Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday launched his 2024 reelection campaign with a positive message from the man hoping to lead the world’s geographically largest country for another six years after voters head to the polls in March, the AP reports. Although the economy has been facing some headwinds with rising costs for average Russians and an increasing number of political and business leaders have been mysteriously falling out of windows recently, Putin is already the clear frontrunner given the power of incumbency and the immense popularity he enjoys.
Luck has also played a role in Putin’s durability: Eccentric business tycoon and possible challenger Yevgeny Prigozhin died in a fiery plane crash back in June while left wing former candidate Alexei Navalny is likely to remain in prison for decades on charges stemming from a major political scandal.
Then there are the smaller-time headaches that have managed to go right for Putin, such as the Russian-American Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested for espionage just a day after he published an article about the poor state of the economy and the army colonel who committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest five times right before he was to publicly reveal information about a corruption scandal in his ranks. These are just some of the most recent curveballs in Putin’s long and storied career – ones that would’ve been serious challenges for other leaders – that have left many observers wondering just what’s his secret sauce to defying the laws of political gravity.
Others see it as simply a matter of the fundamentals: Strength on national security issues, precision in enforcing the law against individuals and groups seen as disruptive to the Russian way of life, and the stamina Putin displays by riding a horse shirtless. This mixed with the fact that a lot of average Russians simply aren’t all that concerned with the price of vodka or turnips or candles to keep their homes lit – is the recipe for another 80 percent margin win for the Russian president.
National Zero will resume our regular news coverage now that we’ve delivered the Chuck Todd and Chris Cillizza fans in our audience the latest insider scoop on Russian politics.