Final Word from Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Was it a tactical mistake for Miloš Zeman to deny that he used a medal of honor for Jiří Brady last month to put pressure on Daniel Herman not to meet officially with the Dalai Lama? Would he have fared better with voters if he had just admitted it? Try, if you can, to consider this while putting aside issues of morality and integrity, which play little role in politics anyway. Zeman's standing with voters clearly suffered when he denied a medal to Herman's 88-year-old uncle, although it's too early to say by how much. Zeman's tactical mistake - if it was one - apparently came from not recognizing soon enough that Herman had an ulterior motive and was prepared to show how the sausage is made in an effort to become the reincarnation of Václav Havel. Tactically, Zeman might have said instead: "Herman wanted a medal for his uncle, and yes, I changed my mind after he broke his end of the deal. Herman thinks he's Havel, but he behaved like a snake." [Czech Republic Tibet KDU-ČSL Culture Minister President George]

Glossary of difficult words

to fare - to perform in a specified way in a particular situation or over a particular period;

standing - position, status or reputation;

ulterior - existing beyond what is obvious or admitted; intentionally hidden;

reincarnation - the act or result of being born in another body;

to break one's end of a deal - to violate the terms of an agreement.

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