I would much rather have seen Lavrov or Ivanov as president of the Russian Federation. However, we more-or-less know why Medevev was favored by Putin instead. While individuals like Putin, Lavrov and Ivanov make government policy behind closed doors Medvedev is the soft face Russia wants to show the world, specifically the West. It's basically a matter of good international public relations. Nevertheless, Medvedev is a capable man, it's just that he is not a Putin. However, we should not be using Putin as a presidential standard, men like Putin come around once every several hundred years. I am sure Medvedev will do well, he has the entire state apparatus behind him.
Dmitry Medvedev's inauguration, full version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak40X7zp-uA&feature=user
Dmitry Medvedev has pledged to promote the success and prosperity of all Russians, during his first speech as Russian president. The 42-year-old has been sworn in during a ceremony in the Kremlin. Medvedev said he’d support innovative approaches to lift living standards. “I will be working to my fullest capacity as a President and as a man, for whom Russia is a native land and home. It is my duty to serve every day and every hour to do everything in my power to improve the life of our people,” Medvedev said. The protection of human rights and civil liberties is going to be his main priority. “It is a vow I give to the people of Russia, and its very first lines contain a promise to respect and protect human rights and civil liberties. Those are the top priority in our society. It is they that determine the essence and content of all government activities,” he said. More than 2,000 guests were present at the elaborate ceremony, including Medvedev’s wife and now Russia’s First Lady Svetlana. For Vladimir Putin, it was an eight-year journey and at the end of it he looked like he was holding back the tears. “Eight years ago, when I took the presidential oath for the first time, I promised to work openly and honestly and to serve my people and my country faithfully. I have not violated my promise,” said Putin in his address at the ceremony. While Medvedev pledged to continue Putin’s policies, analysts say the change of leader will bring something new to the Kremlin. ”A lot of people think that there will be a change in style but not a change of policy. I suppose that Medvedev will deal more with foreign policy issues while Putin will focus on the development of the economy and social issues,” Russian TV anchor and political analyst Aleksey Pushkov said.