Personality Cash Cow

T-minus three days and counting.  Russians will go to the polls on Sunday to cast their votes for a new President.  But one shouldn’t get to carried away with the casting votes part.  Yes, Russians will vote, but no one has any doubt who the victor will be. Dmitri Medvedev will be the third President of the Russian Federation.

And it seems that Russians have been getting ready since Putin anointed him successor in December.  According to the Moscow Times, bureaucrats and businessmen have been furiously snatching up portraits of Medvedev.  Photo shop owner Vladimir Tyshko is cashing in on the pre-election rush.  As the MT says,

“Since it was announced that Medvedev was the official successor, we immediately started getting inquiries about him, and now Medvedev has really overtaken Putin in sales,” said Vladimir Tyshko, who sells photographic portraits of politicians.

“With the elections approaching, Medvedev is selling very well: About 70 percent of people want portraits of Medvedev, and 30 percent want Putin now. Before Putin was of course the absolute leader by sales; now it is Medvedev,” Tyshko said.

Tyshko’s Internet shop,, sells a giant 1.2 meter-high Medvedev portrait for 20,000 rubles ($800). Smaller portraits, showing a benevolent-looking Medvedev, go for 2,000 rubles.

Kinda reminds me of the Staples Center jersey shop right after the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol.  I’m sure Gasol has been out selling Kobe since.

Poor Putin.  He’s yesterday’s news.  Last year’s champion.   A washed up Personality Cult.  And shops just can’t move them As one clerk in a Moscow bookshop told the Moscow Times, “The Medvedev ones have sold out. Buy the Putin one — he is still the boss.”

Putin!?  Why settle for less when there’s a new kid in town.