Has anybody ever actually seen George Bush and Vlad Putin in the same room?

You're going to have to convince me that this photo wasn't doctored.
You’re going to have to convince me that this photo wasn’t doctored.

George W. Bush, 2004:

Vladimir Putin, 2015:

Asked about his biggest regret in life, about what mistake he would not repeat, he offered this gem of a reply.

I will be quite frank with you. I cannot recollect anything of the kind. Evidently, God built my life so that I would have nothing to regret.

This is either the same person or it’s two simulated people running off of the same collective brain.

The comparison seems particularly salient today since JEB is in Germany today explaining at the Germans how Russia under the tyrannical thumb of his brother Putin is just The Worst. Max Fisher contends that this is a “strategic and political blunder” on JEB’s part, seeing as how leprosy probably polls better in Germany than JEB does and that the German public tends to have a soft spot for Russia and skepticism for the US, so when Germans hear JEB tell them how bad Russia is they’re not likely to take it well. I’ll grant you that it’s bad strategy, but calling it a “blunder” assumes that JEB actually cares that it’s bad strategy, and you’ll need to convince me of that first. Politically Fisher says it will be bad here for JEB if he’s received poorly there:

It’s not great politics for him, either. American voters are not going to decide Bush’s fate based on his reception in Berlin, of course. But he already has a problem of being associated with his unpopular brother, particularly on foreign policy. Seeing Jeb get a chilly reception abroad could bring back memories for Americans of the global backlash from George W.’s 2003 Iraq invasion, heightening already problematic comparisons to his brother.

This might be true if JEB were trying to look good to “Americans,” but right now he only cares about looking good to “Americans who vote in Republican primaries,” a much smaller and, let’s say, differently minded group of people. I doubt the image of JEB talking tough sense to some hostile pansy European socialists or whatever is really going to hurt him with those people.


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