US media searching on Obama visit

US media searching on Obama visit

Every moment, every presidential gesture—even Obama’s jig—and all of the “Obamaspeak” is being employed to create a surreal image of an India sojourn that promises to eclipse that of George W Bush and Bill Clinton.

But the American media has been more cautious and searching in billing this presidential visit as a success. At least not yet. Describing the India-America partnership as an “almost-special relation-ship”, “The New York Times” said in a report that “Faced with a rising authoritarian China, and an economically wounded Europe, a weakened United States is casting about for global partners. India would seem a nice fit.”

And yet the story revealed that “some senior (Obama) administration officials lobbied the president to put pressure on Indian leaders for a conciliatory gesture toward Pakistan”.

Pointing out that “these sorts of political equations have long tangled the US-India relationship”, the report says: “It has sometimes seemed like a relationship built around one country asking the other to do something it considers against its self-interest.”

It is the “Times” contention that Obama’s visit is an attempt to “reboot or refocus the relationship away from these disputes and de-emphasise the tangible goodies (for example, contracts).”

Describing the American president’s Q & A session with students at Mumbai’s St Xavier’s college as a moment of “unscripted public diplomacy”, in which he chose not to brand Pakistan as a sponsor of state terrorism, the “Washington Post” made light of the Obamas’ visit, saying “their morning of public diplomacy involved dancing”.

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