Monday, March 19, 2007

Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Indo-American factor

Note: A different version of this story first appeared in The Economic Times and is also posted on Clinton's campaign blog

Senator Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign received a shot in the arm this weekend with a dinner hosted by her husband President Bill Clinton where about a million dollars were raked in. The dinner at a Manhattan hotel had 1000 of New York state's rich and famous people and the biggest names in politics as well attending. While the event was the first joint campaign appearance of both the Clintons in the New York area since Hillary Clinton announced her presidential campaign in January, it also highlights the significant Indian-American factor in her Presidential bid.

From Indian Americans entrepreneurs to Bollywood stars - everyone is ready to pitch in for Hillary Clinton. She has already roped in New York-based hotelier Sant Chatwal as co-chair of her recently formed presidential exploratory committee to run for the 2008 White House race. Mr Chatwal was among the organisers of the Manhattan fund-raiser.

Some of the other well-known supporters of the Clintons include Atlanta based Hotelier and banker Mike Patel and Vin Gupta, the founder and CEO of Omaha based InfoUSA – both of whom are likely to become big fund raisers for Senator Clinton's campaign. Besides, the Indian diamond merchants in Manhattan are also known to be largely Democratic Party supporters and are likely to support Hillary. President Bill Clinton also has on his own team former aides from his White House days such as Satish Narayanan – who works for the Clinton Foundation now.

Mr Chatwal is creating an organisation called Indian Americans for Hillary 2008. "We are working on two milestone events this year for fund raising which will be attended by Senator Clinton. In June-July 2007, we plan a high end private Indian American event which will have Democratic supporters from across America attending it. While this is definitely a first for an US Presidential campaign, we also plan a Bollywood gala with top stars from Mumbai in August 2007 to raise funds for the campaign," he said. And with a view to add muscle to the campaign, he will also be deploying his newly acquired Falcon private jet for Senator Clinton's use. "Senator Clinton is the only candidate to have continuously contributed to upholding the improvement of US-India relations and championing for the Indian-American community within the US," he feels. So the 2008 US Presidential race looks all set to have a more prominent role for Indians in the US.

1 comment:

ishani said...

Let's not forget Neera Tanden - her high profile campaign manager!