If I, sitting alone in my house, have figured out that Barack Obama is gay, then you can certainly bet that Vladimir Putin, the current President of Russia, is well aware of that fact.
Putin is a man who obviously worships at the altar of machismo. And while some of his own "adventures" turned out to consist of various staged poses, it's hard to escape the impression that he is at heart a tough, no-nonsense kind of guy.
It is also true that gay liberation has not made the same progress in Russia that it has here in this country. My guess is that Vladimir Putin - and most of his colleagues in the Kremlin -- are themselves quite old school when it comes to such matters.
I would love to have been privy to Putin's reaction when he was first informed that Barack Obama was gay. I can't help but suspect that his initial disbelief was soon replaced by mirth and a sort of primitive joy. There was undoubtedly a lot of delighted chortling. A lot.
Putin, a former KGB operative, may have initially considered the possibility of blackmail, but then dismissed it as impractical, and also because the alternative -- the election of a Republican President -- would simply mean an opponent more willing to stand up to Russia.
I would also guess that Putin probably enjoyed passing this information along to various uninformed colleagues, and that this tidbit was uniformly greeted with initial incredulity, then great whoops of laughter and contemptuous snorting.
Perhaps one of his generals suggested, "We will screw him over -- and he will like it because he is a [Russian pejorative for homosexual]." This would undoubtedly have been greeted by hearty guffaws all round.
Putin might have replied, "There is no need. He is already unilaterally disarming, like a woman taking her clothes off without even being asked." This comment, too, would probably have elicited much merriment.
After Dmitri Medvedev's famous hot mike conversation with Obama in which Obama informed him that he would have "more flexibility after the election," some wag at the Kremlin may have joked, "Don't worry, we're going to put you in positions even you have never dreamt of before."
Putin must just love the image of the United States as a country led by a President who prefers to have sex with other men.