Conservatives have a man-crush on this man because he's literally their anti-Obama - a certifiably white and notably conservative leader of a country that's historically taken no shit from others and does its best to operate from a position of strength, whether its real or perceived. And right about now, they're hoping Vlad will do something or say something that makes the president look or sound like a complete chump.
And while ordinary conservatives are smooching and tonguing a poster of shirtless Putin in all his middle-aged pectoral glory, neoconservatives are cultivating semis over the possibility of fulfilling their dream of tangoing mano-a-mano with the ruskies as a part of their wet dream of a "three front war" - with Syria, Iran and Russia as the battlefields for endless military offensives performed either directly by U.S. troops or through a collection of proxy fighters loaded with the finest in U.S. military hardware.
Meanwhile, what Vladimir Putin likely wants more than anything is to make sure the U.S. and other western powers dispense with encircling Russia with a motley crew of U.S. and west-friendly nations. It's something the Russians have been paranoid about for ages.
He also realizes that at this point, the ball is completely in his court - after all, he's the one who figured it was a good idea to emulate America's M.O. of invading and occupying countries on the pretense of insuring a continued "democracy" that best benefits U.S. and western interests. Except he did it to a nation aspiring to westernness (in the form of entry into the European Union) in full view of the rest of the E.U. Right now, the most pressing question likely on Putin's mind is how to maintain a grip on Russian naval interests in Crimea without sparking a messy war with NATO and the U.S.
Given the recent phone call between POTUS and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it's implied that either Vlad's under as much pressure as POTUS or he's completely lost the plot.