In my on-going series analyzing the growing rift between the US and Russia, it is important to evaluate a nation’s leadership. Specifically, let’s look at the qualifications and performance to date of Presidents Putin and Obama. Before we go any further, it is necessary to lay down a few ground rules of the debate. First of all, I want to dispel the myth that a person can be of mediocre intellect, but a good president as long as they have a good staff. This oft stated notion is a ridiculous excuse used by political parties to mitigate criticism that their brainless candidate is not up to the task. Further, it is true that no one man has total control of a government, but to say that the leaders of Russia and the US have their hands tied and do not have real power would be a poorly informed lie. In fact, both presidents have substantial power and influence over both foreign and domestic affairs and craft geopolitical strategy that affects the world. If there wasn’t truth to this, then why would we ascribe so much prestige upon leaders like Thatcher, Reagan, Lincoln, and Washington? Due to the real power and influence presidents wield, it is important to assess who has demonstrated the ability to more effectively lead and use that power. Based on that evaluation, you are better able to analyze and predict the actions and ultimate outcomes of any potential or on-going political conflicts between the US and Russia.
Have you ever wondered why when interviewing for a job the employer usually requires a resume from an applicant? This isn’t a trick question. Employers want the best possible employee for the job. The resume is a proven means of assessing whether the candidate has the requisite experience, integrity, skills, knowledge, judgment, maturity, aptitude, personality, etc. for the job. As such, when it comes to a senior executive tasked with running a current or former Western Superpower, who would you hire to be president, Obama or Putin? The answer to that question will prove to be telling respective of the ultimate outcome of the latest conflict that has developed between Russia and the US over Ukraine. Let’s compare the two leaders…
1. Putin was born in Russia, as a Russian, to Russian parents that stayed together to raise their family as proud Russians. Obama was born out of wedlock, to a mother that hated her race, heritage, and country. Obama was raised for the first part of his life overseas by a foreign step-father. Obama’s real father was also not an American, but he was an ardent Marxist guerilla that was an alcoholic and hated capitalism and the West.
• For loyalty to ancestral and cultural roots: Advantage Putin
2. Putin was raised as a Russian Orthodox Catholic during the Soviet period and attended church even though Christians were persecuted by the state at the time. Obama was raised for the first part of his life as a Muslim and was later known to attend bitterly anti-white and anti-American sermons of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
• For his Christian connection to a foundational aspect of Western Civilization: Advantage Putin
3. Putin’s father served in the front lines of World War II against the Nazis. Obama’s father was a Marxist insurgent in Africa fighting Europeans and capitalists.
• For parental patriotism in defense of his nation: Advantage Putin
4. Obama never really knew his brothers, which appear to be derelicts he doesn’t recognize in public. Putin’s brothers died young; one shortly after birth and the other, Viktor died of diphtheria during the brutal Nazi siege of Leningrad during World War II.
• For growing up tough: Advantage Putin
5. Putin was a successful student selected from the best and the brightest Soviets to attend college on merit. Obama was a drug addicted borderline drop out in school that was selected for a higher education based on his race and allegedly his communist political affiliations.
• For merit, intellect, and self-achievement: Advantage Putin
6. Putin studied law and went into intelligence as a KGB officer. Obama studied law and became a community organizer.
• For experience, level of difficulty, and prestige: Advantage Putin
7. Putin wrote his thesis titled “The Most Favored Nation Trading Principle in International Law.” No one knows what Obama wrote his thesis on or for that matter, any of his collegiate record.
• For completion and credit of an advanced degree: Advantage Putin
8. Putin has a variety of interests and is very active. He plays hockey, practices the martial arts sambo and judo (since he was 11 years old) as a legitimate 6th degree black belt, skis, whitewater rafts, loves to fish, and is often seen horseback riding. Obama generally smoked marijuana and played some basketball (poorly) and now appears to spend most of his time practicing golf (poorly).
• For athleticism and being hard core: Advantage Putin
9. Putin left the KGB as a Lieutenant Colonel. Obama never served in the military or intelligence communities.
• For proven service to his nation and national security experience: Advantage Putin
10. Putin’s first presidency was marked by high economic growth: the Russian economy grew for eight straight years, seeing GDP increase by 72% in PPP (as for nominal GDP, 600%). Putin also used oil profits to completely pay off Russia’s old Soviet debt. Accordingly, Russians have seen their standard of living improve year after year. As Russia’s president, Putin and the Federal Assembly passed into law a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, a lower corporate tax that introduced the option to pay a flat tax on profits or net revenue (near the lowest in all of Europe), and a small business deregulation package. Putin also took on and reigned in big corporate giants. As Obama approaches eight years, the US economy is teetering on a return to recession, unemployment remains persistently high with a record of approximately 1/3 of Americans not participating in the work force, social welfare recipients are at record high levels, the US has the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world, the number of small businesses in the US has hit an all-time low, and wages are stagnant (real wage growth is negative). The standard of living inside the US for the first time is now dropping. Obama has also racked up over $17 trillion dollars of debt (and still rapidly counting). US taxes and regulations continue to become more oppressive, complex, and burdensome and the IRS is used to target political enemies. Obama also provided big business, specifically the banking and auto industries, trillions of dollars in bailouts at that taxpayers’ expense and appointed the CEO’s of these financial institutions and corporations to senior administration positions in charge of the policies affecting those corporations.
• For proven record of policies supporting successful economic growth and deregulation: Advantage Putin
11. Putin’s foreign policy has included forcing the removal of a US missile shield, successfully chaperoning nuclear agreements and de-escalation between the US and Iran, preventing the US from initiating war under false pretenses in Syria, and brokering the agreement that led to Syrian President Assad relinquishing his chemical weapons. Obama’s foreign policy is in shambles and created one failed state (Libya), two about to fail states (Iraq and Afghanistan), one terrorist state (IS), and is the processing of bombing, killing, or in some form carrying out offensive military operations overtly in at least 9+ states (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, and Somalia). Obama’s Libya policy led to the murder of the country’s ruler and its takeover by Islamic extremists. Further, his Libya policy led to the murder of US Ambassador Stephens. In Syria, Obama’s policy of supporting the Free Syrian Army and the failure to pacify Iraq led directly to the creation of ISIL and a terrorist state within Iraq.
• For an effective foreign policy and achieving national goals: Advantage Putin
12. Even before becoming President, Putin fought on the front lines of the Cold War for the Soviets. Later, Putin was instrumental in the strategy for defeating Chechen Islamists in what was almost a breakaway republic. Putin also swiftly defeated Georgia, reacquired control over Ossetia and Abkhazia, and successfully annexed Crimea, which was critical for Russia to maintain access to the Black Sea and warm water ports. Obama prematurely pulled our military out of Iraq leaving a vacuum, which has now been filled by an Islamic terrorist state and has begun a new war to “fix” what he failed to previously do in Iraq. Obama has failed to defeat the Taliban and is now retreating from Afghanistan leaving what will soon be another state run by Islamic extremists as the Taliban quickly retake the country. Obama’s military actions in Libya directly led to the murder of the country’s president, the death of our ambassador, the loss of over 20,000 man portable surface-to-air missiles and thousands of tons of military weapons to terrorists, and Libya’s emergence as a country run by Islamic extremists. Obama is now moving forward with starting a war with Syria. Obama has lost a top secret technology to China and Russia to include a stealth helicopter during the raid to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, a top secret reconnaissance drone over Iran, and continues to lose untold terabytes of classified data to hackers.
• For effectively military leadership and decisively defeating enemies: Advantage Putin
13. In the realm of counter terrorism targeting Islamic extremists, Putin has decisively defeated Chechen extremists and enjoys high approval ratings to this day in the Caucuses. In response to domestic terrorist attacks, Putin successfully had the terrorists and their leaders and the families of the leaders, identified and captured and or killed. Putin also supervised the safe and successful Sochi Winter Olympic Games heavily predicted to be attacked by terrorists. Obama has on the other hand created a defacto terrorist state in Iraq, an Islamic extremist state in Libya, and a Taliban sanctuary in Pakistan. Obama has failed to kill or capture the spiritual leader of Al Qaeda Ayman Al-Zawahiri and created an Islamist proxy army in Syria, which turned into what we know today as ISIL. Currently, Obama is preparing to create the next jihadist rallying call by committing the US to war again in Iraq as Americans are being beheaded weekly.
• For successfully countering Islamic extremism and terrorism: Advantage Putin
14. Putin successfully defended his dissertation on “The Strategic Planning of Regional Resources under the Formation of Market Relations,” which similar to his thesis, demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of market forces, economics, international law, and national security. Coming as no surprise, Putin just signed an oil and gas agreement with China worth half a trillion dollars and has successfully monopolized a huge segment of the oil and gas supplies for Asia and is nearing completion of both North and South Stream pipelines to Europe. Putin began life as a poor kid in a poor family, but now has an estimated net worth over 40 billion dollars. Obama has restricted new gas and oil exploration on government property, obstructed the Keystone pipeline, failed to produce a single new refinery, killed the coal industry, driven US energy costs to record highs, and presided over the highest gasoline prices in the nation’s history. Obama has had success fund raising at the grass roots level and from lobbyists representing most of the major international corporations and banks. Obama also came from a poor family and now has an estimated net worth somewhere just above 10 million dollars.
• For successful trade negotiation, effective energy policy, and savvy business skills: Advantage Putin
15. Obama has championed the state sanctioned killing of millions of babies through abortion and won a Nobel Peace Prize. Obama has created one humanitarian disaster after another and has stood idly by as his CIA proxy armies gone awry murdered thousands of innocent Christians and Muslims around the world. Putin has stabilized Russia’s declining birth rate and taken firm steps toward promoting motherhood, family, and the rearing of children. Putin has also stood up for Christians being murdered by Islamists around the world.
• For taking an effective humanitarian stand against killing of innocents: Putin
By evaluating the CV’s of Putin and Obama we see that Putin not just stands out as the better presidential candidate, but utterly destroys Obama in a head to head competition for the job. In all fifteen categories used for comparison that range from foreign policy to humanitarian support, Vladimir Putin is clearly the superior candidate both quantitatively and qualitatively. By the very nature of this brief comparison, I know I will get many emails complaining of partisan bias and being unfair to President Obama. However, my analysis is not based on emotion or a preconceived political sentiment. I am viewing the resumes of each man as any manager striving to hire the best candidate would do. I am qualified to do that because unlike President Obama, I have been a hiring manager in the commercial world where I built and ran markets worth tens of millions of dollars from scratch. This process isn’t about hurting feelings or making someone feel good. This is about facts, reality, and hard truths. This is about what has been done by each man. Added together, President Putin has been a better leader, executive, and president than President Obama. Not so surprisingly, he also enjoys over double the approval rating of Obama even when assessed by western polling firms not biased or influenced by any alleged manipulation by Moscow. Certainly this is contrary to the on-going western media’s politically directed smear campaign, but the facts don’t lie. From war to economics, Russia has done far better relative to the US.
Taking Putin’s superiority into consideration, one should realize that Russia simply has the better man when it comes to the political chess game for Ukraine. Putin is smarter, tougher, more experienced, more successful, and is fighting for what he considers Russia’s vital interests. Combining this knowledge, one must evaluate the odds of the aims and goals of US foreign policy being successful in the Ukrainian conflict as low. As such, it doesn’t require a brilliant analyst to predict another major policy disaster and setback for the US in the coming months. I forecast that Putin will outmaneuver Obama and his European allies and the ultimate result will be that Ukraine is forced to accept concessions while Europe and the US suffer far worse in the long run as a result of their “sanctions” than Russia. Russia has already moved past the West and is engaging the emerging superpowers in Asia as the Petrodollar’s demise is rapidly accelerating. Only time will tell, but if competent leadership is any indication of national success, then Moscow is destined for a string of policy victories over Washington.
By Guiles Hendrik
September 9, 2014
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