Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to bump into President Obama later this week — that much is fairly mundane. But when asked in an interview with Radio Europe 1 whether he’d prefer to meet with Hillary Clinton, formerly the secretary of State, things got weird.
“It’s better not to argue with women,” Putin told an interpreter, playing on a stereotype of women as irrational, weepy creatures who presumably can’t be trusted to handle complex things like diplomacy. “But Ms. Clinton has never been too graceful in her statements. Still, we always met afterwards and had cordial conversations at various international events. I think even in this case we could reach an agreement.”
Next, he beat his bare chest. OK, he didn’t do that. But he did suggest it’s unfeminine for women to be powerful, just generally. “When people push boundaries too far, it’s not because they are strong but because they are weak,” he said. “But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman.”
No word yet on what German Chancellor Angela Merkel thinks of this.
Putin, who has been photographed shooting a gray whale with a crossbow, hunting shirtless, and tranquilizing a tiger, has developed something of a cult of masculinity around him. His particular trope of patriarchal alpha masculinity has played well not only in Russia, where gender roles have been notably slow to progress, but abroad.
Just a guess, but a Hillary Clinton presidency might teach him a few things about diplomacy. And not just between nations, but between sexes, since women, particularly strong ones, are apparently so foreign to him.
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Rep. Dave Young can't even refuse his own paycheck. The Iowa Republican is trying to make a point that if Congress can't pass a budget (it's already missed the April 15 deadline) then it shouldn't be paid. But, he's been informed, the 27th Amendment prohibits him from refusing his own pay. "Young’s efforts to dock his own pay, however, are duck soup compared to his larger goal: docking the pay of every lawmaker when Congress drops the budget ball." His bill to stiff his colleagues has only mustered the support of three of them. Another bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), has about three dozen co-sponsors.
Sixty miles away, in Sandusky, Ohio. "We're pretty bitter about that," said Harmeet Dhillon, vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party. "It sucks to be California, we're like the ugly stepchild. They need us for our cash and our donors, they don't need us for anything else."
Anyone looking forward to seeing some boldfaced names on the client list of the late Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the "DC Madam," will have to wait a little longer. "The Supreme Court announced Monday it would not intervene to allow" the release of her phone records, "despite one of her former attorneys claiming the records are “very relevant” to the presidential election. Though he has repeatedly threatened to release the records if courts do not modify a 2007 restraining order, Montgomery Blair Sibley tells U.S. News he’s not quite sure what he now will do."
Hillary Clinton may have the Democratic nomination sewn up, but Bernie Sanders apparently isn't buying it. Buoyed by a poll showing them in a "virtual tie," Sanders is "holding three rallies on the final day before the state primary and hoping to pull off a win after a tough week of election losses and campaign layoffs."
As unbound delegates pledged to Ted Cruz watch him "struggle to tread water in a primary increasingly dominated by Trump, many of them, wary of a bitter convention battle that could rend the party at its seams, are rethinking their commitment to the Texas senator."