India is apparently looking forward to the impending visit of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin with keen interest. The interest suggests a great fascination with American politics and a sophisticated view of some of its players.
Just as India is increasingly an important country to the United States, the United States has become a very important country indeed for India. America is an ally against China and a restraining influence, to some degree, on Pakistan. America and India are allies in the War on Terror and both have suffered from Islamic terrorism.
Thus the ebb and flow of American politics is regarded intensely in India. This is also partly because of the growing numbers and influence of Indian Americans, such as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Like people in other countries, Indians recognize Sarah Palin as a major player in American politics and even as a potential president of the United States. Thus the Indians will be listening with great interest when Palin travels to New Delhi and gives her remarks on her “Vision for America.”
Unlike people in other countries, such as in the countries that former Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld once famously called “old Europe,” Indians do not automatically disdain Sarah Palin as a bimbo. American conservatives, including President Ronald Reagan, have always gotten short shrift in Europe. Palin is getting that disdain in spades, partly because she is a woman since misogyny against conservative women is considered socially acceptable in certain quarters.
Indians, it seems, do not take their direction from what Sarah Palin herself calls the “lamestream media” and would prefer to see for themselves what kind of person Palin is and what sort of American president she might become. Considering the cogency and sophisticated insight of her previous statements on various policy issues, they are likely to like what they see.
Palin’s political alliance with the before-mentioned Indian American pols Jindal and Haley does not do her any harm either.
For herself, Palin stands to do much good, burnishing her foreign policy street cred and strengthening her already considerable ties to the Indian American voting bloc.
People who call Palin stupid are invariably at a loss to explain why they think so, not being able to point to a single thing she said to give that impression. No doubt her enemies will pronounce, as some are already doing in advance, her trip to New Delhi a “disaster” without being able to show why.
Sources: American idol: India preps for Sarah Palin, Kasie Hunt, Politico, March 6th, 2011
Sarah Palin to Travel to India to Speak at the India Today Conclave, Mark R. Whittington, February 24th, 2011
Sarah Palin’s Analysis of Obama Defense, Foreign Policy, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, July 1st, 2011