Final Word from Tuesday, January 7, 2014

When Barack Obama wants to get a message across, he has an army of party officials, advisers, policy wonks, think tankers and friendly journalists to help. Václav Klaus has his Institute, CEP and Petr Hájek's Protiproud website. Václav Havel is no longer among us but has a throng of supporters preaching his gospel, from the Havel Library to Zdeněk Bakala's Economia publishing house. Who speaks for Miloš Zeman? Almost no constitutional lawyers supported an interpretation allowing the president to reject individual ministers. Even Pavel Rychetský flat-out rejected the idea. To find a new spokesman, Zeman had to resort to hiring nearly the only journalist who was still eating out of his hand. When Bohumil Pečinka of Reflex wondered on Czech TV last night why he and others were asked to comment on Zeman's next move, and not someone from Zeman's camp, moderator Martin Veselovský replied that even to speak to the president's chief of staff, Vratislav Mynář, requires a heroic effort. Who speaks for Zeman? Increasingly no one. [Czech Republic Constitutional Court chief justice ČT24 Parlamentní listy Jiří Ovčáček]

Glossary of difficult words

policy wonk - a person who takes an extreme interest in minor details of political policy;

think tanker - a person who works for a think tank;

throng - a large, densely packed crowd of people or animals;

flat-out - without hesitation or reservation;

to eat out of someone's hand - to do as someone says; to grovel to someone.

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