President Obama is hosting Indian Prime Minister Singh and his wife at the first White House State Dinner of his Presidency tonight.
It is appropriate that our government is hosting the leader of the largest democracy in the world, a country that is part of the War on Terror, and has suffered from terrorist attacks on a regular basis, including last year’s tragic events in Mumbai.
Despite the many problems India has had since its independence in 1947, it is certainly a model of what we would love to see occurring elsewhere in the world: a move away from dictatorship and demagoguery so common in the so called Third World nations.
India has come a long way, and is now seen as one of the growth nations which will have a great impact on the future of the 21st century.
So promoting closer ties is very important, a complete reversal from what happened during the war of India and Bangladesh against Pakistan in 1971, when the Nixon Administration regrettably backed Pakistan, a move detrimental to close Indian-US relations for a generation.
Now the future of Indian-US diplomacy looks assured, thanks to the efforts of President Obama!
Now that the off year elections are over, the attention turns to the midterm elections, taking place at the beginning of November 2010.
The question that arises is whether or not it is possible for the Republicans to gain the magic number of 41 seats, which would give them control of the House of Representatives. This would be a reprise of 1994, when the GOP gained control of both houses of Congress after two years of Bill Clinton.
Experts say this is highly unlikely, although it is assumed that the Republicans will gain seats, a normal development in a midterm election for the party not in the White House.
Polls indicate that voters still prefer a Democratic Congress by a six point margin, but of course this is subject to change based on the success or lack of it of the health care legislation, the economic recovery if there is one, and the trials and tribulations of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are always unknown factors that can influence an election, and of course, the individual candidates across the country can have a major impact on the final results.
What is certainly clear is that the Republicans cannot win the Senate, and the possibility exists that the Democrats could actually gain seats, with the retirement of several GOP senators.
One thing is certain: The next year politically will NOT be dull!