We Don’t Comment on Individual Views: Cong on Obama’s Rahul Remark

Obama has reportedly also mentioned Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh in his widely anticipated memoir.

3 min read
Rahul Gandhi and Barack Obama

Former United States President Barack Obama says Congress leader 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” in his newly published political memoir A Promised Land.

Several media platforms as well as politicians picked up on Obama’s comment on Rahul Gandhi. In support of Mr Gandhi, Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala put out a tweet saying one doesn’t acknowledge personal views written in a book.

Randeep Singh Surjewala, Congress Chief Spokesperson
Randeep Singh Surjewala, Congress Chief Spokesperson
(Photo Courtesy: Screenshot/rssurjewala/Twitter)

The New York Times reviewed Obama’s memoir in which the former US president has drawn sketches of several leaders of the US and other nations, including that of Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The UPA government was in power during Barack Obama’s tenure from 2009-2017, and Rahul Gandhi was the Vice President of the Congress party. Gandhi met Obama in 2017. He had also tweeted about it.


“And then there are his biographical sketches, masterful in their brevity and insight and humour,” The New York Times review reads.

On Manmohan Singh: A Sense of ‘Impassive Integrity’

In the memoir which is set to be released next week, Obama writes approvingly of former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is responsible for various important economic reforms in India.

“Secretary of Defense Bob Gates and the Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh both come across as having a kind of impassive integrity,” the review quotes the memoir as reading.

Singh was Obama’s first state guest at the White House. Obama has also mentioned Sonia Gandhi in his widely anticipated memoir.

The NYT review adds: “We are told of 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 review doesn’t mention whether Obama has written about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met several times. The former had visited India twice and was also invited to the Republic Day celebrations as a chief guest in 2015.

Vladimir a ‘Street Smart Boss’

Reportedly, Obama also mentions Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to NYT, Putin reminds Obama of the tough, street-smart ward bosses who used to run the Chicago machine.

“Physically, he was unremarkable,” the review quotes directly from the memoir.

On Joe Biden: ‘Honest, Loyal Man’

Obama has reportedly also talked about US President-elect Joe Biden, his former vice president.

“Biden is a decent, honest, loyal man who Obama senses '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'," adds the review.

The Promised Land is the first half of a two-part memoir written by the 59-year-old former US President.

Congress Party Leaders and Shiv Sena Rebuke Obama’s Opinion of Gandhi

The All India Congress Committee’s National Spokesperson, Dr Udit Raj took to twitter to react to Obama’s comment on Rahul Gandhi.

Dr Udit Raj, National Spokesperson of AICC
Dr Udit Raj, National Spokesperson of AICC
(Photo Courtesy: Screenshot/@Dr_Uditraj/Twitter)
“A foreign politician can’t give such opinions on Indian political leaders; subsequent domestic political discourse on it is distasteful. We won’t say ‘Trump is mad’. How much does Obama know about this nation?”
Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena party.

Congress General Secretary Tariq Anwar said that Mr Gandhi has evolved over the years.

“Obama and Rahul Gandhi must’ve met briefly, probably 8-10-years back when he came here as US President. To assess someone in a few meetings is tough. Rahul Gandhi’s personality has changed since then, he’s gained a lot of experience.”
Tariq Anwar, Congress General Secretary

Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore unfollowed Mr Obama on twitter and asked others to do the same.

Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore
Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore
(Photo Courtesy: Screenshot/Manickam Tagore MP/Twitter)

(With inputs from The New York Times)

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