Our New Best Friend?

Bush heads to Moscow this week to complete an arms deal. The inside story of how he decided Putin was his kind of guy

Early in his Presidential campaign, George W. Bush was on a four-mile run with a reporter when he began ruminating on the nature of Vladimir Putin, the former KGB lieutenant colonel who had become Russia's President. "Anyone who tells you they've figured Putin out," Bush said, "is just blowing smoke." Months later, on the eve of Bush's inauguration, his soon-to-be National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, stood near a cocktail-party buffet table with a glass of white wine in her hand and predicted a gloomy future for U.S.-Russian relations. "There are a lot of bad things happening in Russia now," she said....

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