A former law professor who has spent much of his career as a behind-the-scenes bureaucrat, Mr. Medvedev showed a wide-ranging knowledge of foreign and domestic issues, confidently answering questions for 90 minutes without notes and speaking at length without stumbling. The president, who is 42, spoke only in Russian but did not need an interpreter to understand questions posed in English.One notes that this description is fairly run-of-the-mill for non-Anglo national leaders. I mean, hell, I could talk fluently for 90 minutes about politics, speaking at length without stumbling, and could take and respond to questions in two languages without interpretation, although my responses in French, my second language, would lack native fluency. To be able to discourse for an hour or two on the content of one's profession hardly seems like a superlative qualification; more like a prerequisite-to-hire. Yet Americans persist in their surprise at finding other people and their various leaders and potentates to be less . . . moronic than we are.
-Reported in the Times