Hello. I'm Johnny Cash.

Just kidding, just kidding people of the United States, and no disrespect intended, because I, like you, loved the mournful songs of the man in black. I should clarify. They were not always mournful, sometimes they were robust songs, and sometimes they were the type of tunes that would bring a twinkle to your eye, although I never understood that one about the young lad that was named Susan. Perhaps that is because I hail from mother Russia, where many of our young men - and some of our not so young, but I suppose mostly young - proudly bear the name of Sue.

For those of you who do not immediately recognize me - and I suppose there are some, although probably not very many, because the United States, much like Russia, has a very fine educational system - I am Vladimir Putin, the president of democratic Russia. Although in Russia we do not so much use the word president as we do the word potentate. Sometimes 'Most Exalted Potentate', but that's mainly when we - and by we I am referring to the fun loving people of our country, Russia, steadfast friend of the United States - are kidding around. Most of the people just call me Vlad. You no doubt have heard of 'Vlad the Impailer'? That's not me, but sometimes when the Russian people are in a joking mood, that one slips out.

I would like to take a moment to urge all of the good people of America to vote next Tuesday - although it will be Wednesday in some of Russia's many time zones... or is it Monday that I mean, I don't know, I always get confused by that time zone thing - for my great American comrade - or as you say in your country, friend - George W Bush. Surely that would be in the best interest of the entire world, except of course the parts of the world where the terrorists live, like Chechnya, to name a very good example, and probably the entire Northern Caucasus, and of course Iraq, where the Russian people were as surprised as anyone to find no WMDs, which we now believe may have been moved to Chechnya shortly before the outbreak of hostilities.

This president of yours is a very good man, who as I previously said - right up there, in the paragraph before this one - is surely worthy of your vote. Once, when I first met George Bush, he did something that, as American hipsters might say, blew my mind. He looked into my soul.  That was pretty scary stuff, and at first I thought that he was going to kiss me, but my fears proved to be unfounded, as it was my soul that he was looking at. I'm taking his word for it, and so should you, and you should go right out on November 2nd - or as we call it in Russia, November 1st, or maybe November 3rd, but irregardless, I am sure there is some overlap - and vote for my comrade, or as you say, friend, George W Bush.

This ad created, produced, and paid for by "Proud Russian Comrades Or As You Say Friends Of George W Bush And The United States of America (PRCOAYSFOGWBATUSOA)"


2004, Mark Hoback