BUSH AND THE BEAR….Masha Gessen writes from Moscow about Russian reaction to last week’s election results:

With Bush’s reelection, Russian politicians don’t just seem relieved; they seem ecstatic. On November 3, Putin praised American voters for “not letting themselves be frightened” in making their choice. The speaker of the Russian parliament, Boris Gryzlov, joined Putin in congratulating the United States on a wise pick and added that he thought Russian-American relations would grow “ever closer” during Bush’s second term.

….George W. Bush is a different story. In the last few weeks, Russian politicians have searched high and low to find commonalities between him and Putin. One has suggested that Bush is more attached to oil than Kerry, and that bodes well for keeping oil prices high and Russia happy. Another has said that it is a common enemy–international terrorism–that unites Bush and Putin. Izvestia, the highest-circulation broadsheet, published an editorial pointing out that Bush and Putin just plain like each other. What they all seem to be getting at is that the presidents are two of a kind.

Like peas in a pod….