Just when you thought that the behavior of Jacques Chirac–the former French president widely suspected of corruption who has never met a Third World despot he didn’t like–couldn’t get any more loathsome, now comes this bit of news. Chirac has been singing the praises of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, whose prime achievement as president was to destroy the vestiges of democracy bequeathed to him by Boris Yeltsin. From the New York Times:
On Friday, Mr. Putin smiled benignly as Mr. Chirac expressed his “very deep friendship” for him and said, “My esteem comes from the remarkable manner in which you governed Russia.”
He grouped the time Mr. Putin was prime minister under Boris Yeltsin with his two presidential terms, saying, “These 10 years have been, unquestionably, great years for Russia.”
One wonders if this is a job application. The Putin machine has already hired one out-of-office European leader-former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Perhaps Chirac would like to get on the gravy train too, assuming he isn’t already (which, for all I know, he may be).