The busy Hungarian prime minister

Ferenc Gyurcsány is a tireless and energetic man. In 2007 he visited seventy-two Hungarian towns and villages, traveling 16,067 kilometers. And that was just inside of the country. In addition, he traveled to twenty-five countries, spending altogether forty-one days abroad. Some of the countries he visited more than once: he traveled to Great Britan twice, Germany and Portugal three times.

He was also busy in parliament. He made speeches or answered others in the House 29 times, lasting a total of 9 hours. Out of the 365 evenings he could spend only 27 at home. His free weekends were not exactly numerous either: he managed to have only 15 during the whole year.

Add to this that he keeps up a high-quality blog where admittedly he doesn’t write every day but surprisingly often. He reads his readers’ comments and often refers to the more interesting, thought-provoking letters. He doesn’t rely exclusively on prepared news summaries. Every morning over breakfast he reads most of the important daily papers. But he also often refers to articles appearing in weeklies or in periodicals. He gives interviews frequently, especially if he wants to be heard on some important issues.

Nor does he neglect his physical well being. He runs regularly, often with the fan club of his blog: early morning he and some of his more athletic readers go for a fairly long run on Margaret Island in the Danube between Pest and Buda. He finished half a marathon, though he admitted that the twenty-one kilometer course wasn’t easy. Not long ago, he decided that running was not quite enough. He and his oldest son go to a fitness club twice a week in order to work out. While some of his colleagues are getting noticeably fatter, he is in terrific shape. I read in one of his blogs that his lunch is normally just a salad.

I wish we all had the same energy, stamina, and self-discipline.

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You claim to analyze Hungarian politics, yet I find nothing to suggest that you participate in anything beyond cheerleading for the Hungarian government. I would have expected more from a Yale professor.


Éva, sounds like you have a crush on Gyurcsány. You would make a great hagiographer of his.