Barack Obama's gesture touches former aide
By Ashok Easwaran
Chicago, Jan 29 (IANS) Even as he was savoring the adulation
of millions, President Barack Obama found time to meet with
an Indian American aide who had worked with him in his US
Chicago-based Raja Krishnamoorthi, who, like Obama, is an
alumni of Harvard Law School, was surprised and touched when
he got an invitation, meant for a selected few "friends
and family" to attend the presidential inauguration on
Krishnamoorthi, who is the deputy treasurer in the Illinois
State Treasurer's office, said the visit, as well as the brief
meeting with the president left lasting memories. "We
had tickets to all the events. We were put on shuttle buses
and traveled with a police escort to the swearing in,"
Krishnamoorthi told IANS here.
After the swearing-in, Krishnamoorthi was among a select group
of people who got a personal audience with the newly sworn
"I was with him for a few minutes. He shook hands and
hugged me and asked about my family. He was in extremely high
spirits," Krishnamoorthi said.
This was Krishnamoorthi's first meeting with Obama after the
historic Nov 4 elections. It was also a reunion of sorts.
Krishnamoorthi was the policy director in Obama's campaign
for the US Senate. Obama had also visited his parents home,
"where he ate the Indian food with gusto," Krishnamoorthi
"The pageantry and the historic nature of the presidential
inauguration were overwhelming. Everyone seemed to be unified
behind our new president. It made me feel extremely proud
to be an American," said New Delhi-born Krishnamoorthi,
who immigrated to the US as a child.
Krishnamoorthi has been a friend of Obama for the last ten
years. "President Obama will not be different as a human
being from what he was as an Illinois senator. He has always
had the best interest of the common people and I can personally
vouch for the fact that he will work tirelessly to that end,"
Krishnamoorthi described Obama as "very cool and calm.
He engages with the substance of any issue at hand. He carefully
thinks about issues and deliberates in an open and inclusive
way. He wants his advisers to give as much input as possible,"
he said, adding that Obama had a " rare instinct"
This was the first presidential inauguration that Krishnamoorthi
attended and he said he would cherish the president's special
gesture to him, as much as the historic nature of the inauguration.
"The meeting with President Obama is something I can
never forget," he said.
(Ashok Easwaran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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