Who's Really Running the Show in Russia?

There was a funny moment during President Obama's presser with Russian Prez Dmitry Medvedev this evening. The Associated Press's Ben Feller asked Obama about conventional wisdom in Russia and beyond that suggests Medvedev isn't really running the show here in Moscow but that the strings are really being pulled by Vladimir Putin, the former president who is now prime minister. Who does Obama think is in charge? As Feller asked the question, Medvedev cocked an eyebrow and delivered what your Gaggler would describe as the classic stink eye. For his part, Obama didn't go there. He said he'd be meeting Putin for the first time tomorrow and that he was anticipating the sit down. (Me too, Mr. President.) "My understanding is that President Medvedev is the president; Prime Minister Putin is the prime minister," Obama said. "And they allocate power in accordance with Russia's form of government, in the same way we allocate power in the United States." It was at this precise moment that Medvedev rolled his eyes again, silently having an Oh Those Crazy Americans moment. "My interest is in dealing directly with my counterpart, the president, but also reach out to Prime Minister Putin and all other influential sectors in Russian society so that I can get a full picture of the needs of the Russian people and the concerns of the Russian people," Obama continued. Uh huh. All your Gaggler has to say is that if looks could kill, Ben would be in deep, deep trouble.