The real news from the India summit
Most will point to President Obama’s announcement that he will visit India in early November as the biggest news to come out of the ultra-swanky reception he attended at the State Department Thursday evening to celebrate the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue. But the real news was buried deeper in Obama’s remarks. Did you know that during ...
Most will point to President Obama's announcement that he will visit India in early November as the biggest news to come out of the ultra-swanky reception he attended at the State Department Thursday evening to celebrate the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue.
Most will point to President Obama’s announcement that he will visit India in early November as the biggest news to come out of the ultra-swanky reception he attended at the State Department Thursday evening to celebrate the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue.
But the real news was buried deeper in Obama’s remarks. Did you know that during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s July trip to India, a local restaurant named a dish after her called the "Hillary Platter"?
"What does it have, chapati?" Obama joked, to the delight of the assembled elites of the U.S.-India policy community, who convened in the ornate Benjamin Franklin room to celebrate what was clearly a warm and friendly set of interactions between the two sides, led by Clinton and Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna over the last two days.
"It’s got all kinds of things," Clinton responded, getting a good laugh from the crowd, which included a host of officials and luminaries, including Policy Planning chief Anne-Marie Slaughter, her deputy Derek Chollet, Under Secretary Bill Burns, Assistant Secretary Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell, NSC South Asia Director Anish Goel, Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar, U.S. Ambassador Timothy Roemer, Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, India expert Ashley Tellis, and many others.
Obama promised to try the dish when he gets to India, in response to a yelled-out question from an Indian member of the audience, and declared, "I intend to create an ‘Obama Platter.’"
Man, that guy is competitive!
He also gave a shout-out to 2009 National Spelling Bee champion Kavya Shivashankar, who is an Indian-American.
In her remarks, Clinton gave credit to employees of the State Department and other agencies, who did the heavy lifting to make the Strategic Dialogue happen.
"Mr. President, we have worked hard today, and we’ve actually been working hard ever since the strategic dialogue was agreed to between you and Prime Minister Singh. Many of the people you see before you are the people who are actually doing the work that make minister Krishna and I look like we’re fulfilling our responsibilities," she said.
The reception was elegant, with a menu that included savory parmesan flan, carrot and apricot fritters with vanilla-apricot chutney, Argentinean pulled chicken, petite lamb burgers, samosas, and sesame-encrusted salmon. Your humble Cable guy felt it was his duty in reporting on the event to sample each dish, washing them down with glasses of champagne flavored with hibiscus flowers.
By the way, Clinton isn’t the only Washingtonian to have an Indian dish named after them. Next time you are at your local Indian restaurant, try ordering the Rogan Josh (seriously).
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
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