Sarah Palin’s planned trip to India this month raises speculation that it might be in preparation for her 2012 Presidential campaign (i.e., as a way to enhance her foreign policy credibility in the world’s most populous democracy).
Other observers think it might be a way to woo more Indian-American voters into the Republican Party -- building on the success of two Indian-American GOP governors in Louisiana (Bobby Jindal) and South Carolina (Nikki Haley). Indians are among the most affluent and fastest-growing ethnic groups in the U.S., with at least 2.5-million people.
“Basically, the growing clout of Indian-Americans in relation to their numbers here is a subject of growing interest in India,” Chidanand Rajghatta, the Washington correspondent for The Times of India, told Politico.
“Most Indians who come here or are in the U.S., first generation or second generation, they are the top of the top, the elites. Primarily they are there from this same sort of elite layer - they're just a common pool. Indians in India who follow a lot of these, it's their contemporaries, their peers. So it's the same demographic profile, and they're very interested.”
Indians have followed the American political scene closely – and that fascination accelerated with the electoral successes of Jindal and Haley (whom Palin endorsed), as well as by President Barack Obama’s visit last November.
Palin will visit on March 19 is scheduled to deliver a speech in New Delhi entitled Vision for America.