Advantage Putin?

I missed the news that Western leaders leaders “jok[ed] about” Putin at the G7 summit this week, as the AP puts it in its story today. I think “mocked” would probably be more accurate. They mocked Putin’s public displays of manliness:

As they sat down for talks, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson jested that G7 leaders could take their clothes off to “show that we’re tougher than Putin” amid Russia-West tensions over Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.

Canadian premier Justin Trudeau joked that Western leaders could try to match Putin’s naked torso pictures with a “bare-chested horseback riding display,” one of his widely publicized athletic adventures.

Even having to spot the competition 10 or 20 years, I’d take Putin in a throwdown with BoJo or Trudeau, that’s for sure. He may also have the last laugh. When it comes to amour propre, however, I’d guess we have an eight-way tie.

Putin is a little short of ammo in the humor department though. The AP quotes Putin:

Speaking to reporters, Putin retorted that, unlike him, Western leaders abuse alcohol and don’t do sports.

“I don’t know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist,” he said. ”“But I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.”

He noted that to look good “it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports.”

I don’t want to see Putin above or below the waist either, but I’m scoring this particular round for Putin.

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