Putin’s slouch, revisited

When President Obama last week claimed that Russian President Vladmir Putin carried himself with a “slouch” that made him resemble a truculent schoolboy, the Loop begged to differ.

Slouch? We had never noticed that the former KGB operative had bad posture. If anything, he frequently appears in photos shirtless, with a carriage that’s more strut than stoop.

But we asked for Loop fans to send us photographic evidence to the contrary.

We got a few that showed Putin in various poses, but we maintained that none quite constituted a proper slouch.

Ah.. but what about this one?

EPA/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/RIA NOVOSTI/KREM EPA/Alexei Nikolsky/Ria Novosti/KREM

We had to admit that’s pretty slouchy. And our colleague Max Fisher agrees. He finds significance in Putin’s body language, which he sees as a product of careful “cost-benefit calculations” by the foreign leader.

So, we stand corrected. Putin is, in fact, an occasional sloucher, though not a habitual one. In either case, perhaps he should practice the old trick of balancing a book on his head to improve his posture. Might we suggest “The Audacity of Hope”?

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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Al Kamen · August 14, 2013

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