Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 2012

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RajeshA
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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby RajeshA » 23 Oct 2012 07:30

Watching the debate now!

Mitt Romney sounds like he wants get into bed with Asshphuk! Not willing to divorce from Pakistan! Too many nukes there!

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby RamaY » 23 Oct 2012 07:58

Romney made all wrong noises w.r.t Indian interests.

1. He pitches TSPA to American public - increases national security costs to India
2. He is behind the forces that want to hurt/destroy Iran and Syria - increases the energy security costs for india.
3. He pitches G2 proposition w.r.t china - increases economic security costs to India

Overall Obama came more balanced w.r.t foreign affairs viewing from Indian Intersts perspective.

1. If Obama continues to do what he has been doing - droning and prodding TSPA, and withdrawing from Afghanistan, then it is good for India.

US withdrawal from afghanistan forces India to wake up from its WKK slumber.


2. If Obama does what he has been doing w,r.t china, it will make china a little more insecure. We all know how insecured Chinese behave. They will try to attack India. This is also a good outcome ImHO.

If I have vote, I vote for obama, just because he will contribute to better Indian interests in the short and long term. :wink:

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby RajeshA » 23 Oct 2012 08:12

RamaY ji,

I agree with you.

Mitt Romney sounded like a guy who would still have to go through Pakistan Disillusionment Education. Obama already has that behind him.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby devesh » 23 Oct 2012 08:14

neither of them will contribute anything on the Pakistan front. none. nill. zilch.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Prem » 23 Oct 2012 08:18

RajeshA wrote:RamaY ji,
I agree with you.Mitt Romney sounded like a guy who would still have to go through Pakistan Disillusionment Education. Obama already has that behind him.


Romney repeating the NPAyyas Thulla line about Paki nuke exposes his immaturity in foreign policy. He lost the election today.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby devesh » 23 Oct 2012 08:20

why the sudden love/hate for Obama/Romney?! folks, neither of them will do much on the Pak front. I don't see why we need to notch up our BP on this issue.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby devesh » 23 Oct 2012 08:25

Also, Obama seems committed to stop Iran from acquiring Nukes. he made a very clear and non-obfuscating statement on this. I think we can expect a definitive progression toward "taking down" Iran, regardless of who wins. I am ambiguous about this. on one hand there is the nuke issue. OTOH, if Iran is taken down, it means no more obstruction to Sunni consolidation.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby CRamS » 23 Oct 2012 08:52

I watched the circus too. I was struck that Obama did not get to respond to Romney on TSP. Romney gave the usual nonsense about TSP having 100s of nukes, threat to US, threat to Afghanistan. No mentione of threat to India. And That should please the TSP RAPE a ton, US sure is not coming in the way of their goal post. Plus, TSP must be laughing their arse off at some comical nonsense by Romnsy on paaaashtoooons in paaaakistaaan. TSP ISI must be thinking, and pardon my Hindi, yis gora chutiya koe nachayangae (we'll make this gora Chutiya dance). Overall, usless foreign policy debate, and I doubt the joe six and jane bimbo gave a rats'e behind. Of course,the elite in Delhi who thought India was on the verge of becoming a super power as US's strategic ally, will be might disappointed that India was not even mentioned while there was an exclusive segment devoted to China. TSP will be might thrilled about that too.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby ramana » 23 Oct 2012 09:29

Right after the Chagai tests, I said now Pakistan is a world problem, no longer an India only problem. To think that Pakistan is a debate topic for a US Presidential election is joke!

Having said that in 2008 I had said that Obama election would cause takleef for TSP. And the mess they are in is due to his proactive policy of taking out AlQ with or without the TSP consent.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Gus » 23 Oct 2012 11:45

devesh wrote:why the sudden love/hate for Obama/Romney?! folks, neither of them will do much on the Pak front. I don't see why we need to notch up our BP on this issue.


Well, Romney has no principles or the smarts on this..so he is more likely to surround himself with Bush advisers. Although we would like to see changes in Obama's Pakistan approach, it is arguably better than how Bush handled it.

India is a non-entity on US prez politics. We don't count. No need for heartburn. It is not a place to aspire for either... :P

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Gus » 23 Oct 2012 11:51

SBajwa wrote:Tonight is the final presidential debate. 13 more days for election!!! Everybody is calling it a statistical dead heat between Obama and Romney!!


Obama already leads in electoral college (so called Kerry states which are in his bag) which is what counts. the statistical dead heat is on national popular vote, which does not count towards Presidency.

Ohio is probably already Obama's, because a lot has already voted there and Obama leads there, banking his lead (given the auto industry bailout success, I don't see Romney overcoming this lead that is already banked).

Obama, thus has many paths to victory. He only needs to get a few swing states (one big and a couple small or a few small with losing FL).

Romney, OTOH, assuming he loses OH, needs to sweep the table on swing states. Much harder thing to do, even with their usual shenanigans of voter suppression etc.

I am calling a Ombaba win. :)

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby RamaY » 23 Oct 2012 18:55

Devesh ji

I know it doesn't matter who wins in US elections. I also believe that India should not depend on some US superman to do its job in its neighborhood.

I was just assessing the candidates based on what they said on a open debate.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby devesh » 23 Oct 2012 19:35

so if Romney brings in Bush advisers, why is that a problem? those guys were the first ones in decades of US policy establishment who actually tried to systematically change the perception of their wonks about India. Condoleeza Rice type characters were respectable then and respectable now and she was largely a pro-India person. more pro-India than any Sec State before her and since.

let us compartmentalize here. forget our domestic US-tinted glasses and think coldly.

1. it doesn't matter who wins. on Pak front, the basic drive to finish off Pak has to come from India.

2. Bush's term was largely beneficial for India and certainly reversed the monopolization of India policy by Non-Proliferation Ayatollahs.

let us set aside our views of local domestic US policies and analyze coldly what India has gained and can gain under each candidate. in this paradigm, Bush did a lot and I will give him credit regardless of what I thought of his domestic policies.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby g.sarkar » 23 Oct 2012 19:51

Gus wrote:Romney, OTOH, assuming he loses OH, needs to sweep the table on swing states. Much harder thing to do, even with their usual shenanigans of voter suppression etc.
I am calling a Ombaba win. :)

The race is tightening. Cash is flowing in, to early to declare victory.
Gautam

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby devesh » 23 Oct 2012 19:54

too close to call. it could go either way. if Obama looses, his legacy will be in trash can.

if Obama wins, it will be a very close one, but ultimately, his legacy won't rest on election night. it will rest on his last 4 years. economy and Iran will become the deciding points of his legacy.

"last 4 years" as in, the second term of his 8 years.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby RajeshA » 23 Oct 2012 20:03

devesh ji,

but Romney can just as well bring in Colin Powell back, may be to give Afro-Americans males some representation. We know how Colin loves to make love to the Pakis.

Though I agree that Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State may not be too bad. She didn't seem to be too amorous of Pakis, especially after the slimy Shaukat Aziz made her almost puke with his eye-contact. Or Dana Rohrbacher too may not be too bad.

If Romney wins, it is important that the Secretary of State appointment go to somebody who has dealt with Pakistani duplicity and perfidity lately.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby devesh » 23 Oct 2012 20:14

RajeshA ji,

I agree the threat of US mood swings persists, depending on who is in charge of what. but when we have Obama and Hillary sponsoring advertising campaigns in Pak about some youtube video and going on PR campaigns in Pak, can we really say they are much different from Powell?

Powell won't be back. he was too closely associated with the Iraq disaster, and since then, he has burned too many bridges with the Republicans to clean up his legacy. he won't be back.

OTOH, return of Rice is a very high probability if Romney wins. she has gained a lot of respect from both sides over the past few years. and I don't think she is fundamentally a Paki-amour.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby RajeshA » 23 Oct 2012 20:25

devesh ji,

what I heard from Romney's mouth in the debate, it sounded like his advisers had been telling him stuff about Paaashtoons and Taliban from a 90s script.

I really don't think Mitt Romney really has his fingers in the Paki muck. It's all about advisers. It all depends which advisers he brings in. If it is Condoleeza Rice, then she wouldn't have to go through the Disillusionment from Pakis process again. That is all India can ask for. What I don't want is for India and Indians spending valuable time trying to tell Americans how Pakis are snakes.

Americans tend to help the Pakis regardless of that. That is good for India, because at least we too are not under the illusion that Americans are doing the helping Pakis due to plain stupidity but due to deliberate recklessness. That saves us time and energy.

Also important is what kind of relationship USA builds with Pakistan post the rollback in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, when USA gorilla's hand is not stuck in the Paki jar. Would they say, well our points of conflict have subsided, so we should make up with Pakistan again or would they say, let's not give Pakistan any more arms or financial support.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby devesh » 23 Oct 2012 20:29

I really don't think Mitt Romney really has his fingers in the Paki muck. It's all about advisers. It all depends which advisers he brings in. If it is Condoleeza Rice, then she wouldn't have to go through the Disillusionment from Pakis process again. That is all India can ask for. What I don't want is for India and Indians spending valuable time trying to tell Americans how Pakis are snakes.



fair enough. yes, this is a major concern. so the point we are talking about is "continuous line of succession" of Indian thought/interests in American establishment. this is about negotiations and counter-negotiations and give-and-take with the American establishment. over long term, Indians need to think on these lines. I would start from now itself. but there is a major dissonance with the ruling center in India with their Brit-tinted glasses. should the negotiations start from now itself? by Indians who understand their home ground is temporarily lost but *will be* regained in the future?!

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Gus » 23 Oct 2012 21:01

g.sarkar wrote:The race is tightening. Cash is flowing in, to early to declare victory.
Gautam


But people have already voted. After a point, it does not matter how much money is spent on ads in Ohio. Ombaba is leading close to 2 to 1 on votes already cast. I think that point is reached or will be reached in a few days. Republicans tried to block early voting and Obama had to sue and get it cleared by the SCOTUS.(http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/20 ... ting-case/ )

These states are solid blue -
WA 12
CA 55
NM 5
MN 10
IL 20
NY 29
ME 4
MA 11
VT 3
RI 4
CT 7
NJ 14
DE 3
MD 10
DC 3
HI 4

total 194

these are likely Obama - MI 16 and PA 20 (PA will go blue, because voter suppression law was shot down).

total 230

Of these leaning blue states - NV - 6 will probably go Obama because of division in republicans locally (staunch Ron Paul nuts there).
IA - 6 , also has early voting
WI - 10, Obama has always led there, albeit in a small margin
OH - 18, Obama leads and early voting

This is a total of 270 which is all he needs, even without CO (9), where he has consistently led.

As of now, polls (averaged, not one poll system) show VA (13) and NH (4) in dead heat. And FL (29) Romney advantage, NC (15) Romney leading, will probably go red. AZ (11) Romney leading, but may turn a surprise due to unknown latino turnout. MO may also turn out to be in play.

Point is, Romney has no cushion. Obama has the luxury of losing a few battleground states and still win.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Gus » 23 Oct 2012 21:02

devesh wrote:so if Romney brings in Bush advisers, why is that a problem? those guys were the first ones in decades of US policy establishment who actually tried to systematically change the perception of their wonks about India.


and did nothing to change the perception about Pakistan.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby devesh » 23 Oct 2012 21:11

I'll take whatever I can get. if perception on India was changed, it is still net gain. OBL's death in Pak changed perception of Pakis. so here again, there was a net gain to India. so in both Bush and Obama's terms, there has been a general gain for India. I'm not willing to diss either the Reps or the Dems for local policies, when it comes to Indian interests.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Amber G. » 24 Oct 2012 03:15

Just saw a poll, Obama vs Romney , O winning everywhere, and by a huge margin in the poll taken in other nations. (70+% vs single digit in France, for example). There was only one exception ... TSP! (where people hated Obama more than Romney).

Every Country But Pakistan Wants Obama for Four More Years : 8)

***

Living in Ohio, we have more hustle bustle here than other places
(The exit polls here in Ohio, for people who have already voted, O's lead is 56% vs 40%)

Added later: the graphics;
Image

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Prem » 24 Oct 2012 03:47

Amber G. wrote:Just saw a poll, Obama vs Romney , O winning everywhere, and by a huge margin in the poll taken in other nations. (70+% vs single digit in France, for example). There was only one exception ... TSP! (where people hated Obama more than Romney).Every Country But Pakistan Wants Obama for Four More Years : 8)


These are not much important countries comparing to mighty, centre of the whole world , powerful state of Israel. Do Israeli want Obama or Not will decide the election. :lol:

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Amber G. » 24 Oct 2012 04:01

^^^ In last election, O got nearly 80% of Jewish vote, this election he may not do that well (may be 65%) but still he is by far more popular in Israel than Romney. (Noise made by Bibi non-withstanding)

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Mort Walker » 24 Oct 2012 07:42

Amber G. wrote:Every Country But Pakistan Wants Obama for Four More Years


Well, the poll is not surprising as Pakistanis and Mormons have the lowest common denominator known as polygamy! :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Gus » 24 Oct 2012 08:14

Jewish votes are important only in FL. As I posted above Obama has many paths to victory, even without FL. FL is probably lost already. State GOP run a good voter suppression and intimidation and what not there. O does not pull enough to overcome that.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby devesh » 24 Oct 2012 08:20

Jewish votes are also important in NJ. and he is winning in NJ without a problem. why the obsession with pinning everything on Jews?

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Gus » 24 Oct 2012 08:21

I will argue that when it comes to Pak, a new Romney admin is more likely to have muddled policies that Pak takes advantage of - compared to a wizened up Obama admin (relatively speaking).

Bush advisors went into Iraq letting Afg go to the dogs. If they had stayed focussed, who knows - taliban may have been wiped off and US may have had more stomach to confront Pak on it (without worrying about stretching too much due to resources tied in Iraq).

A case can be made that because of Iraq, US had no option but to mollycoddle Pak while taking hits from Pak proxies.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Gus » 24 Oct 2012 08:43

6 million ex felons cannot vote. Of this 1.5 mil are in FL alone. This from an NPR article. It does not say this there, but I am guessing a lot of these are blacks incarcerated in the 'war on drugs' - and most of these are democrat voters if given the choice. Look at the margin in 2000 FL election and all this disenfranchisement plays a role in keeping GOP win states where they don't really have majority support.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Prem » 25 Oct 2012 02:32

US Aid to Pakistan
Image

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby devesh » 25 Oct 2012 02:44

let's not mix up Afghanistan and Iraq. yes, distraction in Iraq was there, but to really root out Taliban, you need commitment against Islam. the West, including US, has not been able to identify the theological roots of the Jihadi madness. they keep thinking that it's about economy, etc. it's not. as long as this confusion remains, no power can effectively deal with Taliban and the Afghan Jihadis. so, even if there was no Iraq distraction, I don't count the US's chances of success in Afghanistan to be very high. Bush or no Bush. Reps or Dems. the underlying confusion is an obstacle.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby svinayak » 25 Oct 2012 10:31

From the George Friedman article

Many who condemn U.S. hegemony also seem to demand it. There is a shift under way that they have not yet noticed -- except for an absence that they regard as an American failure. My attempt to explain it as the new normal did not always work.

Given that there is a U.S. presidential election under way, this doctrine, which has quietly emerged under Obama, appears to conflict with the views of Mitt Romney, a point I made in a previous article. My core argument on foreign policy is that reality, not presidents or policy papers, makes foreign policy. The United States has entered a period in which it must move from military domination to more subtle manipulation, and more important, allow events to take their course. This is a maturation of U.S. foreign policy, not a degradation. Most important, it is happening out of impersonal forces that will shape whoever wins the U.S. presidential election and whatever he might want. Whether he wishes to increase U.S. assertiveness out of national interest, or to protect human rights, the United States is changing the model by which it operates. Overextended, it is redesigning its operating system to focus on the essentials and accept that much of the world, unessential to the United States, will be free to evolve as it will. :lol:

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby svinayak » 25 Oct 2012 10:37

Amber G. wrote:Just saw a poll, Obama vs Romney , O winning everywhere, and by a huge margin in the poll taken in other nations. (70+% vs single digit in France, for example). There was only one exception ... TSP! (where people hated Obama more than Romney).

Every Country But Pakistan Wants Obama for Four More Years : 8)

***

True conservatives are liked by the Pakistanis

The economist had an article in NY times about how US conservatives and Pakis behave the same way. They seem to know each other and have similar thinking about the world.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby shaardula » 25 Oct 2012 19:20

i think for romney running for president is a no brainer.

he is statements on social issues and foreign affairs are as earnest as that of a salesman. the only thing he is really clear about is tax cuts - something which he stands to personally benefit from.

if elected, it is a low risk proposition that he will be able to realize his tax plan. whether it benefits US or not it benefits him personally.

if he does not get elected, he loses nothing. he is running on donor money.

no brainer for romney.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Mort Walker » 26 Oct 2012 09:35

^^^You meant Romney is a no brainer? :)

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby ramana » 26 Oct 2012 18:31

The US India Monitor has a few good articles in light of the Stratfor guru's observation.
Am unable to post.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby Victor » 26 Oct 2012 23:26

FWIW:
Colin Powell endorses Obama again
On Afghanistan and other foreign policy concerns, Powell said he did not believe Romney ‘‘has thought through these issues as thoroughly as he should have.’’

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby ramana » 27 Oct 2012 01:40

There is a short window of instability in the world due to US Presidential elections. If there is transiton then bad guys(whoever and wherever) make a quick hit in the knowledge that US will be weighing options and under lame duck leadership. To compound the problem the US congress will be a lame duck session.

So better to watch out and if possible deliver deadly retaliation in case of any mischief from anyside.

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Re: Indian Interests in US Presidential Election Campaign 20

Postby ramana » 27 Oct 2012 22:35

ramana wrote:The US India Monitor has a few good articles in light of the Stratfor guru's observation.
Am unable to post.



Obama vs. Romney on India
Oct 23
Posted by usindiamonitor

http://usindiamonitor.com/2012/10/23/obama- vs-romney-on-india/

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor. com.

There is a question that has taken on
more and more meaning as India increases in importance on the world
stage, while Indian-Americans are involved in American politics as never before. Â Which candidate, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney would be a better president on issues that are important to India and Indians?


Predictably, both candidates have kissed
up to Indian-American donors and speak highly of India when given the
opportunity. Â Both claim that India is an important ally and friend to
the United States. Â Strikingly, neither candidate discussed India in the foreign policy debate this week. Â In truth, it is difficult to
accurately forecast the answer to this question based on past records
and statements.  It’s also unclear how much influence a president can
bring to bear on these issues.  But it’s worth speculating on.

The primary challenge in this endeavor
would be to identify the core issues that Indians consider to be
important. Â India is a vast and chaotic cauldron of democracy, with
wildly varying views on religious, political, and social issues. Â These
variances have spilled over onto American soil as immigrants of Indian
origin may be found supporting or participating in either political
party.  For example, Aneesh Chopra and Kal Penn have worked in the Obama administration while Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley are staunch Southern Republican governors, and Dinesh D’Souza has savaged Obama’s psyche from the right.  That being said, as a
longtime observer of the diaspora as well as US-India relations, I
believe the issues that matter most are: trade policy, immigration
policy, national security postures, hate crimes legislation, nuclear
issues, and personal diplomacy.
 Below is a breakdown of each.

Trade (Score: Romney)Â Â As I wrote in an editorial on this site, Obama has bashed Romney mercilessly on outsourcing
throughout the campaign, and specifically mentions Indian call centers
in ads or on the stump in a negative light.  The Indian media has picked up on this and although it is more politics than policy, it’s ugly and
clearly the wrong message to send from India’s point of view. But China
gets it worse. Â On any other trade metrics, the amount of trade between
India and the United States has continued to boom under Obama’s
administration. Â When Obama made his first state visit to India, he
took along hundreds of business leaders with him. Â Meanwhile, Obama and
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have pushed the envelope on nuclear
supplier trade, as detailed below.

Romney is a bit of a cipher on this
matter.  He talks tough on China’s trade policy, especially as relates
to its currency valuation, but does not seem to  bring India into this
discussion. Â Ostensibly his business background and his Rolodex of
industrialist/ banker friends are all for free trade with India
continuing unabated. Â The company he used to run, Bain, has and
continues to invest in Indian companies, including ones that do
outsourcing, effectively bringing American money and jobs to India. Â
Unlike Obama, Romney does not bash outsourcing to India.

Immigration (Score: Obama)Â In general, the Democratic party is more likely to promote policy
favorable to immigration in general, and from India in particular.
 Obama has spoken about loosening immigration rules which prevent
foreign graduates from staying on in America, thousands of whom come
from India to study. Â He has actively sought an amnesty which would be
favorable to illegal immigrants including those from India, but this
legislation languishes in Congress.
Romney and his Republican party are more
hostile to immigrants. Â Any sort of amnesty would be less likely in a
Romney administration. Â For that matter, so would any new policy
favorable to Indian immigrants, such as granting more H1B visas.

National Security (Score: Tie)Â The two candidates have nearly identical positions on issues that are
important to India’s national security.  Both have displayed concern for monitoring Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and we all know that India is
where most if not all of those are pointing. Â Romney claims he would go
after terrorist groups in Pakistan just as hard as Obama has, including
with unmanned drone strikes. Â Neither as president would come close to
breaking relations with Pakistan- and rightly so as Pakistan remains an
important US partner. Â Both campaigns are for cooperation on defense
with India, such as joint military exercises and weapons sales. Â Obama
and his national security team have prioritized India as a security
partner, and we can expect that to continue under Romney.  Romney’s own
advisers on foreign policy and national security are, while largely
partisans, made up of professionals (including Indian-born ones)
familiar with South Asian issues. Â Both parties are trying to get India
to buy more weapons, especially fighter jets, from American defense
contractors but neither candidate has an edge on this truly bipartisan
wishlist. Â India is just as happy to buy jets from the French or
Russians.

Hate Crimes Legislation (Score: Obama)Â Indian-Americans have been the victims of hate crimes across the
country in recent times, and in this case there is a clear-cut winner.
 Obama has been a champion of this legislation, and has expanded it to
include the LGBT community. Â Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have
both been against legislation that further protects minority victims of
hate crimes, in their home states as well as while campaigning on the
national stage.

Nuclear Issues  (Score: Obama)   A high-level State Department official told me last year that US
policy toward India’s nuclear weapons program has not changed from Bush
to Obama, and Bush was universally (and unexpectedly) seen as a very
good friend to India on nuclear partnership. Â Obama and Secretary
Clinton have in fact tried hard to push India to use American companies
as suppliers for its nuclear program in deals that would benefit both
sides, while India’s internal politics have slowed the prospects.
 Meanwhile, India and the United States have experienced a great deal of friction related to Iranian oil coming to India, with plenty of back
and forth about sanctioning India for continuing imports at a high
level, and this helped stall the nuclear negotiations too. Â This has
been the biggest bugbear in US-India relations in the last decade. Â In
summer 2012 the two nations finally came to an uneasy truce on this
issue, with India taking steps to reduce oil imports under pressure from the Obama administration.

Romney suggests he would be even tougher
on nations importing oil from Iran than Obama has been. Â That would
include India and would probably result in a harsher line against India.  Meanwhile, Romney’s advisers have said that he would continue to push
cooperation with India on its nuclear ambitions rather than going
against them, just as Obama has done. Â This is not surprising
considering that it was a Republican president, Bush who initiated this
framework.

Diplomacy & Personal Affinity (Score: Obama)Â It was unclear in 2008 how good a friend Obama would be towards India.
 However, he did visit India while a candidate, and even carried a
Hanuman trinket in his pocket which caused millions of Hindus to view
him in a favorable light. Â Meanwhile, he has dispatched delegations from State and Defense repeatedly to India, with Secretaries Clinton and
Gates notably making repeated stops there. Â Bilateral strategy sessions
are now annual. Â Relations have been good aside from the battles over
Iranian oil. Â Manmohan Singh was the recipient of the Obama White
House’s first state dinner- marred as it was by the sari-clad
party crasher. Â Â The Obamas also had a productive three-day trip to
India that brought trade deals, and promises to endorse India for the
UN’s Security Council and Nuclear Suppliers Group.  These are as
concrete as any steps a US president can take to support India in the
diplomatic world. Â Obama is also a noted admirer of Mahatma Gandhi.

Candidate Romney has traveled to places
like England and Israel but did not include India on his itinerary. Â He
speaks highly of India and Indian-Americans in very general terms, but
there is no notable mention of it in his foreign policy speeches or his
platform. Â The Republican party did have a Sikh invocation during the
Republican National Convention this year, with respect shown to the
slaughter in Wisconsin.  However, one aspect of Romney’s foreign policy should give Indians pause: he uses hegemonic language and American
exceptionalism as the basis of his worldview, which is in conflict with
India’s recognition of today’s world as a multi-polar concert.

In the final analysis, Obama has more of a record in this area to stand on, and one issue where he has significant daylight with his opponent, on hate crimes. Â However, India can expect a Romney administration to be largely as cooperative and friendly as
Obama’s has been toward Indian interests. Â

But there is a metric which
seems to capture the spirit of the times better than any other: Indian-Americans in polls indicate they will vote for Obama by a 3-1
margin.




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