Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Rahul Gandhi like student eager to impress but lacks aptitude: Obama in memoir

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Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi find a place in the new memoir by former US President Barack Obama.While he calls Manmohan Singh as “having a kind of impassive integrity,” he describes Rahul Gandhi as one who is “eager to impress” but “lacked either the aptitude or the passion” to master the subject, according to a review of the book published in the New York Times.

“Rahul Gandhi has a nervous, unformed quality about him, as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject,” says the review quoting Obama.

The reviewer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quotes Obama directly from his book “A Promised Land”, that is set for release later this month and touches upon personal and political life including the eight years that he spent at the White House. Adichie says Obama’s biographical sketches are masterful in their brevity and insight and humour.

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“Secretary of Defense Bob Gates and the Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh both come across as having a kind of impassive integrity,” Obama said. Incidentally, Obama and his wife Michelle Obama had for their first official state dinner hosted Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur in November 2009.

The former US president talks about other leaders too. Russian President Putin is described as “Physically, he was unremarkable.” Current President-elect Joe Biden is described as “a decent, honest, loyal man” who “might get prickly if he thought he wasn’t given his due — a quality that might flare up when dealing with a much younger boss.”

Obama, the review says, also writes about “the handsomeness of men like Charlie Crist and Rahm Emanuel, but not the beauty of women, except for one or two instances, as in the case of Sonia Gandhi,” The former President said he had written the memoir for young people.

“More than anyone else, I wrote my book for young people–as an invitation to once again remake the world, and to bring about, through hard work, determination, and a big dose of imagination, an America that finally aligns with all that is best in us,” Obama tweeted.

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