Final Word from Thursday, February 11, 2016

After Donald Trump (or Ted Cruz, etc.) and Bernie Sanders (or Hillary Clinton) win the primaries, they'll have to shift their views to the center for the general election. This drift to the middle in national elections has applied at times in the CR as well, but another phenomenon is taking hold. Call it the "shift to Zeman." To be popular, politicians must ride Zeman's coattails. It comes easy to Andrej Babiš, because ANO has no firm ideology. It's more difficult for ČSSD, because Zeman is in some ways a far-right, anti-EU demagogue. Still, Bohuslav Sobotka has shifted his refugee policy to be closer to Zeman's, and he gave up on the euro under the sway of Zeman-Babiš. Likewise, when Zeman the "Euro-federalist" says that the EU is very viable but that its current leaders aren't, Sobotka chimes in that he sees no positive heroes among today's EU leaders. As the pressure on Sobotka mounts, his next logical Zemanesque shift is toward Russia. [Czech Republic Putin United States Democrat Republican]

Glossary of difficult words

drift - a continuous slow movement from one place to another;

to take hold - to start to have an effect;

to ride/be on someone's coattails - to benefit from another's success, sometimes undeservedly;

to come easy to someone - not to be hard for someone to do;

sway - dominance, rule or control;

to chime in - to join in harmoniously;

to mount - to grow larger or more numerous.

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