Putin on Hillary: ‘It’s Better Not to Argue With Women’

The Putin-Hillary relationship is already strained.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends on May 8, 2012 a State Duma meeting in Moscow. Russia's lower house of parliament on May 8 overwhelmingly confirmed former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister after he was nominated by Putin.  
National Journal
Lucia Graves
See more stories about...
Lucia Graves
June 4, 2014, 12:06 p.m.

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.

What We're Following See More »
Congress Can’t Seem Not to Pay Itself
2 hours ago

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.

How Far Away from Cleveland is the California GOP Staying?
3 hours ago

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."

SCOTUS Will Not Allow ‘DC Madam’ Phone Records to Be Released
3 hours ago

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."

Sanders Looks to Right the Ship in Indiana
19 hours ago

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." 

Cruz Delegates Having Second Thoughts?
23 hours ago

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."