Final Word from Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Can the chairman of a 19% center-left party afford to turn his back on a 56% center-left president? Not if the 19% party wants to win the elections. Bohuslav Sobotka is trying to be more resolute and forceful, but he can't make up his mind about whether to support Miloš Zeman for reelection. By toying with the idea of including Zeman in his party's internal referendum, Sobotka risks making the same mistake as the Kroměříž Appeal. It released a list of 25 possible candidates in order of preference, thereby alienating almost all of them. Successful politicians are vain people who want to be singled out as being exceptional. If Sobotka tries to lump Zeman in with a ragtag group of wannabes, Zeman's first instinct will be to give Sobotka the finger and to forbid him from including him in the referendum. Sobotka's only move at this point is to declare by acclamation at the March congress that, despite a few reservations, 56% Zeman is the candidate of 30% ČSSD. [Czech Republic presidential elections]

Glossary of difficult words

19% - ČSSD's rating in the latest CVVM poll; 

56% - Zeman's rating in the latest CVVM poll; 

resolute - admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering; 

vain - having or showing an excessively high opinion of one's appearance, abilities, or worth; 

to single out - to choose someone or something from a group for special treatment;

to lump in/together with - to put in an indiscriminate mass or group; to treat as alike without regard for particulars; 

ragtag - untidy, disorganized, or incongruously varied in character;

wannabe - a person who tries to be like someone else or to fit in with a particular group of people; 

by acclamation - by overwhelming vocal approval and without ballot.

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