Russia’s nail-biting presidential election came down to the wire yesterday, as the world cautiously awaited the outcome of the vote. For it's part, Eternal Remont has stayed above the petty cynicism of western observers who gratutiously forcast the outcome of the event before all the votes were counted.
In the end, Dmitry Medvedev pulled a comfertible 70.23% of the electorate – 2,373,736 more votes than Putin won in his 2004 re-election (Jamestown).
This is not too shabby when your only opponents are, as Anne Applebaum writes,“a clapped out communist, a complete nonentity, and the ludicrous anti-Semite and vulgarian Vladimir Zhirinovsky.” (Here’s the lovable Zhirinovsky ordering his bodyguard to shoot Andrey Bogdanova during a national debate.)
Meanwhile, Richard Perle over at AEI is trying to calm everyone down over the threat of a new arms race with Russia.“We should greet Russian threats to race with amusement and a big yawn: They would be competing against themselves. If Putin wishes to pour petro-rubles into building more missiles, our response should be limited to sympathy for the ordinary Russians whose taxes will be squandered, much as they were with catastrophic consequences during the Cold War.”
So we all extend a big round of applause to President Medvedev. His hard-fought victory on the campaign trail is a testament to his character, including his one and only speech to outline an agenda and a single meet-the-voters-in-short-sleeves “town hall.”
The people have spoken.