Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the very few global leaders whose images appeared in the video that introduced US President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday morning. The 10-minute long retrospective video – which also features UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and French President Francois Hollande – contains highlights from Obama’s two consecutive terms as president.
Obama and Modi have met seven times+ since the latter became Prime Minister in 2014. Modi told The Wall Street Journal in May that he has a “special friendship, a special wavelength” with the US President, and White House press secretary Eric Schultz has said the Obama “deeply values” his relationship with the Indian PM.
In the video, PM Modi is seen listening carefully as Obama makes a point. The voice-over for the photo of the two leaders hails the landmark agreement on climate change that was signed in Paris in November last year. The accord “represents the best chance we have to save the one planet we’ve got”, Obama himself can soon be heard saying.
The video traces the vicissitudes of Obama’s journey in the White House. It takes the viewer back to the initial months during which he dealt with the most serious economic crisis in American history since the Great Depression. It also more recent accomplishments, such as last year’s US-Iran nuclear deal, and Obama’s historic visit to Cuba in March this year. It also allows the viewer to see the man who sits in the Oval Office through the eyes of those closest to him.
One of the commentators in the video claims that Obama was willing to risk his political future to stand by his principles: “He weighed the politics like any politician would. But he was always willing to lose to do the right thing.”
Another commentator quotes his wife, Michelle Obama: “The First Lady said it best. Being President has not changed who he is. It has revealed who he is: his core values, his principles, his temperament.”