Medvedev Name a Problem for Clinton

For MTA drawing by Alexander Pavlenko, 11, of Dmitry Medvedev visiting a children's hospital. The picture was submitted for a children's drawing competition called "Draw the Future President," which opened on Tuesday in Moscow.
CLEVELAND -- U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who has argued she would be stronger on foreign policy than rival Barack Obama, stumbled over the name of First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in a debate Tuesday.

When asked whether she knew the name of President Vladimir Putin's certain successor, Clinton struggled.

"Um, Med-medvedova, whatever," she finally said.

Obama, who fielded a second question, did not pronounce the name.

In Tuesday's debate, both candidates criticized President George W.Bush's policies on Russia.

"I can tell you that he's a handpicked successor, that he is someone who is obviously being installed by Putin, who Putin can control, who has very little independence," Clinton said. "This is a clever but transparent way for Putin to hold on to power, and it raises serious issues about how we're going to deal with Russia going forward."

Obama criticized Bush for neglecting the U.S.-Russia relationship after first saying he had seen Putin's soul.

"[Bush] then proceeded to neglect our relationship with Russia at a time when Putin was strangling any opposition in the country, when he was consolidating power, rattling sabers against his European neighbors as well as satellites of the former Soviet Union," Obama said.

He said Medvedev "is somebody who was handpicked by Putin."

Putin has not held back about his feelings about the former U.S. first lady.

"A state official must at least have brains," he snapped at a press conference earlier this month when asked about Clinton's comment that former KGB officers do not have souls.