Reporters on the Job

In Clinton's Footsteps: In a poll of global attitudes last year, the US got its most glowing ratings from Indians. But it will be difficult for President Bush to garner as much bonhomie this week as President Clinton did during his trip to India in 2000.

"When Clinton visited India as a president, the Indian newspapers swooned, and followed his every movement, including the visit to the Taj Mahal. They even recorded most of the items he ate at his favorite restaurant, Bokhara, which have since been memorialized as the presidential platter," says staff writer Scott Baldauf, adding that "The platter is a list of almost everything on the menu."

And Bush's trip comes just a week after Mr. Clinton made a well-publicized return visit to attend the wedding of Vikram Chatwal, a wealthy Indian-American son of a wealthy Indian-American hotelier, Sant Chatwal.

Scott says that the White House aides have been working to generate enthusiasm for Mr. Bush, including leaking that Bush likes Indian food and that he has always wanted to travel to India.

But alas, Bush's visit, only three days, doesn't allow for much sightseeing. "The first day of his visit coincides with the exams that every high school student takes in order to get into college. It's considered a life-and-death test by many. But Bush's visit is likely to snarl traffic for these students, adding a bit of additional stress," says Scott.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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