Russia's new president, Dmitri Medvedev, was sworn in today, while the old one, our friend Vladimir Putin, retreats...or something...into the prime minister's slot.
It looks almost like a wedding, Massachusetts-style, no? Well if it were, there'd be little doubt as to which one was the groom.
Putin, a former KGB leader who had presided over Russia's economic revival while consolidating power, rolling back civil liberties and leading a government beset with corruption, arrived at the ceremony alone and before Medvedev.Between the commies over there and our own ascendant socialists, one wonders whether anyone reads history books anymore. I'd say 'no.'
He stepped from a black limousine and briefly stood before the ceremonial Presidential Regiment, which was standing outside in the chill. "Greetings, comrades!" he said, and was met with a deep, rousing cheer. [SNIP]
Putin said that he had lived up to his promise, made eight years ago, to serve the country and its citizens faithfully.
The remarks appeared to presage Putin's continued hand on Russian power. "It is extremely important for everyone together to continue the course that has already been taken and has justified itself," he said.
Only then did Medvedev, 42, approach the lectern, rest his hand on a copy of the Russian Constitution, and utter the oath of office. [SNIP]
Minutes later, Putin accompanied the new president outside to review the passing formations of the ceremonial regiment. When the two men left the dais after the last platoon passed, it was on cue from Putin, not Medvedev, who followed the former president's lead.
The ceremony was brief. But the leaders' paired comments, and Putin's physical dominance of each ceremonial stage, neatly framed the central questions about what the inauguration will mean for Russia's politics and direction.
The sad thing is that some of our countrymen on the Left probably expect George Bush--who probably has pleasant visions of Getting Out of
Dodge DC forever dancing in his head every night right about now--to behave in this manner when his allotted presidential time is up. No, Leftists, this is what your side does best and most often.
UPDATE: The Duma blesses the marriage.
Russia’s Parliament overwhelmingly confirmed Vladimir V. Putin as prime minister on Thursday, completing a carefully managed departure from the presidency in a manner that left him the country’s dominant politician and with a clear grip on power.Well, with the vote not being unanimous, the process at least appears to be a democratic one.
Mr. Putin, out of office less than 26 hours, received 392 votes in the 450-seat Duma, Parliament’s lower house.
Because appearance is all that really counts.