Fri Apr 3, 2009 by Anil Kalhan
SAJAforum: “Did you have something to do with that?”
Times Now correspondent Simrat Ghuman was “walking on air” after President Obama called on her to ask a question during his news conference at the G-20 summit in London. (Is it just me, or does that number seem to change every year, and entirely without warning?) Apparently, Ghuman was so high in the clouds that she couldn’t help but interrupt Obama’s answer:
QUESTION: Hi, Mr. President.
OBAMA: How are you?
QUESTION: Thank you for choosing me. I’m very well. I’m (inaudible) from the Times of India.
QUESTION: You met with our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. What did you — what are you — what is America doing to help India battle terrorism emanating from Pakistan?
OBAMA: Well, first of all, your prime minister is a wonderful man.
QUESTION: Thank you. I agree.
OBAMA: You know, did you have something to do with that?
You seem to kind of take credit for it a little bit there.
QUESTION: We’re really proud of him, so…
OBAMA: Of course. You should be proud of him. I’m teasing you. I think he’s a very wise and decent man and has done a wonderful job in guiding India, even prior to being prime minister, along a path of extraordinary economic growth that is a marvel, I think, for all the world…. [link]
Must-see video of the entire exchange (including Obama’s full response) is above, and the rest of Obama’s answer appears after the jump. No word on whether Prime Minister Singh is now “walking on air” as well. However, the next time someone tells me that Sree Sreenivasan and Arun Venugopal are “wonderful men,” I’ll be tempted to interrupt and say “thank you.”
Unfortunately, Ghuman’s pride in her Prime Minister stole some of the media oxygen from the actual response to her own question. However, as the Associated Press notes, in his response Obama said that “in a nuclear age, at a time when perhaps the greatest enemy of both India and Pakistan should be poverty, … it may make sense to create a more effective dialogue between India and Pakistan.”