Keep warm, comrades: Who'd have thought Israel's best friends in the world could turn out to be a casino magnate and a Playboy model?

Putin’s in trouble now: The ‘Russian Paris Hilton’ is his likely opponent in the March presidential

By —— Bio and Archives--December 26, 2017

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Ksenia Sobchak
Hey! You should take her seriously. She’s no longer a Playboy playmate and she’s now a very serious television journalist, and we all know how smart they are.

Anyway, Putin’s opponent by rights should have been Alexei Navalny, except for the very unfortunate coincidence that - just like everyone else who has tried to run against Putin - Navalny has a criminal record! An amazing coincidence indeed, er . . . a product of the fact that Putin tends to have people arrested when they turn up as part of the political opposition to him?

Yeah. One of these.

Navalny was convicted of “embezzlement,” and you know he’s guilty because the Putin regime says so, and as a result it appears we’ll get a race between Putin and the now 35-year-old Ksenia Sobchak. To say the least, interest in a Trump-Sobchak summit would be higher than you’d get for such gatherings under normal circumstances. But if I were you I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high for the prospects of a Sobchak presidency. Not for no reason is the “socialite” known as the Russian Paris Hilton:

Last month, commenting on rumors that Sobchak would run, Navalny complained that she was being used by the Kremlin as a safe lightning conductor for voters’ dissatisfaction.

She was being drawn into “this fairly loathsome Kremlin game that goes by the title of: ‘Let’s put a liberal laughing-stock up for the elections in order to distract attention,’” said Navalny.

Sobchak told the opposition-leaning TV broadcaster Rain she had told Putin in advance of her intention to run, adding it had seemed to her that he had not liked her decision.

The Kremlin has said she is eligible to run in the election.

Sobchak is the daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, the reformist former mayor of St Petersburg who hired Putin as an official in City Hall in the 1990s. Sobchak, who died in 2000, became a mentor to Putin. Sobchak’s mother, Lyudmila Narusova, sits in the upper house of the Russian parliament.

Ksenia Sobchak’s Instagram account, often featuring photographs of her dressed in designer outfits and appearing at glitzy society events, has 5.2 million followers.

After graduating from the prestigious MGIMO university in Moscow, she became a nationwide celebrity when she hosted a Russian reality TV show called Dom 2.

She became active in opposition politics around the time that Putin, in 2012, was re-elected to the presidency after stepping down for four years to comply with constitutional term limits.


By the way, for the record, I’ve always suspected Paris Hilton is a lot smarter than people give her credit for.

But back to Sobchak and Russia: Kremlin-conrolled media claims Putin’s popularity is at 80 percent, which is probably a lie, but he actually is pretty popular in Russia. His crony capitalism and international imperialism impede on the rights of his rivals both domestically and abroad, but they really don’t much affect the average Russian citizen. The Russian mindset is strongly nationalist, and after the disastrous 74-year Soviet era and the subsequent collapse of their nation’s economy and influence, Russians appreciate a president who is willing to be ruthless in asserting Russia’s economic and geopolitical positioning in the world.

Whether he’s really effective in doing any of this is another question. I think Putin fumbled a major opportunity to build on the work of Boris Yeltsin to develop stronger ties with the west. That would have resulted in the opening of markets and lots of savings on military spending because it wouldn’t have had to deplete his resources invading Crimea and messing around in Syria. But Putin’s idea of Russian victory is a bellicose one, and much of his population seems to share the same instinct.

I don’t know if Russian elections are really fair in the sense that the vote count they announce reflects what people actually did at the polls. It may be, but even if the vote count is real, it was never really fair because Putin’s opponents are thrown in jail while the major media manipulates the public’s perception of what the regime is doing. But I guess you have to have some kind of opponent, and Putin is probably happy to run against the likes of Sobchak, who will have trouble being taken seriously even if she is smarter than her repuation suggests.

By the way, gentlemen, she is married. If fantasies of Russian femme fatales is your thing, you’ll have to go back to dreaming about Anna Chapman. One thing in Sobchak’s favor, though: If this quote attributed to her is accurate, she is apparently very pro-Israel:

“Israel, in my opinion, is a hymn to the power of the human spirit… Patriotism, not imposed from above, but born within a person. And that’s another amazing thing. This sense of the importance of your life for the state [in Israel] is created by many more small, as if imperceptible actions… And these little details are much more valuable than all the spirit-lifting speeches on May Day and Victory Day. And I sit, listen and feel bitter from the fact that in my home country all this is not.”

Who’d have thought Israel’s best friends in the world could turn out to be a casino magnate and a Playboy model? God uses some unlikely vessels, does He not? But of course, the Playboy model can’t possibly win. Just like the casino magnate couldn’t possibly . . . oh wait.

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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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