2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Putin’s love life slightly more interesting than the lives of our recent leaders

Published: February 10, 2014, 2:21 am, by David Ramsey


In America, we’re on a two-president streak when it comes to stable romance. George W. Bush and Barack Obama have delivered all kinds of drama into the lives of Americans, but none of this drama has anything to do with romance. George and Laura and Barack and Michelle lead happy marriages. This is wonderful for these two couples and sets a strong example to children everywhere and all that.

And yet …

Face it. Stable, long-term romances are a little boring for the rest of us.

In Russia, the leading bachelor in the nation also is the leader of the nation. And that’s not boring.

Vladimir Putin is single. Since when? Nobody is sure. He’s a secretive guy, I guess. No one seems sure when his divorce was final. Well, it’s not no one. Vladimir and his wife know the date.

Putin’s romantic life is the subject of constant speculation in Russia. His current (alleged) girlfriend Alina Kabaeva was rumored as the leading candidate to light the Olympic Flame at the end of Friday night’s over-the-top extravaganza known as the Opening Ceremony.

The rumor proved false, but Kabaeva did carry the flame for a few moments. Kabaeva did win two medals for Russia in gymnastics, but it seemed a little strange to see her among several of the greatest Olympians in Russian history.

She’s also featured in the main workroom at the media center here in Sochi. I just walked past her photograph.