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Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures after signing a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia in the Kremlin in Moscow, Tuesday, March 18, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures after signing a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia in the Kremlin in Moscow, Tuesday, March 18, 2014.
(Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

DAVID SHRIBMAN

Putin becomes a powerful U.S. election force – and Obama’s nightmare

The question of the hour may be this: Is President Barack Obama a weak president, or does he merely have a weak hand? Or – different question entirely – is he a strong president with a weak political profile?

More than five years ago, when he was chosen for the Nobel Peace Prize a mere eight months in office, all these questions would have been inconceivable. He was the matinee idol of the world, a break-through president with a golden tongue and the golden touch.