Enter South Asians for Hillary

Earlier today my friend Reshma emailed me about a fundraiser by South Asians for Hillary that will be held this Thursday night in NYC:

We invite you to celebrate Senator Hillary Clinton’s staunch support for the South Asian American community and our community’s lasting support for her.

Please join us on Thursday June 28, 2007 at a cocktail reception for South Asians for Hillary.

The reception will take place at Sortie, 329 W. 51st (btw 8th and 9th) , from 7:00-9:00pm.

The suggested donation is $20, and there will be a cash bar. Please RSVP at southasians4hillary [at] gmail dot com .

We hope to see you there and that you will bring many friends as we stand together in support of a historic Hillary Clinton presidency.

Also on an important note, we are hosting a bone marrow drive for Vinay Chakravarthy at the South Asians for Hillary event. So again please invite your friends to attend this event, and if they are unable to make it, encourage them to to go to www.helpvinay.org and register.


p>As some of you longtime readers might remember, Reshma was in charge of South Asians for Kerry in 2004. As a side note, I am very disappointed that the above event will not feature free henna tattoos (i.e., “Henna for Hillary”) as I wisely recommended in a previous post.


p>I’d like to point out that, as far as I know, this is only the second “South Asians for…” established for the 2008 election cycle (South Asians For Obama being the first). As I requested in my previous post, please let me know if you hear of such groups for any other candidates. So why is it that even though we have a slew of candidates already running for President, South Asians in large numbers only appear to be backing two candidates thus far? Well, South Asian voters are no different than any other voters in this regard. A new poll by CBS/NYT/MTV that targeted young voters between the ages of 17-29 (part of SM’s demographic as well) shows the following:


Barack Obama 18%
Hillary Clinton 17%
Rudy Giuliani 4%
Mitt Romney 2%
Fred Thompson 2%
Other 4%
No, none of them 45% [link]

According to this poll there are only two candidates in the race right now that young people are really interested in. The caveat here is that pollsters usually point out that young people never seem to show up on election day, regardless of what pre-election polls might say. In any case, I’ve heard a lot from the SAFO folks, let us know your impressions of the Hillary event if you go.

24 thoughts on “Enter South Asians for Hillary

  1. We invite you to celebrate Senator Hillary Clinton’s staunch support for the South Asian American community and our community’s lasting support for her.

    Here she is expressing her “staunch support” for the Indian community…

  2. Vikram dude, your comments are so freaking predictable.

    What’s also so freaking predictable is that if it was an offending candidate with an “R” next to their name as listed here along with Hillary, they wouldn’t be given the free pass that she is here. A couple of names there have already been discussed on this blog.

  3. Vikram, Hillary wasn’t lying. There is also other evidence of his presence here.

    I hear Attenborough is including those details in the sequel. Rosie O’Donnell gets my vote to play Hillary in the film.

  4. There is also Indian Americans for Hillary. They had a large event Sunday ($1,000 plus per ticket). It did a poor job of getting people enthusiastic about Hillary. In fact it was plain boring. But reports say 2 million was raised.

  5. since 45% wouldn’t back any of these candidates, perhaps somebody should start ‘south asians for nobody,’ or ‘south asians for _________’ and fill in the blank. it’s actually interesting that 45% have no opinion either way, but i assume that’s because we’re more than a year away…

    is bill richardson out of the race already? i was expecting to hear a bit more from him…

  6. I have to shout out for my boy Ron Paul. Actually, in a perfect world, we’d get to choose between Obama and Ron Paul. I am sure neither of them will make the primaries, but a guy can hope.

    I am not too comfortable with Hillary’s economic stance — for one, it is unclear how friendly she would be to outsourcing businesses to India (even the DLC can be awfully protective in its trade policies). Secondly, she is a waffle on the whole Social security reform issue — frankly, I don’t see a Democrat fixing it. Finally, she is not much of a social liberal either — she is quite ok with the Defense of Marriage Act, and is unlikely to push for a revoking of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in the millitary.

    In short, Hillary is the sort of socially conservative, big government Democrat that the US doesn’t need as the country moves to a recessionary cycle.

  7. In short, Hillary is the sort of socially conservative, big government Democrat that the US doesn’t need as the country moves to a recessionary cycle.

    Not to mention she is rather hawkish.

    Hillary? Yawn….

  8. DDiA, Ron Paul seems interesting, but I’ve heard murmurs of his past racism. Do you know more about that?

    ak, I think Bill Richardson is considered to have the best shot among the second-tier candidates (behind Clinton/Obama/Edwards). He has a hilarious campaign ad.

    Also, since we are all dreaming, there’s nothing I’d like more than a Gore-Obama ticket. The Bloomberg article in the NYT also has a twist that could add more interest to the race.

  9. Here is the complete quote from Hillary : “I want to end with her (Farmer’s) favorite quote, because I love this quote, from Mahatma Gandhi —- who ran a gas station down in St. Louis for a couple of years. Mr. Gandhi —- (pointing to someone in the audience) Do you still go down to the gas station? A lot of wisdom comes out of that gas station. Mahatma Gandhi, one of the great leaders of the 20th century, said ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win. So let me bring you someone who will fight and win —- Nancy Farmer.

    Since then she has apologized : Since then she has made a public apology which has been aired on television several times and an Associated Press story has been carried in several newspapers in the U.S. and India. On what appeared on CNN, she said: “It was a lame attempt at a joke. It was a dumb thing to say and I am sincerely sorry. I have only the highest regard for Mahatma Gandhi, and have been a longtime admirer of his life and work. I consider him one of the great leaders of the 20th century.

    Alright, so in regards to Hillary Clinton’s foreign and economic policy goals vis-a-vis India : Mahatma Gandhi, gas station, Gandhi, gas station, Saint Louis, gas station, Mahatma Gandhi. Now, we can move on.

  10. Yesterday I was at lunch with several coworkers, and our discussion turned heated when we ventured into politics, and specifically into feelings about Hillary. Of course, all this is anecdotal, and so can easily be discounted. But I still think it’s demonstrative of how people feel, outside the brown circles.

    Consensus at the table was that Hillary would be a very divisive candidate, at least initially, were she to secure the party nomination. And if she was to become President, the deep rifts that have formed between Republicans and Democrats will only get deeper.

    Various people at the table, including some liberals, described Hillary as “a bitch” and as “untrustworthy.” When I pressed them on what specifically made her untrustworthy in their opinion, two people described it as “a gut feeling” or “a feeling you get when you look at her, and her expressions.”

    I pointed out that the Bush campaigns in 2000 and 2004 ran largely on themes of trust and values, and that for many years a great many people claimed that Bush was “trustworthy,” and would be the sort of leader a person could “trust,” and that the reality of the administration’s policies was not borne out by the impressions given by the campaign. My specific retort was that imagery and wording play strongly on emotions, and that an image can be manipulated, so it’s best not to trust that.

    I think my point was lost on several people at the table. It just confirms my belief that understanding policy decisions, a candidate’s voting record (if applicable), and the nuances in their rhetoric are not strong on the American voter’s priority list.

    I find it deplorable that a candidate must be painted with such a broad brush, and that politics (like almost everything else in America lately) has become more about entertainment than about understanding.

    I do think Hillary would make a fine President. I also think Obama would, too, and he’d also be less divisive (can you believe it!? Well, you can’t say progress isn’t being made in some fashion, right?).

    I am mostly unimpressed with the Republican candidates so far. Fred Thomspson has a generally “likeable” persona, and I like his character on “Law and Order.” But that doesn’t mean I think he’s going to make a great President. The jury’s out on him, mainly due to a lack of information. Giuliani is a mess; I don’t think his campaign is going to weather the storm well enough to garner the party nomination. And Mitt Romney…I dunno. I’m impressed with his work on the Salt Lake City Olympic committee, but I don’t really get his pro-life / abortion rights waffling. Similarly, he’s really mealy-mouthed when it comes to same-sex equality issues. I suspect that his personal ideals are frequently at odds with his party platform, and that he will toe the line.

  11. Senators have to take stands — and vote — on so many issues that it can be difficult for them to make a serious run for Presidency. Hillary has taken stands various stands as a Senator. She is now doing her best to walk the tightrope between her job as a senator and her aspirations as a candidate. From the New Yorker (this is a review of a couple of biographies of Hillary) :

    I covered Mrs. Clinton sporadically from the day she began her first campaign for the Senate, on Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s farm, through her early years in office. In that period, I saw her in dozens of settings working the state fairgrounds in Syracuse, nodding attentively during her listening tour, chatting with aides in Washington, signing books in Westchester County, taking a call from her husband on her cell phone. I also interviewed her a few times. When the subject was policy, she was always smart and engaged; when the topic was personal, it was like talking to someone through several layers of Plexiglas. Of course, I was trying to get at the “real Hillary”. (In the interest of full disclosure, I never even came close.)

    History is full of politicians who have sacrificed other people to their ambitions. A willingness to do so might even be called a precondition of power. Clinton is unusual in that she seems, above all, to have sacrificed herself. Whether you follow her around for months or just read a book about her, you can’t help admiring her extraordinary discipline. When her husband was accused of creating a slush fund to manage his extramarital affairs, she organized a legal team to protect him – that’s the kind of person she is. (Bernstein reports that, in 1990, the team interviewed five women, in one case with Hillary in the room, to obtain statements from them that they had never had sex with Bill.) In January, 2000, I accompanied Clinton on a campaign swing through western New York. The first morning began with what was expected to be a friendly radio interview. Instead, the host asked Clinton whether she had ever slept with Vince Foster. No matter what else she did or said that day, it was clear that this story was going to dominate the news cycle. Her press secretary looked as if he wanted to vomit. But Clinton managed to smile and shake hands through the next ten hours of campaign events, as if the whole incident had never happened.

    I think Hillary has done a fine job in helping maintain a focus on the foremost issues. (As a matter of comparison : Mike Huckabee is currently on the job of explaining why he believes in Creationism and not evolution).

  12. Clinton is unusual in that she seems, above all, to have sacrificed herself.

    Not in all cases… I doubt her support for Bill would extend to the point where it would really hurt her politically :

    Hillary Rodham Clinton, distancing herself from a politically controversial action by her husband, said yesterday that she opposes the release from prison or other forms of clemency for 16 members of a Puerto Rican terrorist group that was involved in more than 100 bombings in this country at least 15 years ago. When President Clinton announced a clemency offer on Aug. 11, it had strong support from human rights leaders and was widely seen as boosting Hillary Clinton’s standing among New York’s Hispanic voters in her expected campaign for the Senate next year. But a backlash quickly developed against the offer from senior law enforcement officials and leading New York politicians. Washington Post, 9/5/1999
  13. Mitt Romney — I don’t like his politics but I think that he’s best suited to economically lead America. This country may need a dollar and sense President right now more than anything else. I don’t think he cares enough about anything else to be divisive, clannish, crooked or seperatist. Unlike his dad, he certainly has never been ‘brainwashed’, by neocons or by dems. If he runs with a sensible VP with a large heart — may not be so bad. Of course I will join any group that will chant for Gore to run. That would really make America a country worth living in and defending when I travel abroad.

  14. Michael Bloomberg. He is the moderate, sensible, least political of the choices. I think he would have a better grasp on fixing the economy, taking on tough issues such as healthcare, SS, and immigration. I generaly like Hillary and Obama, but they appear to be just to political and are both trying to shape themselves and their personalities into what their campaigns think would attract the best demographics. I was sincerly saddened by Obama south asian blunder.

    Bloomberg’08 – when was the last time we had a politician who had no need to pander to special interest or beholden to campaign donors

  15. The Ron Paul racism rumors are bogus. the words were written by an aide 20 years ago who he fired immediately.

    I am voting for Ron Paul. He will end the war in Iraq and STOP the coming war with Iran. And he will return the US to the treasure that made it great, namely our Constitution.

  16. Salil, that was an interesting comment. In part, because the tendency you describe as irking you is also the tendency which unites democrats. A democrat or liberal is at heart a feudal animal. He or she wants a leader who can tell him what to do, and to control his life and the lives of others. This in turn requires the leader to have an “emotional” resonance, and to have your gut tell you he is trustworthy.

    The same feudal tendency also exists in socially conservative christians.

    The same biographies which Shankar glowingly quotes also mention that Hillary is exceedingly self-righteous. This might make democrats drool, but it should give sensible people pause — the worst excesses are created by self-righteous “messiahs”. All these years of George Bush and still people don’t learn their lesson.

  17. How did she show support for the Asian American community when she went along with a war and showed no remorse or ability to recognize mistakes until she was in campaign mode? The same war where Asian and Indian Americans have been sent for no real reason. The same war that takes away resources that can be used to better all Americans including South Asian Americans. I do not see her support for our community mainly in her ability to play for pay when it comes to Indian interests or her fondness for some Indian food.

    She is not a leader. SHe just does whatever is politically convenient.

    I too would rather vote for Ron Paul or Gore or Clark than this woman. Unfortunately, none of them are realistic choices at this point for different reasons.

  18. the roundtable on yesterday’s meet the press was about the obama vs hillary issue. apparently, one poll shows that she is the only candidate that a majority of voters would categorically not vote for (52%). on the other hand, it is early days and she seems to have a small amount of successes (e.g. trumped BO at a debate at howard university on thursday). i personally don’t like her, but i don’t doubt that she would be more than competent as a president. still, i find it interesting that there is such a knee-jerk reaction against her, often without a clear indication of the reason(s), as salil pointed out.