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The Economist pans Rüütel

Does anybody outside Estonia support his candidacy?

 Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote: “Why can’t somebody give us a list of things that everybody thinks and nobody says...” The Economist’s Edward Lucas has done just that concerning Saturday’s (September 23rd) Estonian presidential elections in his recent article A big man from a very, very small country: “Lithuania's President Valdas Adamkus is doddery and Latvia's Vaira Vike-Freiberga insufferably queenly. All the more reason, therefore, to hope that Estonia's electoral college on 23 September will choose Toomas Hendrik Ilves as president...” “True,” Lucas writes in his endorsement, “Rüütel is not as bad as his critics say. Although he's waffly, indecisive and burdened with a political career rooted in the occupation regime...and in 20 years covering the Baltic states, I can't recall him saying anything interesting or memorable.”

Lucas is, of course, like most westerners, a supporter of Toomas Hendrik Ilves: “As an intellectual heavyweight, he can speak up for his pint-sized country. It may be small, but both its experience of reform and modernisation, and the dangers facing it, are of world importance.”

 Here’s hoping Mr. Lucas’ wish comes true.