Putin admires Obama’s shirtless photo shoot

May 25, 2011
David Cairns

Not shy of exposing his own physique, Vlad is impressed by the leader of the free world’s pecs

When US president Barack Obama was photographed frolicking bare-chested in the Hawaiian surf on a family holiday in 2008, he probably didn't expect the snaps to attract the attention of Russian PM Vladimir Putin.

But it seems the famously un-camera shy Putin was indeed watching – and remembering. Now Putin has reminded a US magazine that he is not the only world leader accustomed to getting 'em out for the cameras.

Putin's comments came in an interview he has giving to Outdoor Life, the venerable US huntin', shootin' and fishin' magazine. The interview touched on Putin's willingness to be snapped holding a rifle – or bare chested.

Observing that "it is highly unlikely that President Obama (or any past president) would ever allow himself to be photographed holding a scoped hunting rifle or with his shirt off", the magazine asked Putin if the Russian people are more open minded.

Putin's reply revealed he has been keeping close tabs on the rival presidential pecs: "I remember pictures of Theodore Roosevelt taken not just with a hunting rifle or a fishing rod in his hands, but with a lion he killed.

"And indeed, as recently as last summer, president Barack Obama was bathing in the Pacific Ocean in front of TV and photo cameras, and he was not wearing a tie, to put it mildly."

Where will this presidential surveillance lead? An escalating arms, pecs and abs race? Mutually assured hunkiness?

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