Vladimir Putin seems ready to meet the challenge of Sarah Palin. Supporters of the Vice Presidential hopeful have released pictures and videos of her shooting high-powered rifles, skinned bears, and posing with dead animals that she has shot. Putin, technically the second in command of Russia, has released a series of macho pictures, including his shooting of a Siberian tiger with a tranquilizer gun. Next, Palin will have to actually eat the heart of a polar bear to meet the Putin challenge.
The use of pictures of great physical feats have been popular since Mao had propagandists run pictures of his swim down the the Yangtze River. Putin has been particularly aggressive in releasing pictures of himself with his shirt off fishing and hunting as he pursues an equally muscular foreign policy. In the tiger photo, Putin is credited with saving the lives of a Russian television crew in bringing down a charging tiger, here and here. The tiger just happened to break free after Putin appeared with a convenient tranquilizer gun. “Vladimir Putin not only managed to see the giant predator up close but also saved our television crew too,” said a breathless Rossiya television anchor on the evening news.
Palin will now have to save a bus of school children from a rampaging timber wolf or an environmentalist pushed into insanity by global warming fears.
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