Vladimir Putin, "National Leader"?

To follow up on yesterday's Vladimir Putin post, this Moscow Times article translates the idea in question as a proposal to create a new post of "National Leader" for Putin to fill, not "Supreme Leader" as I, following Dmitri Simes, had it. It bears mentioning that, when you think about it, if Putin is looking for a model of an authoritarian system that incorporates some pluralism and many democracy-like institutions, Iran is actually a pretty good example of a system that's lasted a good long while now as a neither-fish-now-fowl sort of thing. Late-PRI Mexico might also be a source of inspiration.