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Indian Americans For Obama & McCain

 The most crucial elections in a generation is upon us. On November 4th, the citizens of the United States of America will elect a new president. The campaign to energize and influence the voters has reached a high point with hundreds of millions of dollars being spent by both the candidates and their supporters in an unprecedented way. Both the candidates representing the two major political parties, Democratic party nominee Barack Obama and Republican party nominee John McCain are doing everything possible to prove that each of them is best suited to lead the country at this critical stage when the US is facing enormous challenges both at the domestic and international fronts.

There are almost 3 million Indian- Americans in the United States who love America dearly. For those of us coming from India and have made the United States their adapted motherland, the choices are even harder to make when it comes to choosing the right candidate who would lead us out of the mess, the Bush administration has led us into in the past eight years.

Many of us have our own ideas of both candidates and the two major political parties and their ideologies. Some of us have already made up our minds as to whom we should vote for in the General Elections.

Going by the past experiences, South Asians are more inclined towards the Democratic party as they believe that the Democratic party represents our values and our interests more than the Republican party. According to a nonpartisan, multilingual exit poll of over 4,600 Asian American voters, released by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), during the 2006 elections, Asian American voters in eight states continued a decade-long shift to support Democratic candidates, with 79% of those polled favoring Democrats in the congressional and state elections.

Both the parties are wooing the fast growing and influential Indian American community. President George Bush has gone out of the way to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two great democracies of the world. The Republican Party Platform has officially "welcomed America’s new relationship with India, including the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Accord. Our common security concerns and shared commitment to political freedom and representative government can be the foundation for an enduring partnership.

On the other hand, the Democratic party platform is "committed to US engagement in Asia. With India, we will build on the close partnership developed over the past decade. As two of the world’s great, multi-ethnic democracies, the US and India are natural strategic allies and we must work together to advance our common interests and to combat the common threats of the 21st century."

The crisis on Wall Street will leave the next president facing tough choices about how best to regulate the financial system and although neither Senator Barack Obama nor Senator John McCain has yet offered a detailed plan, their records and the principles they have set out so far suggest they could come at the issue in very different ways. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee struck a populist tone. Speaking in Florida he said that the economy’s underlying fundamentals remained strong but were being threatened "because of the greed by some based in Wall Street and we have got to fix it."

Obama has set out his general approach to financial regulation calling for regulating investment banks, mortgage brokers and hedge funds much as commercial banks are. And he would streamline the overlapping regulatory agencies and create a commission to monitor threats to the financial system and report to the White House and Congress.
The 2008 election throws up a complex challenge to the Indian
American voters.

According to a new study conducted by the Campaign for America’s Future among Indian American voters in Virginia this summer has found the participants deeply troubled by the US’ direction after eight years of President George W. Bush, placing great hope in the Democratic candidate. The study also found that Indian American voters see themselves more closely aligned with Democrats on a range of economic, cultural and international issues, very far from the Republicans and are expected to play a critical role in the this November.

And this writer goes with shared views of the many Indian Americans, who clearly see Barack Obama as the candidate who shares their values, has the right priorities for turning around our troubled economy and as the best possible leader to re-establish our standing in the world.

BY AJAY GHOSH

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