Washington DC: The Congress Vice president, Rahul Gandhi left attendees impressed at the meeting in Washington DC. Opposite to what media portrays him, they found him either “very impressive” or “much more substantive than imagined” or as someone who “spoke very cohesively”.
Rahul Gandhi met a range of standard Washington DC policy experts, political strategists, and a few lawmakers — all hard-nosed individuals who are not easy to impress — at a string of closed-door meetings on Monday.
“I have known him and seen him for a while and he seemed much in charge of himself and his facts,” said one of those who heard Gandhi on Monday, on condition of anonymity because the meeting was supposed to be private. “He spoke very cohesively and … (made) pretty good points in a forceful manner,” he added.
“Most of us were pleasantly surprised,” the person added, noting he did not want to sound or appear patronizing. He was genuinely impressed and wanted to convey his feelings accurately, as per a report by HT.
While a former official said “he was better than” he had heard he was and “much more substantive than I (had) imagined”.
Gandhi did not directly said about his mischaracterisation at any of his meetings, but may have alluded to it, according to one of those present, while talking generally about the “dangers of social media”.
This meeting was attended by Ashley Tellis, who is considered the dean of America’s South Asia experts, Anish Goel, former South Asia head in the Obama-led White House and who now heads the South Asia desk of US senate’s powerful armed services committee, and Republican strategist Puneet Ahluwalia.
“I found him very substantive on policy,” said one of those who attended. “That was surprising because most politicians like to talk only about manoeuvres, political alliances and coalitions.” Gandhi spoke about economic development, India-China relations, “recent Chinese activities in the region” and his “vision for how to deal with it”.
Gandhi will be in New York on Wednesday for the finale of his tour: a meeting with Indian Americans at a hotel in Times Square. An estimated 3,000 people are expected to attend.