That's Vladimir Putin in the imagination of many American conservatives. These recent comments reveal a yearning not only for a Strong Daddy Leader in the US (traditional among conservatives) but for something closer to Godzilla as the leader: Someone who can demolish cities without a thought:
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin:
Well, yes, especially under the commander-in-chief that we have today because Obama's -- the perception of him and his potency across the world is one of such weakness. And you know, look, people are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee:
"I know the only time that Vladimir Putin shivers is when he takes his shirt off in a cold Russian winter,"
And the pundit Rush Limbaugh:
Well, did you hear that the White House put out a photo of Obama talking on the phone with Vlad, and Obama's sleeves were rolled up? That was done to make it look like Obama was really working hard—I mean, really taking it seriously. His sleeves were rolled up while on the phone with Putin! Putin probably had his shirt off practicing Tai-Chi while he was talking to Obama.
Limbaugh was unintentionally hilarious in that quote when he picked tai chi (probably not one of Putin's actual martial arts) as his example.
It is a difficult internal martial art which uses very slow and apparently gentle movements in the training stages. Its basic martial strategy consists of deflecting the attack and of using the attacker's own power against him or her; the very reverse of how Putin has acted in Ukraine or elsewhere.
That unintentional hilarity is worth pointing out, because it shows the lack of thinking in the conservative admiration of lack of thinking. The best bear wrestlers are other bears, after all.
Cross-posted at Eschaton