President Barack Obama recently gave an interview to The Economistin which he was pretty clearly doing his best to give Vladimir Putin an aneurysm:
Obama downplayed Moscow’s role in the world, dismissing President Vladimir Putin as a leader causing short-term trouble for political gain that will hurt Russia in the long term.
“I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything,” Obama said in the interview.
“Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking,” he said.
I’m fully aware, of course, that Russian demography is not the most important issue in the world. Countries will not rise and fall because Barack Obama used out of date information on Russian life expectancy. But it really does not say anything good about Obama’s team that they allowed not one, not two, but three blatant factual inaccuracies to sneak into a sit-down interview with the press. Before doing an interview like this, someone as powerful as Obama will have a small army of researchers and assistants running around to help him prepare. Apparently none of them could be bothered to do a few basic Google searches.
In today’s world, it is not that difficult to get accurate demographic information, and it’s a little bit disconcerting that no one on Obama’s team was able to do so.