New Delhi: Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she would be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidential election for 2016 confirms what had been speculated for long. A day before her formal announcement President Barack Obama had endorsed her in strong, glowing terms.
Even before the much-anticipated announcement on Sunday, potential Republican opponents took swings at Clinton. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush criticized her guidance of US foreign policy as secretary of state.
“We must do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies,” Bush said in a video released by the political action committee Right to Rise. Jeb Bush, brother to former president George W Bush, is currently exploring a Republican presidential bid.
Time has indeed turned a full circle for Hillary and India. When she took over as secretary of state in the Obama Administration Hillary was seen as anti-Narendra Modi because of the baggage of the Gujarat riots that he was forced to carry. In her key role in government she tried hard to erase that impression and dealt with India in a mature and measured way. She did not hesitate to reprimand Pakistan for its misdemeanours and confirmed her reputation for hard-nosed politics.
By the time she demitted office, she was seen as being well-disposed towards the Modi government and supportive of the Indian line on terror exported from Pakistan. Recently, when Modi visited the US, he made it a point to visit the Clintons at home and the chemistry between the Clinton couple and the Indian prime minister was seen as cordial and businesslike.
With the Obama Administration having forged closer links with India in recent months especially in the economic arena, there is anticipation of smooth ties between the two countries and a degree of continuity if Hillary Clinton succeeds Obama.
The lobbying by Indians in the US for positions in her Administration has already taken off and is bound to intensify as time goes by.