Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Barack Obama is now anti-India, says Indian-American Republican

Citing US President Barack Obama's stance on outsourcing of jobs to India and work visas for IT firms, a leading Indian American Republican has said that Mitt Romney, not the incumbent, is the best bet for strong and enduring Indo-US relations.

Dr Sampat Shivangi, who was one of the three Indian American delegates to the Republican National Convention and a major fundraiser in Mississippi state, said the Democrats' India-friendly image is but just a myth.

Shivangi, the President of Indian American Forum for Political Education (IAFPE), said that with Obama openly and unhesitatingly criticising outsourcing to India, the future of ties between the two nations will be in safe hands only if a Republican occupies the White House.

He claimed that though majority of Indian-Americans do support the Democratic Party and Obama in particular, the trend was changing among second and third generation Indians.

"They no longer carry the Socialist and Nehruvian baggage from India like some of us in the age group of 60 to 70 do.

"President Obama is very critical of outsourcing jobs to India and work visa from India for IT companies are being gradually dispensed with. It's only a myth that Democrats are India-friendly," said Shivangi.

"President Obama's tirade against India on outsourcing has really changed his image in majority of the Indian-Americans. His television advertisements day in day out have taken warpath to disgrace India as the problem for joblessness in US which is untrue," Shivangi said.

Shivangi helped raise USD 1.7 million for Republican contender Romney in Mississippi, the highest collected in the State so far topping USD 1.2 million collected for the then President George Bush, again with the help of Shivangi.

"President Obama is increasingly becoming anti-India," says Shivangi who has attend Republican conventions as a delegate for 12 years in a row, a record of sorts especially for any Asian-American.

He pointed out that Romney had publicly declared at the Republican National Convention last month that India is the strategic ally of the US, indicating the importance Republicans attach to India.

"It was President George Bush who initiated Indo-US Civil Nuclear deal and pushed hard for it in the Congress. Democrats like Hillary Clinton hesitated till the last minute even to support the Bill in the Congress," he said.

He pointed out that Romney had promised to bring out a White Paper on India soon.

Hillary Clinton takes responsibility for security failure in Libya

In an effort to deflate the Republican attack from the White House ahead of presidential elections, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday took the “responsibility” for the failure to defend the attack on the US Consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead.

“I take this very personally,” Clinton said in an interview in Lima, the capital of Peru.

“So we're going to get to the bottom of it, and then we're going to do everything we can to prevent it from happening again, and then we're going to work to bring whoever did this to us to justice,” she said.

Clinton was responding to questions on terrorist attack on the Benghazi Consulate last month that left US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three others dead.

The Obama Administration initially attributed this to an anti-Islam video that resulted in an instant protest. Later, the administration dubbed it as a terrorist attack.

Last week, Vice President Joe Biden said the White House did not know of requests to enhance security at Benghazi, contradicting testimony by State Department employees that requests had been made and rejected.

“In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there's always going to be confusion. I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence. Everyone who spoke tried to give the information that they had. As time has gone on, that information has changed. We've gotten more detail, but that's not surprising. That always happens,” Clinton said.

“What I want to avoid is some kind of political gotcha or blame game. I know that we're very close to an election. I want to just take a step back here and say from my own experience, we are at our best as Americans when we pull together. I've done that with Democratic presidents and Republican presidents,” Clinton said.

Top Republican Senators were quick to describe Clinton's remark as a “laudable gesture” but said President Barack Obama also bears responsibility for this portrayal of the attack.

Romney campaign raised $170 million in September

NEW YORK – Mitt Romney’s campaign said Monday that it had raised $170.4 million in the month of September, falling short of the staggering $181 million monthly total reported by President Obama’s reelection campaign.

Spencer Zwick, Romney’s national finance chairman, said in an e-mail to top donors Monday that the campaign and the Republican National Committee’s joint fundraising committee brought in $170 million in September, by far the Republicans’ biggest haul of the campaign cycle. The Romney campaign later announced that the campaign, RNC and state party participants have approximately $191 million cash on hand.

This came during Romney’s most difficult month as a candidate, when he lost significant ground in the polls and when his disparaging comments about “the 47 percent” publicly surfaced. The September total does not reflect the surge in donor enthusiasm following Romney’s performance in the Oct. 3 debate with Obama.

“This is truly an incredible testament to this group’s commitment and hard work and represents the largest amount of money we have raised to date in any given month of the campaign,” Zwick wrote in an e-mail to Romney’s national finance committee.

In a statement released to reporters, Zwick said, “With less than one month left, we will continue the hard work of raising the resources to ensure that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can win in November and bring real change to the American people.”

The Romney campaign said its September fundraising was fueled by small-dollar donors. More than 1 million people gave $250 or less, accounting for about 93 percent of total donations.

The announcement comes as Romney’s top donors are gathering in New York for a three-day retreat at the Waldorf-Astoria luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

During the first two weeks of October, the Romney campaign raised more than $27 million online in small-dollar contributions, campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. That total, over a two-week span, is higher than the campaign’s total over any previous month, Saul said.

Gallup shows Romney pulling ahead in swing states

Mitt Romney has opened up a slight lead on President Obama in the 12 most competitive states in the country, according to a new poll from USA Today and Gallup.

The poll shows Romney at 51 percent among a sample of likely voters in the 12 states, while Obama is at 46 percent.

Perhaps most strikingly, the poll shows Romney running even with Obama among women, with the two candidates tied at 48 percent.

The poll comes a week after most swing state polling showed Obama holding relatively steady. Republicans expecting a significant bounce from Romney’s debate performance two weeks ago had yet to see that momentum in the states that matter most.

The Gallup poll appears to be the first major poll covering multiple states to show that momentum registering in the states that will decide the presidency.

The same poll in mid-September showed Obama at 48 percent and Romney at 46 percent in the swing states. That poll, though, was conducted among registered voters, while the new poll is conducted among likely voters — a higher standard and one that reflects more enthusiastic voters.

(Indeed, the current poll shows the race is largely unchanged when it comes to registered voters, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 47 percent.)

Republicans cited the poll as a sign of their progress, while Democrats suggested the likely voter model was flawed.

Obama’s campaign released an entire memo casting doubt on the poll.

“The latest Gallup/USA Today Battleground survey showing President Obama and Governor Romney tied with women in battleground states (48-48) is an extreme outlier, defying the trends seen in every other battleground and national poll,” Obama pollster Joel Benenson said.

A Politico/George Washington University poll Monday, meanwhile, showed a tighter contest in the swing states, with Romney at 50 percent and Obama at 48 percent across the 10 most competitive states.

Yahoo CEO raids Google to hire COO

Yahoo! has appointed another key Google executive Henrique de Castro, as its chief operating officer (COO).

In a late night statement yesterday, Yahoo! said it has appointed Henrique de Castro as the COO, who would report directly to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer.

De Castro would be the second big appointment that Yahoo! has made from its rival Google. Earlier this year, Yahoo! Had appointed former Google executive Marissa Mayer as its chief executive.

"De Castro will join the company on or before January 22, 2013, or as soon as he has satisfied his obligations to his current employer," the statement added.

De Castro will be responsible for strategic and operational management of Yahoo!'s sales, operations, media and business development worldwide.

"Henrique is an incredibly accomplished and rigorous business leader, and I'm personally excited to have him join Yahoo!'s strong leadership team," Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer said.

"His operational experience in Internet advertising and his proven success in structuring and scaling global organisations make him the perfect fit for Yahoo! as we propel the business to its next phase of growth," Mayer added.

De Castro has more than 20 years experience. Most recently, he was vice president of Google's worldwide Partner Business Solutions group, where he was responsible for advertising platforms and services for Google's publisher and commerce partners.

"The combination of Yahoo!'s unique properties with high quality content, its renewed focus on outstanding user experience and its massive reach bring tremendous value to users, advertisers and partners," de Castro said.

De Castro further added: "This is a pivotal point in Yahoo!'s history, and I believe strongly in the opportunity ahead. I can't wait to join Marissa and the team and get started".

Prior to Google, de Castro spent two years at DellCorporation, where he managed sales and business development operations across Western Europe.