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 to the Great Diplomat: When you do a head of state an honor, you don’t remind him, in public, of the fact that you have done him an honor, particularly in self-aggrandizing terms of this sort.
I cannot imagine Dr. Singh responding to Obama: “I am the first state visitor of your presidency, and it is fitting that you and the United States be so recognized. Especially considering that I have the guts to stand up to the Chinese from time to time, while you’re basically groveling and praying that they don’t decide to divest their dollar holdings. Did I mention our 7 percent economic growth, compared to your … 3 percent, 3.5? Now, what did you want to talk about?”