAIGNS: CAMPAIGN FUND RULES : POLITICS ELECTIONS AND ELECTION CAMPAIGNS: CANDIDATES : UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY : INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM : LIBERTARIANISM : RACISM : BIGOTRY : EXTREMISM : HATE GROUPS : INTOLERANCE : PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: NAMED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: DONALD TRUMP : BLATANT FALSEHOODS: SERIAL LIARS : ORGANIZATIONS: EXTREMIST ORGANIZATIONS : POLITICS ELECTIONS AND ELECTION CAMPAIGNS: CAMPAIGN FUND RULES : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY : COUNTRIES: RUSSIA: Trumps Love for Putin: a Presidential Role Model

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