Final Word from Thursday, October 27, 2016

Michal Horáček was running a sensible exploratory presidential campaign, as we wrote last month ("Horáček makes a wise bet"). It was based on rejection of the Kroměříž Appeal and non-rabid criticism of Miloš Zeman. Tomorrow this will all change. He is set to act as the moderator for what everyone else sees as an anti-Zeman protest on Old Town Square. Some people are even referring to it as the Czech Maidan. Instead of retaining his sensible stance, Horáček is suddenly taking sides, although he doesn't see it this way. In his view, he's just the piano player, so to speak. Yet this piano player's name will no doubt be mentioned dozens of times tomorrow as the person to take on Zeman. Why is Horáček doing this now, 15 months before the elections? Perhaps he was convinced by Jiří Pehe and others who say that the time has come for the arrival of a stand-up kind of guy who doesn't put the country to shame. Perhaps so, but after tomorrow, the once wise and decent Horáček will be primarily seen as the anti-Zeman candidate of Miroslav Kalousek and other unsavory characters. [Czech Republic Ukraine]

Glossary of difficult words

to smell blood - to discern weakness or vulnerability in an opponent;

exploratory campaign - actions taken to help determine whether a potential candidate should run for an elected office;

rabid - having or proceeding from an extreme or fanatical support of or belief in something;

don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player - I have no role in this fight;

to take someone on - to challenge;

stand-up (kind of guy) - a good, solid person;

unsavory - disagreeable to taste, smell, or look at.

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