Monday, November 29, 2004

Where was Kuchma?

This is something we got from someone close to us. She got it from a person who got it from a person in the presidential administration building. Or she got it from a person who got it from a person…who got it from someone at the presidential administration building. It is hard to tell how many people are between us and the source, so it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But it is just too good to pass up.

I have wondered why Kuchma was out of the public eye for what might turn out to be those crucial days at the beginning of the week just after the election. I thought it might have been that he had planned to step away out of the limelight to allow for Yanukovych to take over. This was not really a satisfying answer to me because that would mean Kuchma had ceded power to Yanukovych. And Kuchma has not shown himself to be able to cede power to anyone much less Yanukovych. But that was the best I reason could come up with.

This person gives another reason, however. She says that Kuchma was on his airplane having a party on election night and that he drank so much vodka he was sent somewhere to take the cure. Some sort of purging of the system. In other words, he was out of the public eye for those four days because he was drying out from a bender he went on on election night.

If true, this is just too good. It may not have been calculations at all about transfer of power or domestic affairs or even considerations of geopolitical politics. Nothing of such cosmic significance. It might just be that he got too drunk. Priceless.

On such things can often hang the fate of nations.

This reminds me of the story by Shevardnadze, I think it was, about the time he came out of the White House?--with that defiant letter from Boris Yeltsin. That statement helped secure the myth of Yeltsin. But Shevardnadze said that when he got into the building, he found Yeltsin drunk, passed out on the floor. He says he got him just conscious enough to sign the thing. And Yeltsin became the symbol of democracy in Russia as a result.

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