Wednesday, November 25, 2009

He thinks he's the head of state

National Review's Kevin Williamson

President Obama welcomed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the White House with words that have inspired snickers in New Delhi:

"Yours is the first official state visit of my presidency, its fitting that you and India be so recognised," 48-year-old Obama told the 77-year-old Indian leader.

The general reaction in India has been: Who the heck does this guy think he is?

Note first that this "general reaction in India" doesn't extend to providing a link. Given the lack of evidence, we might as well assume that the source is the same Hindu chauvinist/neocon alliance that has been busy briefing against other aspects of the post-Bush India-USA relationship. But note finally PM Singh's remarks at the state dinner last night --

PRIME MINISTER SINGH: Mr. President; the First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama; distinguished guests. I feel privileged to be invited to this first state banquet, Mr. President, under your distinguished presidency. You do us and the people of India great honor by this wonderful gesture on your part. We are overwhelmed by the warmth of your hospitality, the courtesy you have extended to us personally, and the grace and charm of the First Lady. (Applause.)

Mr. President, your journey to the White House has captured the imagination of millions and millions of people in India. You are an inspiration to all those who cherish the values of democracy, diversity, and equal opportunity. (Applause.)

Mr. President, I can do no better than to describe your achievements in the words of Abraham Lincoln who said -- and I quote -- "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years." (Applause.)

Mr. President, we warmly applaud the recognition by the Nobel Committee of the healing touch you have provided and the power of your idealism and your vision. (Applause.)

The general reaction of this blog is: who does this guy think he is?

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