Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What's happening in India? The latest on President Obama's trip to Asia, Part 1

As many readers are aware, President Obama is currently in the midst of a big trip to Asia, one of the longest since he became America's Commander-in-Chief. His voyage across the Pacific Rim is predictably getting substandard coverage from U.S.-based traditional media, which is a real shame, because this trip is a big deal.

We mostly cover state, local, and national politics here on The Advocate, but, as the tagline says, we also cover international politics. Since we're part of White House press pool, we get reports sent directly to us on what the President and his team are up to. We figure we might as well share a sampling of what we're receiving, so you can get a better idea of what's going on over there.

So, without further ado, here is the latest update from India, the land of Mahatma Gandhi. (Note that "POTUS" stands for President of the United States, and "FLOTUS" stands for First Lady of the United States).
At 9:45am [8:15 PM Sunday, November 7th — Pacific Time], POTUS limo stops at the end of a long red clay path, leading to the expansive reddish stone presidential palace, which has the appearance of a Mughal-era U.S. Capitol with a cupola and two wings.

Cannons sound as horses begin escorting POTUS limo down the red-clay path. The first couple emerge, and POTUS walks along a red carpet to stand alone on a platform, covered by a pitched red-canvas top with gold trim. The military band stretched in ranks before him plays the national anthemns of the United States and India.

POTUS then walks on a red carpet toward the troops, turning to review them before making his way toward the covered seating area where various Indian and foreign dignitaries await handshakes. POTUS walks along with President Patil before him, and FLOTUS, PM Singh, and his wife, Gursharan Kaur next.

The group approaches podium before the press, receives a question from an Indian journalist on how he views his trip. Get from transcript, but in short, POTUS thanks India for hospitality, says the U.S.-India relationship should help define the 21st century as large democracies, and calls India a "world power."

FLOTUS is elegant in a black sweater and a below-the-knee skirt of light blue and teal. POTUS shakes hands first with President Patil, then PM Singh for the cameras.

We're rolling to Raj Ghat, Gandhi's official tomb and the site of his cremation. (Gandhi's ashes were scattered in the Ganges, among other places.) Pool takes off shoes, as is custom to visit the site. POTUS and FLOTUS will be shoeless too...
While most of us are asleep tonight, the President will be meeting with Prime Minister Singh at Hyderabad House, making an appearance at a business leaders' luncheon, and then participating in a joint press conference. He will later meet with President Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan, where a state dinner will also be held.

The Times of India is providing some decent color commentary on the President's visit; they have a special page set up which offers the latest articles published by their reporters. The BBC's South Asia department is also worth bookmarking; they're providing continuous updates as well.

This is one of the great things about the Internet: it allows us to expand our horizons and access perspectives halfway around the world with just a few mouse clicks. Feel free to suggest any other non-U.S. based media outlets you think we should link to in future installments about the President's Asia trip.


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