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…