Putin nursing grudge over Obama insult
posted at 7:07 pm on August 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
This got buried in a New York Times report on Russian resignation over a retaliatory attack from the West on Syria, but it should get a little more attention. Barack Obama lashed out at Vladimir Putin after Russia offered Edward Snowden asylum by publicly ridiculing Putin as having the look of a slacker — and Putin hasn’t forgiven him:
The crisis has added fuel to an anti-American sentiment – and to a lesser degree anti-Western sentiment – that had already become a refrain of Mr. Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012.
The point is driven home over and over by proxy in the state news media and in comments by public officials, like the one about the monkey, posted on Twitter by a deputy prime minister, Dmitri O. Rogozin. Or by Robert A. Schlegel, a member of the lower house of parliament from the majority United Russia party, who said in a statement on Wednesday that Western retaliatory strikes would aid Al Qaeda and would constitute “the height of cynicism.”
Suspicion of President Obama in particular only intensified after his decision to scuttle a planned summit meeting next week in Moscow and to describe Mr. Putin in unusually personal terms at a White House news conference, saying his body language often made him look “like the bored kid in the back of the classroom.”
Though Mr. Obama went on to say that their interactions were often constructive, the comment infuriated Mr. Putin, according to one Russian official not authorized to be quoted by name.
Smart power. And, er … reset. (via Josh Kraushaar)