Obama v Putin — a New Realism?

This week has seen President Obama and President Putin making major speeches to the UN General Assembly on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations in 1945. Let’s compare and contrast.

First, length. President Putin wins convincingly, with a speech of 3,000 words (in English) compared to 4,700 words from President Obama. The Putin speech comes over as sharp, substantive and business-like (by UN standards). The Obama speech is almost rambling at times, with dim mixed metaphors and tendentious assertions…

  • Wait.

    A Russian made his point with only three thousand words?

    It’s a good thing I was sitting down when I read that.

    Why did Putin move now and not- say- three months ago?

    • Frances

      You’re thinking of the French. What the English say cogently takes at least a third more words in translation.

      • Perhaps but if you’ve ever read a Russian novel, one knows it won’t be a short read.

        • Frances

          True: were written to be read during the long Russian nights.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        Translations for English to Russian usually grow in words by about 15%.
        English really is the best language in the world.
        Concise, but very precise (when the speaker or writer wants to be), and with a number of words greater than any other (I think).

  • Frances

    Given the recent research about the deleterious affects of TCP on teenage brains, should we expect anything else?

  • Clinton

    It’s pretty clear that in the battle of wits between Putin and Obama,
    Obama is an unarmed man.

    • I have two strong arms, and three strong legs.

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  • FactsWillOut
  • simus1

    Chess player vs checker player with ADD/ADHD.

  • Millie_Woods

    Proving the old chestnut that an empty barrel rattles the most.