After the Kool-Aid: Notes from the Obama visit
A casual observer, the proverbial Martian, would have concluded from the breathless media coverage during the Barack Obama [ Images ] love-fest that this was a visit of the King-Emperor of India's [ Images ] colonial master. The pageantry and pomp and circumstance hid the sad fact that the emperor had no clothes, that is to say, there was precious little of substance in evidence. Lots of style, though: An Obama trademark.
But then Indians love a good party, and this was like a Big Fat Punjabi Wedding: Plenty of dancing, much drinking, and everyone nursing a hangover the next day. Naturally, nobody wanted to bring up anything serious or embarrassing. As usual, Indians were taken in by flattery and vague words about 'global power' and 'rightful place in the world'.
There was one major meta-theme: Obama was in India hat in hand, beginning his re-election campaign. After the self-confessed 'shellacking' he received in the mid-term elections, and given that anyway he is more comfortable campaigning than governing, this should not be much of a surprise.
The 2012 presidential elections are not that far off; the Republicans may contrive to shoot themselves in the foot; and so the grim prospect of 'four more years' of Obama cannot be underestimated.