Nikki Haley Pledges Support for Trump Despite Past Criticisms, Urges Outreach to Her Supporters

Nikki Haley, who became a prominent rival and outspoken critic of Donald Trump during the Republican primary elections, has announced her intention to vote for the former US president in November. This revelation came during her address at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington on Wednesday, marking her first public appearance since exiting the race in March. When questioned about who would better handle national security issues between Joe Biden and Trump, Haley provided her perspective.

The former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor outlined her criteria for selecting a president, which include supporting allies, holding adversaries accountable, endorsing capitalism and freedom, and reducing national debt. She acknowledged Trump’s imperfections in these areas, stating, “Trump has not been perfect on these policies. I have made that clear many, many times. But Biden has been a catastrophe. So I will be voting for Trump.”

Despite this endorsement, the 52-year-old Haley cautioned Trump not to take her supporters for granted. “Having said that, I stand by what I said in my suspension speech. Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me and not assume that they’re just going to be with him. And I genuinely hope he does that.”

Haley’s decision places her alongside other notable Republicans like Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, former Attorney General William Barr, and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who, despite their previous criticisms, now support Trump as the party nominee. Throughout the contentious primary campaign, Haley had criticized Trump for lacking political viability, showing moral weakness, and being “thin-skinned and easily distracted.” She had advocated for moving beyond his “chaos.” Trump responded by dismissing reports that he might consider her as his running mate.

Haley’s reversal has sparked immediate backlash. Sarah Longwell, a political strategist and publisher of the conservative Bulwark website, tweeted, “So when Nikki Haley said, ‘It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him.’ She really meant, he can treat me and my voters like garbage and I’ll still fall in line and support him.” Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh added, “This isn’t complicated: Nikki Haley believes Trump is unfit. And she believes he should never be back in the White House. But if she said that publicly, her career as a Republican would be over. So, as expected, she decided to not be truthful. To keep her career as a Republican.”

Although she exited the primaries in early March, Haley has continued to attract up to 20% in the contests, posing a potential challenge for Trump’s campaign. The former president has dismissed the necessity of courting Haley’s supporters, whereas Biden, during an event in Atlanta, stated, “Let me say, there’s always going to be a place for Haley voters in my campaign.”

Trump has also secured endorsements from other former Republican primary opponents, including North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.

At the Hudson Institute event, attended by several foreign ambassadors, Haley was vocally critical of far-right Republicans who advocate for “America first” isolationism, though she refrained from mentioning Trump directly. She commended House Speaker Mike Johnson for advancing aid for Israel and Ukraine through Congress.

“A growing number of Democrats and Republicans have forgotten what makes America safe,” she asserted. “A loud part of each party wants us to abandon our allies, appease our enemies, and focus only on the problems we have at home. They believe if we leave the world alone, the world will leave us alone. They even say ignoring global chaos will somehow make our country more secure. It will not. This worldview has already put America in great danger and the threat is mounting by the day.”

Haley’s critique extended to both parties, emphasizing the dangers of isolationism. She highlighted the increasing number of politicians who favor disengagement from global affairs, arguing that such an approach jeopardizes national security. Her remarks underscored the importance of maintaining international alliances and addressing global threats proactively.

The evolving dynamics within the Republican Party and Haley’s stance reflect the broader tensions and strategic considerations as the 2024 presidential election approaches. Her endorsement of Trump, despite past criticisms, exemplifies the complexities faced by many Republicans navigating the party’s future direction.

As the election nears, Haley’s role and influence within the party, along with her potential impact on voter alignment, will be closely watched. Her recent statements and the reactions they have elicited highlight the ongoing debates over leadership, policy priorities, and the path forward for the GOP.

Tulsi Gabbard Open to Vice President Role with Trump, Signals Departure from Democratic Party

Former Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has expressed her openness to potentially serving as the vice president alongside former President Donald Trump, as indicated during an interview on Fox News. Gabbard stated, “I would be open to that,” in response to a query from host Jesse Watters regarding her willingness to consider a vice presidential position. She emphasized her commitment to serving the nation, stating, “My mission is to serve our country…I wanna be in a position to solve problems, Jesse, and we got a lot of ‘em to solve.”

Former President Trump recently disclosed a roster of potential vice presidential candidates, including Gabbard, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. While Trump affirmed the names on his shortlist, he did not specify the timeline for announcing his running mate, asserting, “all of those people are good. They’re all solid.”

Additionally, Gabbard is scheduled to attend a fundraiser for the 917 Society at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort next week. The event aims to celebrate the Constitution and was detailed in an invitation exclusively shared with The Hill.

Gabbard, a former contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, announced her departure from the Democratic Party in late 2022. In a video statement, she criticized the party, stating it was “under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers who are driven by cowardly wokeness.” Urging like-minded Democrats to join her in leaving the party, she emphasized the need for a government that serves the people rather than powerful elites, inviting those who disagree with the direction of the party to unite with her.

Unpacking the Intersection of Faith and Politics: The Ramaswamy Controversy Sparks Debate on Hindu Representation in American Politics

For centuries, the United States has stood as a beacon of religious freedom, embracing people of diverse faiths and beliefs. This foundational ideal, dating back to the early English settlers seeking refuge from religious persecution, continues to shape the American narrative, exemplified by immigrants like my Hindu grandparents who sought a better life in the late 1980s. However, the journey of Vivek Ramaswamy, a Hindu-American who ventured into the 2024 Republican presidential race, sheds light on the complexities of religious identity in American politics.

Following his withdrawal from the Republican primary race post-Iowa caucuses, Ramaswamy’s bid for the presidency as a Hindu-American son of immigrants holds significance. In a political landscape increasingly influenced by Christian conservatism, his Hindu faith marked him as an unconventional candidate. To many Christian conservatives, Ramaswamy’s religious background alone posed a barrier to his presidential suitability, highlighting the challenge of appealing to a predominantly Christian voter base. In navigating these hurdles, Ramaswamy strategically aligned aspects of his Hindu faith with the religious beliefs prevalent among GOP’s evangelical supporters.

Central to Ramaswamy’s campaign was his emphasis on faith, encapsulated in his “Ten Truths” political manifesto, commencing with the declaration “God is real.” While affirming his Hindu convictions, Ramaswamy often drew parallels between Hinduism and Christianity, leveraging familiar biblical narratives to resonate with Christian voters. Responding to inquiries about his religious beliefs, he sought to bridge the gap between Hinduism and Christianity, portraying them as complementary rather than disparate faiths.

In his quest for broader appeal, Ramaswamy selectively emphasized aspects of Hinduism that aligned with conservative values, framing it within a monotheistic framework akin to Abrahamic religions. However, this approach drew criticism from some quarters, with concerns raised about the oversimplification and misrepresentation of Hinduism. Critics argued that by packaging Hinduism to fit into a narrow mold of family values and monotheism, Ramaswamy overlooked the diversity and complexity inherent in the religion.

As a Hindu Indian-American, I am troubled by the reduction of my faith to suit political expediency. Ramaswamy’s strategic maneuvering, while aimed at political gain, risks perpetuating stereotypes and erasing the richness of Hindu tradition. Despite his efforts to navigate the intricacies of religious identity in American politics, Ramaswamy’s approach ultimately falls short of genuine representation for Hindu-Americans.

While acknowledging Ramaswamy’s political agency, it is imperative to scrutinize the implications of his candidacy. The scrutiny he faced regarding his faith raises concerns about the equitable treatment of candidates from religious minority backgrounds. In a country that prides itself on religious freedom, the singling out of Ramaswamy’s Hindu identity underscores persistent challenges faced by marginalized communities in accessing positions of power and influence.

Nevertheless, Ramaswamy’s unwavering commitment to his Hindu faith amid political pressures deserves recognition. By eschewing attempts to conceal or downplay his religious identity, he sets a precedent for future minority candidates navigating the political landscape. Despite diverging from Ramaswamy’s political stance, his resilience in maintaining his faith serves as a testament to the importance of authenticity in political representation.

As the Republican primaries continue sans Ramaswamy, the legacy of his presidential bid resonates beyond partisan lines. While he may not have been the ideal standard-bearer for Hindu representation in politics, his candidacy sparked crucial conversations about religious diversity and inclusion in American democracy. In states with limited exposure to Hinduism, Ramaswamy’s campaign served as a window into a faith tradition often marginalized in mainstream discourse. Regardless of his political fate, Ramaswamy’s journey underscores the ongoing struggle for equitable representation in the political arena.

CPAC Straw Poll: Noem and Ramaswamy Emerge as Top Picks for Trump’s VP

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy emerged as the top contenders among Republican grassroots activists for former President Trump’s potential vice presidential pick, according to attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). They both garnered 15 percent of the preferences when CPAC attendees were asked about Trump’s potential running mate for the 2024 election. This puts both Noem and Ramaswamy in the spotlight as potential choices for Trump’s vice president. Trump himself confirmed earlier in the week that all individuals rumored to be on his shortlist are considered “solid.”

In the CPAC straw poll conducted on Saturday, former Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard secured the second position with 9 percent, followed closely by House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik and Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina, both at 8 percent. Representative Byron Donalds from Florida received 7 percent, while Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake obtained 6 percent. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders each garnered 5 percent of the vote. Notably, conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, independent presidential candidate Robert K. Kennedy Jr., Senator JD Vance from Ohio, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley each received less than 5 percent of the vote.

Although the CPAC straw poll’s influence on Trump’s decision for his running mate may be minimal, the results are likely to generate increased attention around the top candidates. Noem, Stefanik, and Vance are among the prominent Republican figures present at CPAC and have been mentioned as potential running mates for the former president.

Senator Tim Scott’s presence in South Carolina is particularly noteworthy as the state prepares for its GOP primary, where Trump is expected to outperform Haley, a former governor of the state. According to polling data from The Hill/Decision Desk HQ, Trump holds a commanding lead of 30 points over Haley in her home state.

The Coming-of-Age of Indian Americans

“Despite constituting less than 1% of the U.S. population, Indian Americans are 3% of the nation’s engineers, 7% of its IT workers and 8% of its physicians and surgeons,” wrote the popular Forbes magazine in 2008. “The overrepresentation of Indians in these fields is striking–in practical terms, your doctor is nine times more likely to be an Indian American than is a random passerby on the street.”

Sixteen years later, in 2024, the Indian American community has grown even stronger; their successes encompassing almost all areas of American life – living  the American Dream.  The less than four million Indian Americans appear to be gaining prominence and have come to be recognized as a model community, and a force to reckon with in this land of opportunities that they have come to call as their adopted homeland.

In 1960, there were only 12,000 Indian immigrants living in the United States, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Today, the number of Indian Americans or Indian immigrants has climbed to more than 4 million, census data shows. Historically, Indians in the US worked in medicine, science & technology, engineering and mathematics-related jobs. Some, like the Patel community from Gujarat, took to the hotel industry and grew to dominate it. Others were entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley after the digital revolution of the 1980s.

In 1997, Ramani Ayer became the CEO of the Fortune 500 financial firm The Hartford, becoming the first in the list of Indian leaders heading American businesses. At present, 2% of the Fortune 500 companies of American origin — including Microsoft, Alphabet, Adobe, IBM, and Micron Technologies — are led by Indian American CEOs. One in every seven doctors in America is of Indian descent.

Among all these fields, if there is one area, where the influential Indian Americans have come to be recognized more than any other is the political arena, where they are seeking to win elections at the national, state and local levels, vying to occupy top jobs across the nation.

The Coming of Age of Indian Americans 3Ever since Gov. Bobby Jindal the first ever major Indian American presidential candidate who had sought to occupy the White House, there have been many others who have followed in his footsteps. Indian Americans have expressed keen interest in carving out their political space at the national table for decades, and now, the fruits of their labor are paying off, with more successes now than ever before.

Four years ago, it was then-California Sen. Kamala Harris, who made headlines and then elected as the vice president, becoming the highest-ranking person of Indian descent in the US government. The rise of Kamala Harris, daughter of an Indian mother, as the Vice President represented a coming-of-age of the Indian American community in the United States. Harris was born to civil rights activist parents a year before the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was passed; this Act relaxed the quota regime that restricted foreigners. At that time, there was one Indian American lawmaker in the US House of Representatives — the Punjab-born Dalip Singh Saund, also from California.

It’s still a relatively small number, compared with the country’s total population of more than 333 million. But Devesh Kapur, co-author of “The Other One Percent: Indians in America,” said he was not surprised to see three Indian Americans in the political spotlight in the 2024 race. “Indian Americans have been selected to be the outliers — they have been selected for success,” Kapur wrote in his book with Sanjoy Chakravorty and Nirvikar Singh.

The 2024 election season in the United States (US) kicked off and now with less than 10 months to go until Election Day and a week before the next Republican primary, one group that has emerged on the national political stage in a way they never have before in U.S. history: Indian Americans.

The current election cycle is shaping up to be historic for the Indian American community at every level, from local to the presidential. After months of campaigning, only a handful of GOP hopefuls were qualified for the last Republican Party Presdetial Debate; two of them were former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur and commentator whose White House bid has skyrocketed his profile.

While insurgent candidate Vivek Ramaswamy bowed out after finishing fourth in the Iowa Caucus, former South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, emerged with a strong showing and is now poised to give former President Donald Trump a run for his money in South Carolina primary on Tuesday, February 13.

“You have to sit and wonder, we have these two folks who are showing these all-star abilities — will we end up with an Indian American on this ticket?” said Sara Sadhwani, an assistant professor of politics at Pomona College and co-author of the Indian American Election Survey.

Harris, Haley, and Ramaswamy have many notable political differences. In a way, each is competing against the other in the 2024 election. But together, they represent a remarkable moment in American politics, experts say: Indian Americans account for about 1.3% of the country’s population, according to census data — and three Indian American politicians have risen close to the top of both major parties. “Mathematically, you would not have expected this,” said University of California, Riverside, public policy professor Karthick Ramakrishnan.

Haley had made history as the first female governor of South Carolina and the first Indian American to be appointed to a cabinet-level position, serving as the US ambassador to the United Nations in 2016. I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every single day how blessed we were to live in this country,” said Haley, as she announced her presidential campaign last February.

In addition to the leading Presidential aspirants, there are five Indian American members in the current US Congress —Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Ami Bera (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), and Shri Thanedar (D-MI) who are seeking re-elections this year. Each of them is expected to be reelected in 2024 due to the advantages of incumbency and their substantial campaign funding.

According to Indian American Impact, an organization dedicated to strengthening the political influence of the community, there are already more than 200 Indian Americans who are elected to positions ranging from school boards and city councils to state assemblies and senates across the country.

However, what is promising as the nation goes into another round of elections is the prospect of several candidates from a wide range of congressional districts across the country from New York to California, and from Illinois to Alabama, are aiming to join the ranks of the “Samosa Caucus.”

Kevin Thomas, a New York state senator vying to win the fourth congressional district, is a prominent Democratic contender to become the sixth Indian American member of the 119th Congress. The district, currently represented by first-term GOP Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, has historically leaned towards the Democratic party, consistently supporting their presidential nominees in the past eight elections. This favorable trend significantly boosts Thomas’ prospects of winning the primary and securing a seat in Congress.

Ohio state senator Niraj Antani is seeking the GOP nomination from the state’s second congressional district. The 32-year-old, who has been in the state legislature since 2014, is expected to get elected to Congress if he wins the Republican primary, as the district is heavily Republican. “In Congress, I will have a steel-spine in standing for life, our 2nd Amendment rights, and for pro-growth economic policies. As a fiercely pro-Trump Republican, I will work hard every day for our community in Congress to ensure every Ohioan has an opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”

Arizona State Rep. Amish Shah, the first Indian American elected to the Arizona legislature, is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for Arizona’s first congressional district. Shah, an emergency physician, has raised more than $1 million for his campaign and will have a fair shot in November if he wins the primary in this seat, currently represented by Republican David Schweikert and leans slightly Republican.

Ashwani Jain, a former Gubernatorial candidate of Maryland, is running for Congress from Maryland’s 6th District. He says, “I am running for Congress in the district I live in and call home – not just to be Maryland’s first Millennial, first Asian-American and first Indian-American ever elected – but because I have specific policy solutions that will open the doors of opportunity for our community.” Jain, a cancer survivor, is focused on issues including immigrant rights, climate change, labor rights and raising teachers’ pay, reproductive justice, and gun violence.

Hoboken Mayor in the state of New Jersey, Ravi Bhalla is running for Congress from the 8th District. At Congress, Bhalla says, he “will be an advocate for New Jersey’s working families as he fights to make healthcare a right for everyone, tackle climate change, protect a woman’s right to choose, and build an economy that works for all New Jerseyans.”

Suhas Subramanyam and Krystle Kaul: Two Indian Americans are vying for the Democratic Party nomination in Virginia’s 10th congressional district. Krystle Kaul Kaul, much like Subramanyam, is focusing on issues such as national security, women’s rights, economy & jobs, healthcare, education, and energy & the environment. Subramanyam, a Virginia state senator has been serving in the state legislature for the past four years. Kaul, a veteran of the defence and intelligence community, is running on her national security experience. If either of them wins the primary, they would be formidable candidates to represent this Democratic-leaning district.

Susheela Jayapal, a candidate for Oregon’s third congressional district, and Rishi Kumar, who is running for California’s 16th congressional district are other Indian Americans, who are “strong candidates who have run for office before and have name recognition.” Jayapal had served as the commissioner of Oregon’s most populous county, Multnomah County. In 2020, Kumar secured nearly 37% of the votes against the incumbent and fellow Democrat Anna Eshoo, who is now retiring, boosting his chances of victory in 2024.

Vimal Patel from Alabama’s 2nd district abd Nikhil Bhatia from Illinois’ 7th District are others who are in the fray to enter the Congress this Fall. Another Republican seeking to win on a Republican ticket is Dr. Prashanth Reddy from Kansas’ 3rd district is a physician, who is focused on defending the nation and standing up for parents and students in addition to securing the border, supporting law enforcement, standing up to China, and protecting taxpayers.

In addition, dozens of highly qualified and experienced Indian American candidates are also vying for statewide offices in this election cycle. Among those who have announced their candidacies for statewide offices, include: Minita Sanghvi, a Democrat currently serving as the Saratoga Springs finance commissioner, vying for the 44th state senate district in New York; Tara Sreekrishnan, a member of the Santa Clara County Board of Education, running for the California state assembly from district 26; Ashwin Ramaswami seeking election to the Georgia state senate from senate district 48; and Seema Singh, a member of the Knoxville City Council, running for district 90 of the Tennessee house of representatives.

Irrespective of political differences, the Indian American community is happy about the sharp increase in their political participation, especially over the last three election cycles, and is proud of the rise of another of their own. As Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah and United States Ambassador to China, had said: “In the last half-century, Americans of Indian descent epitomize how new waves of immigrants have been renewing our communities and our economy. ”

Shekar Narasimhan, founder and chairman of the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) Victory Fund, sums it all, saying that while he is happy to see more Asian-Americans gain prominence in politics,  “A beautiful thing is happening: Indian-Americans are coming to the forefront. If our children see Americans with a name like Ramaswamy run, and a Khanna or Krishnamoorthi can win, that’s a good thing.”

Emergence of Assertive Hindu American Politics: Candidates Proudly Represent Faith in U.S. Political Arena

Vivek Ramaswamy expressed his pride in his Hindu identity while campaigning in New Hampshire, stating, “I’m Hindu, and I’m proud of that.” He emphasized his commitment to defending religious liberty without apology. Although his presidential bid faltered in Iowa, his presence underscored a significant emergence: the visibility of assertive Hinduism in American politics.

The burgeoning influence of Hindu American politics was vividly demonstrated in 2019 during the “Howdy, Modi!” event in Houston’s NRG Stadium, where around 50,000 people gathered to witness then-President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi share the stage.Emergence of Assertive Hindu American Politics Candidates Proudly Represent Faith in U S Political Arena

In late 2019, a dispute over an anti-caste discrimination bill in California showcased the increasing political acumen of Hindus in pursuing their interests. With representatives from across the country on opposing sides, proponents and opponents of the bill showcased their ability to mobilize support and shape public opinion. Governor Gavin Newsom’s subsequent veto of the bill marked a victory for those who argued it would unfairly stereotype Hindus.

Rishi Bhutada, treasurer of the 12-year-old Hindu American PAC, noted that Hindus, traditionally leaning towards the Democratic Party, are now more focused on supporting candidates who understand their specific concerns, from addressing Hinduphobia to advocating for immigration policies aligned with their interests.

Reflecting on this evolution, Bhutada remarked, “The community is getting way more discerning about candidates now.” Over the past decade, Hindu Americans have seen an increasing array of candidates from their community vying for positions at various levels of government, including the U.S. Congress.

Tulsi Gabbard’s historic election as the first Hindu congressperson in 2013 marked a turning point, signaling to the community that electoral success was achievable. Subsequently, Democrats like Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois and Ro Khanna from California were elected to Congress, further validating the potential for Hindu candidates to succeed nationwide.

Looking ahead, three more Hindu Americans, all Democrats, are currently running for Congress, each with unique backgrounds and platforms:

Emergence of Assertive Hindu American Politics Candidates Proudly Represent Faith in U S Political Arena

Rishi Kumar, a Silicon Valley tech executive and former mechanical engineer, emphasizes his “fiscally moderate” Democratic stance. His successful tenure on Saratoga’s city council, where he received the highest number of votes in history, propelled him into the political arena. Kumar has been vocal in opposing misrepresentations of Hinduism and advocating against anti-Hindu prejudice.

Emergence of Assertive Hindu American Politics Candidates Proudly Represent Faith in U S Political Arena

Bhavini Patel, raised by a single mother in Pennsylvania, draws upon her upbringing working on an Indian food truck to connect with working-class families. She attributes her values of kindness and authenticity to her Hindu upbringing, aiming to represent her faith proudly while addressing issues such as education, small business support, and public safety.

Suhas Subramanyam, currently serving as a delegate in the Virginia Legislature, made history as the first Hindu and Indian American elected in Virginia. Inspired by his Hindu faith, Subramanyam seeks to address issues such as gun violence, clean energy, and immigration reform while ensuring that his community’s concerns are heard and acted upon.

The rise of Hindu American politicians reflects a growing engagement and sophistication within the community, as they navigate political landscapes while staying true to their religious and cultural identities.

https://religionnews.com/2024/01/26/meet-three-hindu-democrats-running-for-congress-this-season/

“She’s resilient”: Indian Americans react to Nikki Haley’s campaign after Iowa and New Hampshire

“She resilient,” says veteran Indian American Republican Dr. Sampat Shivangi, describing former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and her presidential campaign. Haley, who lost to former President Donald Trump in both Iowa and New Hampshire this month, has refused to quit, while her other rivals — Indian American entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — have both ended their campaigns and have endorsed Trump.

Dr Shivangi, founder of the Republican Indian National Council, told indica, “It is only right that she did not quit.”

On her part, Haley, while congratulating Trump on his second consecutive victory, said on Tuesday night, “New Hampshire is first in the nation, it is not last in the nation,” referring to her decision to continue with her campaign. “The race is far from over.

As of 4 am ET on Wednesday, Trump (77) had won 54.6% of the vote, while Haley (52) was trailing at 43.2%, with 91% of the votes counted. Trump has a comfortable lead of over 35,000 votes. He is projected to win New Hampshire, and take 11 delegates with him.

In the Iowa caucuses, Haley stood third with 19.1% votes, whereas Trump won 51%, and won by a landslide. DeSantis received 21.2% and Vivek Ramaswamy came fourth with less than 8 percent of the votes.

Trump’s 2024 VP Pick: Behind the Scenes of the Shortlist Amidst Speculation and Strategy

In the unfolding narrative of Donald Trump’s potential bid for the 2024 presidential race, the former president claims to have a clear understanding of who his running mate will be. However, sources within his campaign reveal a more deliberative approach, as senior officials consider various candidates and compile a “short list” for potential vice-presidential contenders, according to insights obtained by Fox Business.

Following a significant triumph in the Iowa caucuses, Trump is positioned to secure victory in the upcoming New Hampshire primary, unless there is an unexpected surge by his primary rivals—former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

A victory for Trump in New Hampshire could prompt one or both of his competitors to exit the race, potentially paving the way for an uncontested GOP nomination and setting the stage for a faceoff against Joe Biden in the November elections.

Despite Trump’s success in Iowa and the anticipated win in New Hampshire, insiders close to the Trump campaign assert that neither Haley nor DeSantis currently feature on Trump’s shortlist for a running mate. Instead, the list prominently includes Ohio GOP Senator JD Vance and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, both regarded as rising stars within the GOP and affiliated with the party’s Trump-centric MAGA wing.

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who recently gained attention for her assertive questioning of Ivy League college chiefs during a hearing on campus antisemitism, is also listed as a potential candidate, albeit with the caveat that she is considered a “long shot,” according to a source familiar with the campaign’s discussions.

Trump is more personally acquainted with Huckabee Sanders, his former White House spokesperson, who valiantly defended him against the press. Similarly, Vance, a former venture capitalist and author, secured his Senate seat in 2022 by adopting the MAGA platform, which deviates from traditional Republican stances on trade and foreign engagement, according to GOP advisers.

Despite the speculation surrounding Trump’s potential running mate, one GOP political strategist cautions against expecting immediate announcements, noting, “I doubt we hear anything anytime soon.” The internal discussions within the Trump campaign continue as they consider various options.

Notably absent from the shortlist is Vivek Ramaswamy, a former Wall Street executive turned author and Trump-styled populist. Ramaswamy, who endorsed Trump for the GOP nomination after his loss in Iowa, faced criticism for his flamboyant campaigning style and once drew the ire of Trump himself for suggesting that the former president might struggle to navigate legal challenges, including five criminal indictments that could potentially result in a prison sentence while in office.

Despite attempts to seek clarification on the matter, a Trump campaign official has not responded to requests for comments on the ongoing considerations for the vice-presidential candidate.

The level of interest from Huckabee Sanders and Vance in the vice-presidential position remains uncertain, as both have not returned calls for comments. On the other hand, Stefanik has expressed her willingness, stating, “I would be honored to serve in the Trump administration in any capacity,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Trump, in turn, has praised Stefanik, who has actively championed the MAGA agenda while representing her upstate New York congressional district since 2015.

GOP strategists emphasize that the VP shortlist is dynamic and subject to change, underscoring the fluid nature of the decision-making process within the Trump campaign. Additionally, they caution against taking Trump’s assertion of already knowing his VP choice too seriously, attributing it to his strategic knack for garnering attention and generating substantial free publicity, especially during a Fox News Town Hall. Furthermore, they suggest that Trump may be aiming to solidify his nomination as an inevitable outcome while simultaneously seeking to reduce voter turnout for competitors Haley and DeSantis in New Hampshire.

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy Exits 2024 Presidential Race, Throws Support Behind Trump After Disappointing Iowa Results

Business magnate Vivek Ramaswamy withdrew from the 2024 presidential race on Monday evening, following a lackluster performance in the Iowa caucuses. Ramaswamy, who secured the fourth position in Iowa, offered his endorsement to former President Donald Trump. According to NBC News projections, Ramaswamy trailed behind Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, holding only 8% of the GOP caucus vote with over 90% of precincts reporting late on Monday.

In a gracious move, Ramaswamy personally congratulated Trump on his triumph and announced his intention to join the former president at a rally in New Hampshire on the following day. Expressing his support for Trump, Ramaswamy emphasized the need for an “America First” candidate in the presidential race, affirming, “Going forward, he will have my full endorsement for the presidency.”

The 38-year-old entrepreneur, relatively unknown when he entered the political arena in February 2023, rapidly gained traction among Republican voters. His campaign strategy closely aligned with Trump’s in both tone and policy substance, presenting himself as a successor to the MAGA (Make America Great Again) movement.

Despite his efforts to differentiate himself, Ramaswamy struggled to siphon support away from Trump, who maintained a strong grip on Republican voters. The anticipated wave of first-time caucusgoers that Ramaswamy had hoped would boost his campaign in Iowa failed to materialize.

As the Iowa caucuses approached, Ramaswamy’s rhetoric took a more conspiratorial turn, urging supporters to “wake up” and alluding to plots and forces influencing the election. His pitch to Trump enthusiasts became convoluted, discouraging them from voting for Trump due to alleged external interference preventing him from reaching the White House. Ramaswamy cited criminal cases against Trump and legal battles challenging his candidacy on 14th Amendment grounds in Colorado and Maine as reasons to reconsider their support.

Three days prior to the Iowa caucuses, Trump directly addressed Ramaswamy’s characterization of him as “wounded.” On Truth Social, Trump criticized Ramaswamy, stating, “Vivek started his campaign as a great supporter, ‘the best President in generations,’ etc. Unfortunately now all he does is disguise his support in the form of deceitful campaign tricks.”

Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign centered on the promise to extend Trump’s policies if elected. He advocated for the shutdown of several government agencies, including the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Department of Education.

Additionally, he proposed a substantial reduction in the number of federal workers and pledged to deploy the U.S. military to secure both the southern and northern borders.

Another controversial proposal by Ramaswamy involved ending birthright citizenship for American-born children of undocumented immigrants. He argued that the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to those born or naturalized in the United States, was not intended to apply to this demographic.

Throughout the Republican presidential debates, Ramaswamy positioned himself as an adversary to other candidates, particularly former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Nikki Haley. He engaged in repeated clashes with Haley, even going so far as to label her a “puppet” for the “deep state” in the latter stages of his campaign.

While maintaining some rivalry with other candidates, Ramaswamy closely aligned himself with Trump, prompting suggestions from supporters to vie for the vice presidential slot on Trump’s ticket. However, Ramaswamy consistently asserted that he was not a “Plan B” person.

Funding his campaign with millions of dollars from his personal wealth, Ramaswamy held the highest number of public events among his GOP rivals. His extensive campaign efforts included over 300 events in Iowa, covering all 99 counties in the state twice. In a last-ditch effort to bolster his primary chances, Ramaswamy relocated his campaign staff to the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire in November.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2024-election/vivek-ramaswamy-dropping-2024-presidential-race-rcna133875

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy Withdraws from Republican Presidential Race, Throws Support Behind Trump

Vivek Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old entrepreneur and political novice, who had initially gained attention for his bold policy proposals and self-assured demeanor, has exited the competition for the Republican White House nomination following a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

Expressing his disappointment in Des Moines on Monday night, Ramaswamy acknowledged, “We did not achieve the surprise that we wanted to deliver tonight.”

Despite initially being an unlikely contender, Ramaswamy, who financed much of his campaign through his personal fortune amassed in biotechnology and finance, aligned himself closely with former President Donald J. Trump. He pledged unwavering support for Trump, even in the face of potential felony convictions, promising a pardon if elected to the White House. Additionally, he vowed to remove his name voluntarily from states that succeeded in disqualifying Trump from the ballot as an “insurrectionist” under the Constitution.

However, just two days before the Iowa caucuses, the tables turned as Trump’s campaign labeled Ramaswamy a fraud. The former president, who had previously shown warmth toward his would-be rival, urged voters to reject Ramaswamy and vote for him.

At that point, Ramaswamy, a Harvard-educated individual, had embraced increasingly apocalyptic conspiracy theories. He spoke of a “system” plotting against Trump’s return to office, insinuating the installation of a “puppet,” Nikki Haley. He also labeled the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack as an “inside job” orchestrated by federal law enforcement, and began propagating the unfounded and racist theory of “replacement,” falsely claiming that Democrats were importing immigrants of color to replace white people.

During a Republican primary debate, Ramaswamy defended this theory, stating, “is not some grand right-wing conspiracy theory but a basic statement of the Democratic Party’s platform.”

Initially positioning himself as someone with superior knowledge of the Constitution and civil service laws, Ramaswamy promised to take Trump’s America First agenda further. This included immediate executive orders to eliminate the Department of Education, F.B.I., and Internal Revenue Service, cut the federal workforce by 75 percent through mass layoffs without congressional approval, and withdraw from foreign military commitments, beginning with Ukraine and extending to Israel and Taiwan.

While his isolationist foreign policy drew criticism, his bleak portrayal of millennial and Generation Z voters resonated surprisingly well with older voters. Despite clashes with Republican rivals, where he mocked Governor Ron DeSantis and labeled Nikki Haley a China stooge, Ramaswamy gained traction initially, securing third place in national polling, just behind DeSantis, after the first Republican debate.

However, as his attempts to gain attention continued and a penchant for stretching the truth became apparent, Ramaswamy slipped back in the polls. The September debate featured a sharp exchange with Haley, who expressed feeling “a little bit dumber” every time she heard him. By the November debate, Haley went further, calling him “just scum” after he accused her of hypocrisy regarding China due to her daughter’s use of TikTok.

Despite initially holding second place in New Hampshire during late summer, Ramaswamy’s momentum dwindled, and his extensive campaigning in Iowa failed to restore his standing. Privately, he had shared a strategy with backers to align with Trump in the hope that Trump’s legal battles would force him out, making Ramaswamy the logical choice for Trump’s ardent supporters. However, with Trump firmly staying in the race, Ramaswamy’s strategy and self-funding of nearly $17 million proved unsustainable by the end of September.

Trump Secures Resounding Victory in Iowa Caucuses, Tightening Grip on 2024 GOP Nomination

Former President Donald Trump has clinched a historic win in the Iowa caucuses, affirming his dominance in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Despite facing extreme weather conditions and the lowest turnout in 25 years, Trump secured a staggering 30-point lead, surpassing the previous record set by Bob Dole in 1988.

In the bitterly cold and hazardous conditions, participants gathered across schools, churches, and community centers statewide to cast their votes. The victory margin exceeded expectations, leaving Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a distant second place, closely followed by former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Trump’s commanding win has reinforced his hold on the GOP nomination, raising questions about the viability of his competitors. While DeSantis and Haley show no immediate signs of exiting the race, the enormity of Trump’s victory has put them on the defensive, struggling to position themselves as the strongest challengers.Trump Secures Resounding Victory in Iowa Caucuses Tightening Grip on 2024 GOP Nomination

Despite Trump’s recent vows of vengeance against political opponents, his victory speech struck a tone of unity. “We want to come together, whether it’s Republican or Democrat or liberal or conservative,” he declared. “We’re going to come together. It’s going to happen soon.”

The GOP contest now shifts to New Hampshire for the first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 23. Conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy suspended his campaign after a disappointing fourth-place finish in Iowa, endorsing Trump. This move further narrows the field, setting the stage for a showdown between Trump, DeSantis, and Haley.

Trump Secures Resounding Victory in Iowa Caucuses Tightening Grip on 2024 GOP Nomination

DeSantis, acknowledging the support from his backers, expressed gratitude, saying, “Because of your support, in spite of all they threw at us, we got our ticket punched out of Iowa.” He is set to focus on South Carolina, a conservative stronghold, before heading to New Hampshire later in the day.

Haley, undeterred by the Iowa setback, plans to vigorously compete in New Hampshire, targeting the state’s independent voters. She asserted, “When you look at how well we’re doing in New Hampshire and in South Carolina and beyond, I can safely say tonight Iowa made this Republican primary a two-person race.”

In a remarkable balancing act, Trump faces legal challenges as he campaigns. On Tuesday, he is expected in a New York court to address potential additional damages in a defamation case against him. Trump has strategically used court appearances to portray himself as a victim of a politicized legal system, a tactic resonating with Republican voters.

Trump Secures Resounding Victory in Iowa Caucuses Tightening Grip on 2024 GOP Nomination

The Associated Press declared Trump the winner at 7:31 p.m. CST, based on early returns and the results of AP VoteCast from over 1,500 voters planning to participate in the caucuses. Trump’s significant lead was evident in initial results from eight counties, covering urban, small-town, and rural communities. While he showed strength among evangelicals and non-college-educated voters, suburban support remained a relative weakness.

The results highlight Iowa’s historical inconsistency in predicting the eventual Republican nominee, with George W. Bush in 2000 being the last candidate to win Iowa and secure the nomination. Trump’s success underscores the party’s reluctance to move on from a controversial figure, despite his tumultuous term in office and the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021.

Trump faces an array of legal challenges, including 91 felony charges across four criminal cases. The U.S. Supreme Court is deliberating whether states can block him from the ballot due to his role in the Capitol insurrection. Despite these legal hurdles, Trump’s base remains steadfast, viewing the charges as politically motivated attempts to undermine him.

About three-quarters of Iowans, responding to AP VoteCast, dismissed the charges against Trump as politically driven. David Lage, a 64-year-old Trump supporter, expressed this sentiment at Trump’s victory party, stating, “God called us to do that to support Trump.”

https://apnews.com/article/trump-iowa-caucus-haley-desantis-cold-voting-begins-0af10f1ba21d488af54776b2c8d4028c

Colorado Secretary of State Certifies 2024 Presidential Primary Ballots Amidst Supreme Court Controversy

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold revealed on Friday that she had officially certified the Republican and Democrat ballots for the 2024 presidential primary election. In a statement, Griswold announced, “Colorado’s 2024 Presidential primary ballot is certified. The United States Supreme Court has accepted the case, and Donald Trump will appear on the ballot as a result.”

The certification process ensures that voters affiliated with a major party, either Republican or Democrat, by Feb. 12 will receive a ballot from the party with which they are associated. Unaffiliated voters, on the other hand, will receive ballots from both parties but are allowed to cast their vote on only one, which will be counted.

This development comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to review a contentious ruling from Colorado’s highest court. The state court had declared Trump ineligible for the presidency, intending to exclude him from the primary ballot. This legal clash holds significant implications for the 2024 presidential election, prompting the Supreme Court to set a swift schedule for filings and schedule arguments for Feb. 8, with a potential decision shortly thereafter.

At the heart of the dispute lies the Constitution’s insurrection clause, a provision dating back to the Civil War era. This clause prohibits individuals who have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution and subsequently engaged in insurrection from holding public office.

The Colorado Supreme Court, in a divided 4-3 decision on Dec. 19, concluded that Trump’s involvement in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol disqualified him from serving as president. Consequently, they barred him from being listed on the state’s primary ballot. However, the state court temporarily halted its decision, allowing Trump and the Colorado GOP time to appeal.

Regarding the certification, Griswold stated, “The United States Supreme Court has accepted the case, and Donald Trump will appear on the ballot as a result.” This underscores the critical role the Supreme Court’s review will play in shaping the lineup of candidates for the 2024 Colorado presidential primary.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office provided additional information about the candidates who have submitted a statement of intent and filing fee to appear on the Colorado Presidential Primary Ballot. The Democratic Party candidates, in ballot order, include Jason Michael Palmer, Gabriel Cornejo, Frankie Lozada, Dean Phillips, Stephen P Lyons, Marianne Williamson, Joseph R Biden Jr, and Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato, along with a “Noncommitted Delegate.”

The Republican Party candidates, listed in ballot order, are Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, Ryan L Binkley, and Donald J. Trump. Additionally, there are Republican write-in candidates Rachel Hannah “Mohawk” Swift and Walter Iwachiw.

The Colorado Democratic Party has also submitted a request for a “Noncommitted Delegate” to appear on the 2024 Presidential Primary Ballot under the provisions of Colorado Revised Statutes 1-4-1204(3). This allows electors with no presidential candidate preference to register a vote for a noncommitted delegate to the political party’s national convention.

As the legal battle unfolds, important dates for the 2024 Presidential Primary Election in Colorado include the deadline to send ballots to registered military and overseas voters on January 20. February 12 marks the first day ballots can be mailed to registered Colorado voters (excluding military and overseas voters) and the last day for voters to change or withdraw their party affiliation to participate in a different party’s Presidential Primary.

February 16 is the deadline for mail ballots to be sent to registered eligible voters, and by February 26, the minimum number of required Voter Service and Polling Centers (VSPCs) must be open. The same day also serves as the deadline to submit an application to register to vote through various channels, including online, to receive a mail ballot. February 26 is also the last suggested day to return ballots by mail.

On February 27, the minimum number of required drop boxes must be open to accept mail ballots statewide, and it is suggested that voters submit their ballots at Voting Centers or drop boxes rather than by mail. Finally, March 5 is Election Day, and eligible voters must have submitted their ballot or be in line to vote by 7 p.m. for their ballot to be counted.

These dates and procedures are crucial for ensuring a smooth and fair electoral process, with the Supreme Court’s decision looming large over the entire 2024 presidential primary landscape in Colorado. The outcome of this legal battle could significantly impact the list of candidates that voters will find on their ballots come March 5.

Vivek Ramaswamy’s Presidential Campaign Takes Bold Approach, Shuns TV Ads for Innovative Voter Outreach Strategy

Vivek Ramaswamy’s bid for the presidency has taken an unconventional turn as his campaign shifts its focus away from television advertisements, as reported by NBC News. Confirming this change in strategy, the campaign’s press secretary, Tricia McLaughlin, emphasized their commitment to mobilizing identified voters. In a statement to NBC News, McLaughlin outlined their approach, stating, “We are focused on bringing out the voters we’ve identified — best way to reach them is using addressable advertising, mail, text, live calls and doors to communicate with our voters on Vivek’s vision for America, making their plan to caucus and turning them out.”

This shift in strategy is part of what McLaughlin described as an “intentionally structured strategy” that allows the campaign to be “nimble and hypertargeted” in their advertising efforts. Ramaswamy himself echoed this sentiment in a post on X, expressing his disdain for traditional TV ad spending, deeming it “idiotic” and “low-ROI.” He characterized it as a ploy used by political consultants to deceive candidates with lower intelligence. Ramaswamy emphasized their departure from this norm, stating, “We’re doing it differently. Spending $$ in a way that follows data…apparently a crazy idea in US politics. Big surprise coming on Jan 15.”

McLaughlin responded to Ramaswamy’s post, highlighting their commitment to “playing smarter and working harder.” This strategic pivot comes just a month after the campaign initially announced plans to allocate over US $10 million across various advertising platforms, including broadcast, cable, radio, digital, and direct mail promotions in Iowa and New Hampshire. AdImpact confirmed that they had already spent US $2.2 million on TV, digital, and radio ads.

In contrast to Ramaswamy’s unconventional approach, his GOP rivals, including Chris Christie, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, and Ron DeSantis, continue to invest heavily in traditional advertising methods. While Ramaswamy’s campaign spent a modest US $6,000 on TV ads in a given week, Trump’s campaign allocated a substantial US $1.1 million, Haley’s team spent US $1 million, DeSantis’ team invested $270,000, and Christie’s campaign expended US $88,000 in the same period. The divergence in spending strategies raises questions about the effectiveness of traditional advertising in the current political landscape. The outcome of this experiment will unfold on January 15, promising a potential surprise that challenges the conventional norms of US politics.

Vivek Ramaswamy Pledges To Exit GOP Presidential Primary Over Trump’s Disqualification

Ramaswamy has pledged to bow out of the Colorado state primary elections after the state’s Supreme Court ordered Trump’s name to be struck out from the ballot

Indian American Republican presidential primary candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has threatened withdraw from the ballot following Donald Trump’s disqualification from contesting the presidential elections in Colorado.

“I pledge to withdraw from the Colorado GOP primary ballot until Trump is also allowed to be on the ballot,” Ramaswamy said in a post on X. calling upon the other Republican candidates in the race to follow his lead.

“I demand that Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, and Nikki Haley do the same immediately – or else they are tacitly endorsing this illegal maneuver which will have disastrous consequences for our country,” his post on X read.

The Colorado Supreme court ruled on December 19 that Trump was disqualified from holding the presidency under the constitution’s insurrection clause, and ordered the Secretary of State to strike his name out from the state’s GOP presidential primary ballot.

According to Ramaswamy, blocking Trump from contesting the elections was “unconstitutional.” He argued that the Deep State does not select the leadership of the U.S., and the right is reserved only for U.S. citizens. He asked DeSantis, Christie, and Haley to pledge the same vow as him, failure to do so would prove they are “complicit in this unconstitutional attack on the way we conduct our constitutional Republic.”

The Indian American has backed Trump several times this year, including when the latter was named in four criminal indictments. Ramaswmay said he would pardon Trump after being elected as President and also urged his GOP opponents to commit to doing the same.

“Each of our paths to electoral success would be easier if President Trump were eliminated from competition, but that is the wrong result for our country,” said a letter circulated by Ramaswamy campaign to every Democratic and Republican White House contender in June 2023, in the wake of the unsealing of a federal indictment against Trump.

“I condemn these charges by the U.S. Department of Justice. Below, I have signed a commitment to pardon President Trump promptly on January 20, 2025, for the federal charges … I respectfully request that you join me in this commitment or else publicly explain why you will not,” Ramaswamy said in the letter.

Americans for Prosperity Action Amplifies Nikki Haley’s Iowa Campaign in a Last-Minute Push for Republican Nomination

Tyler Raygor knocked on the door of a gray, single-story house in a neighborhood in northern Ames, Iowa. He patiently waited until a man in a hoodie and jeans emerged before launching into his pitch.

In this encounter, the man, Mike Morton, expressed his inclination to vote for either Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida or former President Donald J. Trump in the upcoming caucuses. However, Mr. Morton hadn’t considered Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina. Mr. Raygor, the state director for Americans for Prosperity Action, a super PAC supporting Ms. Haley, seized the opportunity. He referred to a recent poll showing Ms. Haley with a significant lead over President Biden in a general election matchup and emphasized her tenure as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. After handing Mr. Morton a Haley campaign flier, Mr. Morton acknowledged that he would now take a closer look at Haley, noting, “If you didn’t come to my house, I probably would overlook her a little bit more.”

With less than a month remaining before January’s caucuses, Ms. Haley’s campaign, along with Americans for Prosperity Action, is actively working to build on the momentum gained in recent months. The goal is to reach persuadable voters and firmly position her as the primary alternative to Mr. Trump for the Republican nomination.

Ms. Haley received a last-minute boost with the endorsement of Americans for Prosperity Action, a well-funded organization founded by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. This endorsement provided access to donors and injected much-needed funds into her campaign for television spots and mail advertisements. While her campaign initially faced challenges in Iowa against better-funded rivals, the A.F.P. Action apparatus has come to life, deploying a network of volunteers and staff members across the state to engage voters.

The super PAC has mobilized approximately 150 volunteers and part-time staff members to canvass Iowa, with a goal of knocking on 100,000 doors before the caucuses, according to Drew Klein, a senior adviser with A.F.P. Action. Since endorsing Ms. Haley, the super PAC has spent over $5.7 million on pro-Haley advertisements and canvassing efforts nationwide. Financial filings with the Federal Election Commission indicate that the organization had more than $74 million on hand as of July.

Both Ms. Haley and Mr. DeSantis are vying for a pool of undecided voters, although Mr. Trump continues to maintain a significant lead. Recent polls indicate that Mr. Trump is the top choice for 51 percent of Republicans likely to caucus, up from 43 percent in October. Mr. DeSantis’s support increased slightly to 19 percent, while Ms. Haley’s remained at 16 percent. However, the super PAC’s efforts might be insufficient to overtake Mr. DeSantis, who has invested considerable time and money in Iowa.

Despite recent challenges, including the departure of top strategist Jeff Roe from Never Back Down, an affiliated super PAC supporting Mr. DeSantis, the Florida governor has established a strong presence in Iowa. He has visited all 99 counties, and his well-funded ground operation, managed by Never Back Down, has been active for months, boasting over 801,000 doors knocked.

The A.F.P. Action’s endorsement is considered by some, like Republican strategist Jimmy Centers in Iowa, as the potential “missing link” for Ms. Haley. However, the group faces a time constraint. Mr. Centers poses the open question of whether Ms. Haley peaked too soon in Iowa and if A.F.P. has sufficient time to catch up. A spokesman for Mr. DeSantis, Andrew Romeo, dismisses A.F.P. Action’s efforts as a “rent-a-campaign gambit” by Ambassador Haley, asserting that grassroots success cannot be bought.

A critical component of A.F.P. Action’s strategy is the ground game, aiming to reach voters just as attention to the Republican nomination race intensifies. Mr. Raygor, addressing criticism from the Trump campaign about door-knocking on Christmas, stated, “Maybe not on Christmas, but we’ll be knocking on the 23rd. We’ll be knocking on the 26th. My team’s knocked in negative-30-degree wind chills before. Winter does not scare us.”

However, a recent visit to Ames revealed the challenges of a last-minute push. Among the six Republican voters Mr. Raygor spoke with, one was already a Haley supporter, two were persuadable, and three were firmly supporting either Mr. Trump or Vivek Ramaswamy. One voter, Barbara Novak, emphatically declared, “You’re not going to get me off of Trump, ever.”

In another neighborhood in Cedar Rapids, the efforts of A.F.P. Action staff members Cheryl Jontz and Kyla Higgins to promote Ms. Haley proved less successful. Few residents were interested in answering their doors in freezing morning temperatures, and those who did mostly expressed their support for Mr. Trump. One voter, Lisa Andersen, was somewhat open-minded, indicating a willingness to consider Ms. Haley if former President Trump faced legal troubles.

A spokesperson for the Haley campaign maintains that A.F.P. Action’s support hasn’t altered the campaign’s strategic approach and ground game in Iowa. The campaign has intensified its efforts in the final weeks before the caucuses, including a five-day swing through the state. Additional staff members, such as Pat Garrett, a former adviser to the Iowa governor, have been brought on board to lead the Iowa press team.

David Oman, a Republican strategist and Haley supporter, believes that Ms. Haley is focusing on the metro areas where the majority of Iowa’s voters reside, running a nimble campaign with a small core staff and dedicated volunteers. As Ms. Haley’s team makes a final push in Iowa, the outcome of the caucuses remains uncertain, and the effectiveness of A.F.P. Action’s endorsement and ground game will be closely watched.

Fiery Fourth Republican Debate: Personal Clashes, Trump’s Absence, and Culture War Unfold in Intense Showdown

The high-stakes fourth Republican presidential debate on Wednesday night highlighted why former President Donald Trump has been avoiding the 2024 primary debate circuit. The event featured four contenders: former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. However, the debate was marked by intense infighting among the candidates, diverting attention from the primary focus on the frontrunner.

Despite the smallest debate field to date and the Iowa caucuses approaching in less than six weeks, the candidates utilized the two-hour debate to showcase their policy beliefs and emphasize major differences. However, the evening was dominated by personal attacks, with Ramaswamy referring to Haley as “lipstick on a Dick Cheney,” Christie mocking Ramaswamy’s “smartass mouth,” and DeSantis claiming Haley “caves every time the left comes after her.”

The candidates seemed united in their belief that establishing themselves as the GOP’s sole alternative to Trump was essential before making a concentrated case against him. However, this strategy also underscored why Trump’s absence from the debates hasn’t affected his standing in the polls. Although there were occasional attacks on the former president, such as Christie’s anti-Trump campaign message and Haley’s criticism of his China approach, the majority of the debate was dominated by clashes between the present candidates.

DeSantis and Ramaswamy Target Haley

The debate’s first hour highlighted Haley’s increasing prominence in the race, as both DeSantis and Ramaswamy focused on criticizing her. DeSantis wasted no time taking aim at Haley, drawing her into a dispute over transgender bathroom usage. Ramaswamy continued his critique from the third debate, targeting Haley for her association with Boeing while serving on its board.

DeSantis and Ramaswamy collaborated at various points, criticizing Haley’s recent support from donors like Reid Hoffman and Larry Fink. Ramaswamy even held up a notepad with the message “Nikki = Corrupt.” Haley defended herself, stating she welcomed support but wouldn’t let it dictate her policies, adding that her competitors would accept similar support if offered.

Christie, however, broke the pattern by defending Haley against Ramaswamy’s foreign policy insults, emphasizing her intelligence and accomplishments. Haley expressed gratitude for Christie’s support.

Christie’s Resurgence and Criticisms

Chris Christie, who has struggled to recreate the success of the 2016 presidential primary debates, regained some momentum in Tuscaloosa. He portrayed his opponents as immature and unprepared for the job, making it challenging for DeSantis and Ramaswamy.

Christie criticized DeSantis for avoiding basic questions and challenged him on sending US troops to rescue American hostages in Gaza. Later, when asked about Trump’s fitness for office, Christie insisted on a straightforward answer, accusing DeSantis of being afraid or not listening. He also targeted Ramaswamy’s tendency to backtrack on comments, labeling him the “most obnoxious blowhard in America.”

In a departure from his previous allegiance to Trump, Christie reserved his most severe criticism for all three opponents, accusing them of being afraid to offend the former president and emphasizing the importance of speaking the truth.

Avoidance of Trump Criticism

While the candidates engaged in intense personal clashes, Chris Christie attempted to refocus the debate by highlighting Trump’s significant lead in the polls. He compared his rivals to characters avoiding saying the name of the villain in the Harry Potter series, suggesting they were hesitant to directly confront Trump.

Christie implied that candidates refrained from criticizing Trump directly to safeguard their chances of becoming his vice presidential nominee or securing future presidential prospects. He emphasized the necessity of telling the truth, even if it meant offending, to avoid denial and secure the party’s success.

DeSantis’ Culture War and Criticism of Haley

DeSantis, known for his “war on woke,” shifted the focus to domestic culture war issues like environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investing and transgender rights. He used these issues to paint Haley as a moderate, criticizing her stance on gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

DeSantis accused Haley of opposing a bill in Florida to prevent gender mutilation of minors, linking her support from wealthy donors to the ESG investing movement. He argued that these donors sought to impose a left-wing agenda on the country through economic power.

Haley clarified her position, stating that while she believed the law should stay out of it, parents should take the lead in such matters. She emphasized that she did not endorse youth gender transition.

Ramaswamy’s Conspiracy Theories

Vivek Ramaswamy, potentially in his last appearance on a GOP debate stage, embraced extreme conspiracy theories. He asserted that the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack was an “inside job,” claimed the 2020 election was “stolen by Big Tech,” and accused the government of lying about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

Ramaswamy also endorsed the “great replacement” theory, a racist conspiracy suggesting non-White people are being brought in to replace White voters. He labeled it a basic statement of the Democratic Party platform. In his closing statement, he declared the “climate change agenda” a hoax.

The fourth Republican primary debate showcased intense personal clashes, candidates avoiding direct criticism of Trump, and a divergence into culture war issues. Each contender sought to position themselves as the GOP’s primary alternative, but the evening was marked by memorable confrontations and minimal attention on Trump’s absence from the debate stage.

Final GOP Presidential Debate Unveils Intense Battle Between Haley and DeSantis for Trump Alternative, as Christie Defies Calls to Bow Out

The final GOP presidential debate of the year unfolded on Wednesday, featuring prominent figures such as Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, and Vivek Ramaswamy. Hosted by NewsNation, a sister news organization of The Hill, the two-hour event in Tuscaloosa, Ala., became a stage where Haley and DeSantis vied to solidify their positions behind former President Trump, who opted to skip the debate once again. Moderators Elizabeth Vargas, Megyn Kelly, and Eliana Johnson pressed the candidates on Trump, casting his shadow over the proceedings. CNN has also announced plans to host two Republican primary debates in January.

Haley, the former United Nations ambassador, found herself under the spotlight as the potential second-tier candidate to beat. Threatening to overshadow DeSantis as the leading Trump alternative, Haley faced challenges from DeSantis and Ramaswamy during the debate. However, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came to her defense, rebuffing Ramaswamy’s insults with a firm stance, declaring, “stop insulting her.” Despite the scrutiny, Haley maintained her composure, expressing gratitude for the attention and asserting her neck-and-neck position with DeSantis in recent Iowa caucus polls.

DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, emerged as a winner in the debate, delivering a strong performance that injected new momentum into his campaign. Responding to questions about his low poll numbers, DeSantis dismissed the polls, highlighting his landslide reelection in Florida last year and criticizing Haley for allegedly succumbing to pressure. Once considered a shoo-in alternative to Trump, DeSantis now faces a challenge from Haley’s rising popularity, leaving the primary outcome uncertain.

Chris Christie, despite facing calls to exit the race, demonstrated resilience within the GOP field. Taking a bold stance against Trump, Christie labeled him a “dictator” and a “bully,” urging fellow candidates to denounce the former president. In Alabama, Christie unequivocally stated, “His conduct is unacceptable. He’s unfit, and be careful of what you’re gonna get.” Christie’s refusal to back down showcased his determination to maintain relevance in the crowded GOP race.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, whose favorability among voters continues to decline, utilized the prime-time platform to launch personal attacks and promote conspiracy theories. His performance, including a scribbled note targeting Haley, drew strong reactions from the audience. Christie, in a memorable moment, called out Ramaswamy, saying, “This is the fourth debate that you would be voted in the first 20 minutes as the most obnoxious blowhard in America, so shut up for a while.”

Even in his absence, former President Trump loomed large as a dominant force. Trump’s decision to skip all debates has not diminished his lead in the primary field. The day before the crucial debate, he made headlines with comments during a Fox News town hall, where he asserted that he would not act as a dictator except on day one. While Haley and DeSantis compete for second place in recent polls, with Haley at 10 percent and DeSantis at 11 percent, Trump maintains a commanding 60-point lead over the field.

Nikki Haley Dismisses Donald Trump’s Lead In Presidential Polls: Says, GOP Has To “Pay The Price” For The Former President’s Presence In The Party

Indian American presidential primary candidate Nikki Haley attached little importance to her opponent Donald Trump’s lead among voters in the upcoming elections. In an interview with Fox News on November 12, Haley admitted that Trump has “strong support” but he is followed by “drama and negativity” and that Republicans will fail to win if he wins the GOP nomination.

Former President Trump has emerged as the GOP frontrunner, and polls have found him to be ahead of reigning President Joe Biden, but Haley believes the party will not benefit from his victory in the primary. “I think certainly Trump has some strong support. I’ve always said he was the right president at the right time and I agree with a lot of his policies,” she told Fox News. “The problem is, drama and chaos follow him, whether fairly or not, it is constantly following him and Americans feel it,” she added.

Haley further blamed Trump for the losses faced by GOP candidates recently and the party’s negatively impacted performance. Haley said the GOP has to “pay the price” for the former president’s presence in the party, as per a report. Haley said the Republican party should brace itself for more losses on the ballot races if Trump becomes the nominee for the Presidential elections, and endorsed herself as the better candidate.

“We need to make sure we have a new conservative leader. Republicans have lost the last seven out of eight popular votes for president. The way you do that is you send someone in there that doesn’t just beat Biden by two or three points like Trump does, you get somebody that beats Biden between nine and 13 points,” she said. Haley’s campaign had received a significant boost after the initial debates and polls suggested she could defeat President Biden by a wider margin than her primary rivals.

Haley also said she could be the candidate to lead the GOP to “win up and down the ticket, governor’s races, congressional seats, all of those seats.” She added, “It’s not just the presidential. We’re trying to win across the board. I can do that.”

Lack of Support Among South Asian Americans

Despite being prominently known as Indian American candidates in the race to the Oval Office in 2024, Republicans Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley are not as popular among or known to Asian Americans, a new poll conducted by AAPI Data and the Associated Press-National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago revealed.

According to the results, while more AAPI adults have unfavorable views than favorable views of Haley and Ramaswamy, a large proportion of them said they did not know enough about the two candidates to form an opinion.

The study found that only 18 percent and 23 percent of Asian American and Pacific Islander adults had favorable views of Ramaswamy and Haley, respectively, and 36 percent viewed both candidates as unfavorable. 40 percent of the respondents said they were not familiar with Haley, while Ramaswamy is unfamiliar to 46 percent of them.

“This is the first nationally representative survey that includes the views of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders about the major presidential candidates,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder and director of AAPI Data. “Rather than speculate about where AAPIs stand on candidates like Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, we have timely and reliable data that we will continue to follow through the rest of the presidential primary season.

The survey also dug into the political inclination of AAPI communities, with about half identifying as Democrats, over a quarter identifying as Republican, and about one in five identifying as independent or having no attachment to any party.

The current President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are viewed more favorably among the AAPI communities, while former President and current contender for the Republican nomination for the upcoming presidential elections, Donald Trump, is viewed unfavorably, as is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Haley And Ramaswamy Get Nastier At 3rd Republican Presidential Debate

The fight between Indian-American Republican candidates got nastier with former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley calling tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy “just a scumm” for bringing up her daughter as a reference at the party’s third presidential primary debate on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023.

At the debate held in Miami, the two leading Republican candidates sparred over the US policy on TikTok and whether it should be banned in the country because of its Chinese ownership.

The 38-year-old entrepreneur referred to Haley and said: “In the last debate, she made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care of your family first.”

Haley And Ramaswamy Get Nastier At 3rd Republican Presidential Debate (The Guardian)
Picture: The Guardian

Haley then shot back saying, “Leave my daughter out of your voice”, and as Ramaswamy continued to speak, she told him, “You are just a scum.”

The former South Carolina Governor also took to her X handle on Wednesday to further slam the biotech entrepreneur, which was dismissed by a handful of netizens as “cringe.”

“Vivek, I wear heels. They’re not for a fashion statement — they’re for ammunition,” Haley said, inviting a comment from a user, which said: “All of the comebacks in the world, and you chose cringe.”

The two also locked horns in the previous presidential debate with Haley slamming him for his inexperience on foreign policy issues.

Hitting out at Haley, Ramaswamy’s campaign in a statement said that in a desperate attempt to raise funds for her languishing establishment campaign, the former US ambassador to the UN was intentionally lying about the tech entrepreneur.

Haley blasted Ramaswamy for not backing US allies, and said that “Vivek has no foreign policy experience and it shows.” Ramaswamy also used the ‘Namrata Randhawa’ instead of Nikki Haley on his website, which she said was a “childish name game.”

“I’m not going to get involved in these childish name games. It’s pretty pathetic. First of all, I was born with Nikki on my birth certificate. I was raised as Nikki. I married a Haley. And so that is what my name is,” Haley told Fox News in response.

Haley again called for reforming Social Security and other entitlement programs, drawing a contrast with Trump — and bringing up what Democrats say is a significant vulnerability for her candidacy.

“Any candidate that tells you that they’re not going to take on entitlements is not being serious,” she said. “Right now you have Ron and Trump joining Biden and Pelosi saying they’re not going to change, or do any entitlement reform.”

Haley has long called for making significant changes to the program, including raising the retirement age and removing cost of living increases in favor of increases based on the inflation rate.

She also called for limiting the program for the wealthy — namechecking Bernie Marcus, the former CEO of Home Depot and a major Republican donor, saying that he “hates getting that check.”

In a survey released on Monday by the Des Moines Register, Haley climbed 10 points to 16 per cent, putting her even with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as he struggles to break through against former President Donald Trump.

In addition to Haley and Ramaswamy, three other candidates were on stage for the third debate — former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.

The two-hour debate, hosted by NBC News, took off at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

Trump, who has so far retained huge leads in polls, again skipped the debate, instead holding a rally not far from the Miami debate site in Hialeah, Florida.

The GOP candidates had one basic message for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Do what you have to do to destroy the Hamas militant group.

“Finish the job,” DeSantis said. “Finish them,” Haley said. “Not only do you have the responsibility and the right to wipe Hamas off of the map, we will support you,” Scott said.

Ramaswamy ended the debate by calling not on his Republican rivals, but on Biden, to drop out. The president should “step aside and end his candidacy now so we can see whether it’s [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom or Michelle Obama or whoever else,” Ramaswamy said at the end of his closing pitch.

Poll Reveals Vivek Ramaswamy’s Popularity Declines as Voters Get to Know Him

A recent survey conducted by NBC News and the Des Moines Register, renowned for its reliability in Iowa, reveals that Vivek Ramaswamy’s popularity is on a downward slope as voters become more familiar with him.

The poll, which places former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 16% each, positions them as secondary Republican candidates, with Donald Trump leading at 43%. Vivek Ramaswamy is trailing behind, standing at 4%, even falling behind Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) at 7% and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at 5%.

The concerning aspect for Ramaswamy is the significant increase in his unfavorable ratings. Back in late summer, 38% of respondents viewed him favorably, while only 20% held an unfavorable opinion. Now, the unfavorable rating has nearly doubled, reaching 37%, while his favorability has increased by just 5% to 43%.

These changes in perception seem closely linked to Iowans’ growing familiarity with Ramaswamy. In August, 41% of respondents didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion. That figure has now dropped to 20%. This shift is supported by anecdotes reported by Meryl Kornfield of The Washington Post.

The unfavorable trends continue for Ramaswamy as he fails to capture the second-choice preference of most Trump supporters. DeSantis is the preferred choice of 41% of Trump voters, followed by Haley at 16%. Even though Haley’s platform differs significantly from Trump’s, she is favored as the second choice by 15% of Trump voters, outperforming Ramaswamy.

Of note is Haley’s growing popularity, which coincides with Ramaswamy’s campaign’s stagnation, despite Ramaswamy’s attempts to position her as his foil. In a recent conversation with Tucker Carlson, Ramaswamy even insinuated that Haley’s call for the destruction of Hamas after a terror attack in Israel was motivated by a profit incentive.

“I don’t think she’s a child; I think that she is somebody, like many politicians, in a position to profit from war,” Ramaswamy told Carlson earlier this month.

This comment prompted a challenging interview from Fox News’ Sean Hannity, focusing on this accusation and Ramaswamy’s broader foreign policy views, ultimately leading to a challenging interview for Ramaswamy.

The GOP Leadership Crisis and Public Opinion

In a recent CNN poll conducted by SSRS, the public’s perception of the Republican Party and its congressional leaders has deteriorated, partly due to a leadership crisis in the House of Representatives. The poll reveals that Republican-aligned Americans are divided on how the GOP should govern, and even though many Americans are dissatisfied with both parties’ handling of the nation’s issues, they still express more confidence in the Republican Party’s leadership in Congress compared to President Joe Biden.

As of the poll, 54% of respondents have more confidence in Republicans in Congress to address major national issues, while 45% have more confidence in President Biden. This balance has remained unchanged since the summer.

Picture: CNN

The removal of Kevin McCarthy as House speaker, which occurred after the poll was conducted, received mixed reactions. Half of Americans approved of McCarthy’s removal, while 49% disapproved. McCarthy himself had a 46% unfavorable view, with 21% having a favorable opinion, and 33% expressing no opinion. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who initiated the motion to remove McCarthy, had an unfavorable rating of 44%, a favorable rating of 14%, and 42% were unsure about him.

Opinions within the Republican camp were divided, with 49% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents approving of McCarthy’s removal and 50% disapproving. Furthermore, there was little consensus on whether McCarthy’s removal was a good or bad thing for the party, with 30% considering it a positive development and 34% seeing it as detrimental.

These divisions within the Republican Party are reflected in the party’s presidential nomination contest. Among Republican-aligned voters who support former President Donald Trump, 56% approved of McCarthy’s ouster, compared to only 37% of those who didn’t support Trump in the primary.

This internal division is evident across multiple aspects of the Republican Party’s performance and its future direction. For instance, when asked about Republican leaders in Congress, 51% of Trump supporters approved of their work, compared to just 35% of other Republican-aligned voters. On the question of whether Republicans in Congress should compromise or stand firm on their beliefs, 52% of Trump backers favored standing firm, while 77% of other Republicans preferred working across the aisle.

Even on topics where there is agreement between the two factions, disparities exist. For example, Trump’s supporters are more likely to feel entirely unrepresented by the government, with 57% of Trump primary supporters believing they are not well represented in Washington, compared to 47% of other GOP-aligned voters.

Additionally, they are less likely to consider continued aid to Ukraine as important, with 45% of non-Trump Republican voters deeming it very or somewhat important, compared to 27% of Trump supporters. Trump supporters are also more optimistic about the government reaching an agreement to avoid a shutdown before the November 17 deadline, with 67% of Trump supporters viewing it as likely, as opposed to 57% of other Republicans.

In terms of the 2024 presidential nomination race, Trump has extended his lead, with 58% of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters supporting him. Other candidates, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, garnered less support, each receiving 8% or less in the poll.

Despite these internal party dynamics, the overall public perception of the Republican Party is highly negative. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents disapprove of the way the GOP’s congressional leaders are handling their roles, a notable increase from 67% in January. Furthermore, 52% of respondents have a negative impression of the Republican Party as a whole, an increase from 45% in December. Approval for GOP leadership in Congress has significantly dropped among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, decreasing from 58% in January to 44% at the time of the poll.

The public’s expectations for positive changes resulting from the Republican majority in the House have also diminished. Only 18% of respondents believe there has been a positive effect on the federal budget, 23% on oversight of the Biden administration, 17% on immigration laws, and 16% on the level of cooperation within the federal government. These figures reflect a decrease in optimism since December.

However, the challenges facing the Republican Party have not improved public opinion of Democrats. Just 35% of respondents approve of the way Democratic leaders in Congress are handling their roles, down from 40% in January. Additionally, 50% of respondents have an unfavorable opinion of the Democratic Party, an increase from 44% in December.

The poll indicates widespread frustration with both political parties, with 58% expressing anger at both parties’ handling of the nation’s problems. Another 15% are only angry at Republicans, and 13% are only angry at Democrats, leaving just 14% who are not angry with either party. Moreover, only 19% feel even somewhat well represented by the federal government in Washington, the lowest percentage in CNN polling since 2015. A substantial 81% now feel they are not represented well by the federal government.

Despite broad preferences for leaders in Congress and the White House to compromise in order to achieve results, 69% of respondents believe it is unlikely that attempts at bipartisanship on upcoming major legislation in Washington will be successful.

Regarding the imminent major legislation to fund the government by November 17, most Americans (57%) believe it is at least somewhat likely that a deal will be reached, with only 10% considering it “very likely.” Additionally, 81% of Americans find it unacceptable for members of Congress to threaten a government shutdown during budget negotiations to achieve their goals, with this sentiment being shared across party lines, including among Democrats (89%), independents (81%), and Republicans (72%).

This CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS from October 4-9 and included a random national sample of 1,255 adults, which also comprised 428 Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters. Surveys were conducted either online or by telephone with a live interviewer. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.4 points, and it is 5.7 points for results among Republican and Republican-leaning voters.

Asian Americans Prioritize Presidential Candidates’ Policy Positions Over Their Racial Identity

Nearly all registered Asian American voters — 97 per cent — say a candidate’s policy positions are more important than their race or ethnicity when deciding whom to vote for, says a new survey.

At the same time, a 68 per cent majority of Asian registered voters say it is extremely or very important to have a national leader who can advance the concerns of the US Asian community, according to the Pew Research Center survey conducted from July 5, 2022 to January 27, 2023.

The findings assume relevance as the 2024 US presidential election approaches with two candidates of Indian ancestry, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, running for the Republican nomination.

The survey — conducted among 7,006 Asian adults living in the US — said Asian Americans continue to be underrepresented among elected officials in the country compared with their share of the country’s population.

As of the beginning of the 118th Congress, 16 House members and two senators claim Asian ancestry.

Asian registered voters tend to prefer the Democratic Party — 62 per cent are Democrats or lean Democratic, while 34 per cent are Republicans leaners.

Issues Asian American voters care most about

About four in 10 registered Asian American voters, or 41 per cent, say inflation is the most important issue facing their local community — by far the most common issue cited during this extended survey period, which ended in January.

Economic inequality (16 per cent) is the second-most mentioned issue, followed by violent crime (11 per cent) and racism (9 per cent).

These concerns follow reports of violence against Asian Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Japanese registered voters (28 per cent) are more likely than Chinese (15 per cent) and Indian (13 per cent) voters to view economic inequality as the biggest issue facing their community.

Picture: VOX

Among Indian registered voters, 15 per cent say climate change is the most important issue facing their community. This is higher than the share saying the same among Filipino (7 per cent), Chinese (6 per cent), Japanese (6 per cent) and Vietnamese (5 per cent) voters.

Asian American voters’ views differ by political party

The survey noted that Asian Republican voters are more likely than their Democratic counterparts to view inflation as the most important issue facing the community they live in.

Even so, it is the most cited top issue for both groups.

Asian Democratic voters are more than twice as likely as Republicans to say economic inequality is the biggest issue facing their community.

Economic inequality is the second-most cited issue among Asian Democratic voters.

Among Asian Republican voters, violent crime is the second-most cited issue.

In addition, Asian registered voters born in the US are slightly more likely than immigrants to view economic inequality as the most important issue facing their community.

However, the importance of issues varies less by nativity than by party among Asian Americans. (IANS)

Anxiety grips 69% of Indian students in Canada due to diplomatic row

77 per cent of students who participated in the survey said their parents are “paranoid” or “worried” amid the Indo-Canadian diplomatic row.

Over 100+ Indian students studying across 20+ colleges and universities were surveyed for a recent report, the findings of which say 69 per cent of these students have experienced anxiety amid the ongoing Indo-Canadian diplomatic row.

The participating colleges included York University, Seneca College, Ryerson University, Centennial College, George Brown College, and Carleton University, among others. The survey was conducted by LooneyTooney, a platform assisting newcomers and potential immigrants in Canada to provide a data point to stakeholders like federal/provincial governments, colleges/universities, and locals to be able to take action to reassure the student community, as per a news release.

The survey found that 69 per cent of students experienced anxiety amid the ongoing tensions between the two countries, female students more than males. The anxiety levels were higher among students who have not spent much time in Canada than those who have been in the country longer.

The findings say 32 per cent of students are more worried about their physical safety than before while 77 per cent of students reported their parents are “paranoid” or “worried”. However, the survey also found that overall, students seem to be hoping that the ongoing situation is a temporary setback. 81 per cent of Indian students in Canada have their long-term plans of staying in Canada unchanged while only 9 per cent are considering leaving the country.

LooneyTooney founder Ashish Bhatia said, “Indian students in Canada are a vital bridge for people-to-people contact between the two countries. The students are worried about the short-term implications of the spat on their career and personal plans. Their well-being should be a paramount concern for various stakeholders who should take actions to mitigate the negative impact of current tensions.”

Indian students from the University of Toronto (UofT) participated in the survey as well. Recently, stated that it is fully committed to making the Indian community on its campus feel safe.

“U of T is proud to be home to more than 2,400 international students from India who enrich our classrooms and campus life, and many more students, faculty, staff, librarians, and alumni with ties to that country. We want to assure all impacted members of our community – and in particular international students – that you are welcome here and we are deeply committed to supporting your wellbeing,” read a part of the statement from Joseph Wong, vice-president, International.

5 Takeaways From Another Trump-Free Republican Debate

In the aftermath of the second Republican debate, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida shared his candid assessment of the event while sitting in the spin room with Fox News host Sean Hannity. He remarked, “If I was at home watching that, I would have changed the channel.” The debate unfolded as a meandering and often bewildering spectacle, seemingly validating former President Donald J. Trump’s decision to skip it. Apart from sporadic exceptions, the Republican contenders appeared content to engage in petty disputes among themselves. They largely refrained from delivering significant blows to the dominant front-runner, failing to disrupt the political reality that Mr. Trump continues to overshadow his rivals in national polls.

Here are five key takeaways from the two-hour debate characterized by overlapping conversations, unanswered questions, rehearsed comebacks, and a conspicuous absence of any mention of the legal issues surrounding the favored candidate:

Governor DeSantis of Florida initiated the debate by confronting Mr. Trump on a national stage, asserting, “Donald Trump is missing in action… He should be on this stage tonight. He owes it to you to defend his record where they added $7.8 trillion to the debt. That set the stage for the inflation that we have now.” This direct challenge had been long awaited by some allies and donors. However, as the debate progressed, this statement faded into the background, with candidates mostly choosing to ignore Mr. Trump’s commanding lead.

A pro-Mike Pence super PAC had issued a blunt message to donors before the debate, emphasizing the need to shake up the race. Nevertheless, the debate failed to produce any substantial disruptions, leaving the dynamics of the race largely unaltered. The 91 criminal charges against Mr. Trump went unmentioned, both by the moderators and the candidates ostensibly running against him. While the former president faced more criticism compared to the first debate, the seven candidates onstage spent most of the night engaging in disputes with one another, seemingly vying for the second-place position.

During the debate, Tim Scott directed criticism at Nikki Haley concerning curtains and a gas tax, and Ms. Haley reciprocated by challenging Governor DeSantis on fracking. Vivek Ramaswamy faced scrutiny over his past business dealings with China and was accused by Scott of lacking knowledge about the Constitution. Chris Christie attempted to steer the conversation back towards Mr. Trump, even suggesting at one point that he should be “voted off the island.” However, the overall result was a chaotic and unclear exchange.

Governor DeSantis’s performance aligned with what his supporters had been anticipating. Despite initial criticism from the media about his lack of assertiveness in the first debate, his allies believed it was effective. In this debate, he utilized the sole abortion question of the night to criticize Mr. Trump for his stance on Florida’s restrictive abortion ban. He skillfully sidestepped a question about his previous comments regarding slavery in the state’s curriculum. At the outset, Governor DeSantis appeared confident and in control, mostly avoiding heated arguments. Although he struggled initially to find speaking opportunities, he eventually spoke more than any other candidate. Towards the end, he pushed back against the moderators when they asked candidates to indicate which candidate they would vote “off the island,” deeming the question “disrespectful.”

Despite Governor DeSantis’s assertiveness, his sporadic references to Mr. Trump did little to suggest that he could close the substantial gap between himself and the former president. Shortly after the debate concluded, a senior Trump adviser, Chris LaCivita, called for the cancellation of further debates, indicating that Mr. Trump felt no immediate pressure to enter the debate arena.

Nikki Haley solidified her position at the center stage during the debate. Following her strong performance in the first debate, which had sparked renewed interest from major donors, Ms. Haley appeared comfortable in the spotlight. She took aim at Governor DeSantis and defended herself against attacks from Tim Scott, whom she had appointed to the Senate. She even delivered one of the more memorable lines of the evening, telling Vivek Ramaswamy, “every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber.” Ms. Haley, like Governor DeSantis, took aim at Mr. Trump, suggesting that he had focused on the wrong issues in dealing with China’s growing influence and highlighting areas where he had left America vulnerable. Her rising stature was further confirmed as rivals began to scrutinize elements of her record as governor and United Nations ambassador.

Tim Scott reasserted himself in this debate after fading into the background during the first one. He had experienced a decline in the polls following the initial debate but made a strong comeback. From the beginning of the contest, he actively sought speaking time and integrated his trademark optimism with pointed criticisms directed at both Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley. Notably, he refrained from targeting Mr. Trump. His standout moment came during an exchange with Governor DeSantis on Florida’s curriculum regarding slavery, where he chose to emphasize his life story and emphasize his belief that America is not a racist country.

Vivek Ramaswamy adopted a different approach in this debate compared to the first one. In the prior debate, he gained attention by launching personal attacks on his opponents and accusing them of corruption. However, polling data following the debate did not support the narrative of his victory. Republican voters developed a more negative perception of him, and he struggled in early-state polls compared to his performance in national online polls. Consequently, Ramaswamy adopted a conciliatory tone in this debate, chastising his competitors for attacking each other and repeatedly expressing his respect for them. However, this reinvented persona failed to resonate, as the other candidates at times appeared to bond over their shared disapproval of him. Ms. Haley even elicited laughter from the audience when she remarked that she felt “dumber every time he talked,” while Tim Scott criticized his business ties to China. Overall, aside from the critiques directed at President Biden, the harshest criticisms of the night were aimed at Mr. Ramaswamy.

Vivek Ramaswamy has better chance at presidency against Trump than Nikki Haley:Poll

Ramaswamy has a better chance of winning the primary against Trump as compared to Haley but the results were reversed if the Indian Americans were to contest Biden

The latest Harvard/CAPS Harris Poll, a monthly collaboration between the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard (CAPS) and the Harris Poll and HarrisX, revealed that if it came down to a one-on-one between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy against former President Donald Trump, Ramaswamy had a better chance at winning.

Picture : ABC News

If the Republican party primary is down to two choices, Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, 38 per cent of the respondents said they would vote for the former while 62 per cent  chose Trump. For the same question but with Ramaswamy and Trump as choices, the results were 40 and 60 per cent respectively.

For the same question, Trump held the maximum amount of votes, i.e. 30 per cent, with DeSantis in position two with 7 per cent of the votes, followed by the two Indian American candidates.

The results of Haley and Ramaswamy’s favorability among voters was flipped if they were to compete against President Joe Biden. In head-to-head presidential matchups, Biden would lose the election to Haley by 4 per cent, and Ramaswamy trails behind Biden by 2 per cent, as per poll results.

Vivek Ramaswamy Wants End To H-1B Visa System

Calling the much sought-after H-1B visa system “indentured servitude”, Indian-American GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has pledged to get rid of it if voted to power in 2024, Politico reported.

Having himself used the system 29 times in the past to hire highly-skilled professionals for his pharma company, Ramaswamy said that the temporary worker visas system is “bad for everyone involved”, and the US needs to eliminate chain-based migration.

“The lottery system needs to be replaced by actual meritocratic admission. It’s a form of indentured servitude that only accrues to the benefit of the company that sponsored an H-1B immigrant. I’ll gut it,” the Politico quoted the 38-year-old entrepreneur as saying.

“The people who come as family members are not the meritocratic immigrants who make skills-based contributions to this country,” Ramaswamy, born to immigrant parents from Kerala, added.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services approved 29 applications for Ramaswamy’s former company, Roivant Sciences, to hire employees under H-1B visas from 2018 through 2023, the report said.

“As the largest organization of members currently on H1B visa stuck in green card backlogs, we completely agree with @VivekGRamaswamy & others willing to speak the truth: H1B visa is, in fact, indentured servitude that only benefits the company that sponsors the visa, but is bad for everyone else. We agree — it is time to gut H1B,” US-based non-profit, Immigration Voice, wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Stating that Ramaswamy has grabbed headlines for his restrictionist immigration policy agenda, the Politico said that “his rhetoric has at times gone farther than the other GOP candidates, as he calls for lottery-based visas, such as the H-1B worker visas, to be replaced with ‘meritocratic” admission’”.

He has also said that he would deport US-born children of undocumented immigrants.

The H-1B visa allows companies and other employers in the US to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialised knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent.

Every year the US gives 65,000 H-1B visas open to all and 20,000 to those with advanced US degrees. Indians are the biggest beneficiaries of the H-1B visas getting about 75 per cent of them, according to the US government.

In July 2023, Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi introduced legislation proposing to double the annual intake of foreign workers on H-1B visas from 65,000 to 130,000.

Earlier this year, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the US Senate to reform and close loopholes in the H-1B visa programme, created to complement America’s high-skilled workforce. (IANS)

Vivek Ramaswamy Has Better Chances Than Nikki Haley Against Trump: Polls

Vivek Ramaswamy has a better chance of winning the primary against Trump as compared to Haley but the results were reversed if the Indian Americans were to contest Biden

The latest Harvard/CAPS Harris Poll, a monthly collaboration between the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard (CAPS) and the Harris Poll and HarrisX, revealed that if it came down to a one-on-one between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy against former President Donald Trump, Ramaswamy had a better chance at winning.

If the Republican party primary is down to two choices, Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, 38 per cent of the respondents said they would vote for the former while 62 per cent  chose Trump. For the same question but with Ramaswamy and Trump as choices, the results were 40 and 60 per cent respectively.

Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy.

For the same question, Trump held the maximum number of votes, i.e. 30 per cent, with DeSantis in position two with 7 per cent of the votes, followed by the two Indian American candidates.

The results of Haley and Ramaswamy’s favorability among voters was flipped if they were to compete against President Joe Biden. In head-to-head presidential matchups, Biden would lose the election to Haley by 4 per cent, and Ramaswamy trails behind Biden by 2 per cent, as per poll results.

Biden Trails Haley, Polling Neck-And-Neck With Other Republicans

A recent CNN poll has brought concerning news for the White House and President Biden, with his approval rating at just 39 percent, a little over a year before the next election. In contrast, 61 percent of respondents expressed disapproval of Biden’s job performance, marking a significant drop from his 45 percent approval rating earlier in the year.

One of the standout findings of the poll is that former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is the only GOP presidential candidate leading in a hypothetical matchup against Biden. The poll, conducted by SSRS, shows Haley ahead of Biden with 49 percent to 43 percent. Notably, all other major Republican candidates are locked in tight races with the incumbent president.

These results are particularly promising for Nikki Haley, who previously served as the United Nations ambassador under President Trump. She aims to capitalize on her strong showing in the recent GOP presidential debate, hoping to challenge her former boss for the Republican nomination. However, it’s important to note that Haley trails significantly behind Trump in polls of Republican primary voters, highlighting the considerable challenge she faces.

Nonetheless, the CNN poll suggests that she could be a more competitive GOP nominee against Biden in the general election compared to her Republican rivals. This potential advantage may become a key talking point as she campaigns in early primary and caucus states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

Other notable GOP candidates also outperformed Biden in the head-to-head polling. Former Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Tim Scott both garnered 46 percent support, while Biden received 44 percent. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie secured 44 percent to Biden’s 42 percent, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tied with Biden, each at 47 percent. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy trailed Biden in a head-to-head matchup, with 45 percent to Biden’s 46 percent. Trump held a slim 1-point lead over Biden, with 47 percent to 46 percent.

When respondents were asked about a potential rematch between Trump and Biden, 47 percent indicated they would choose the former president, while 46 percent favored the current president. A small percentage (5 percent) preferred a different candidate, and 2 percent stated they did not plan to vote. These numbers do not bode well for Biden, as he trails five of the seven GOP candidates in the polling.

One significant concern for voters regarding Biden is his age; he is currently 80 years old and will turn 81 in November. The CNN poll reveals that more than half of Democratic voters surveyed are “seriously concerned” about his age. Approximately 60 percent of Democrats expressed apprehension about Biden’s ability to win the 2024 election if he secures the Democratic nomination. Additionally, 62 percent of Democrats and 76 percent of all respondents expressed serious concerns about Biden completing a second term.

While Biden is virtually certain to secure the Democratic nomination, his weaknesses in this poll are likely to heighten anxieties within the Democratic party regarding his strength as a candidate in the upcoming election. According to the poll, 46 percent of voters believe any Republican presidential nominee would be a better choice than Biden in 2024, while 32 percent believe the sitting president is a better option than any of the GOP hopefuls. In contrast, 44 percent of respondents think any Democratic nominee would be better than Trump, and 38 percent consider the former president superior to any Democratic nominee.

Among Democrats, the poll found that 67 percent would prefer the party to nominate someone other than Biden, a significant increase from the 54 percent who expressed the same sentiment in March. Of those who desire a different candidate, 82 percent did not have a specific individual in mind. Only 1 percent stated they would vote for either of Biden’s 2024 Democratic challengers, Marianne Williamson or Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS from August 25 to August 31 among 1,259 registered voters and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Despite the challenges Biden faces in this poll, he is currently preparing to attend the G20 summit in India and will return to Washington at the beginning of the following week. While the poll results may boost Republican confidence in defeating Biden, they also raise questions among GOP voters about Trump’s viability as a general election candidate in 2024, considering his ongoing legal issues, including federal indictments and state charges.

11th Annual IndiaFest Wisconsin India Day Celebrated

In 2023, India celebrated the 77th independence from Britain and IndiaFest Wisconsin celebration marked its 11th year. On Saturday Aug 26th, festivities in Wisconsin began in Menomonee Falls downtown village park, Waukesha county, with the parade by the children and guests invoking deity Ganesh followed by hoisting of the tricolor flag of India. This was followed by the rendition of the national anthems of both countries, India (largest democracy) and the United States (oldest democracy), in the presence of dignitaries and leaders of our community. Ganesh Vandana, devotional and patriotic performances followed.

Lamp is known as ‘Deepak’, ‘Jyot’ or ‘Jyoti’ which represents Agni (fire element). ‘Divine Light’ symbolizes abundance, prosperity, wealth, and knowledge. The lighting of an oil lamp is regarded as bowing down to knowledge. Significance of oil lamp lighting is to remove darkness, ignorance, and unhappiness, spreading Almighty’s grace and divinity by seeking blessings.

Picture : IndiaFestWI

India Day celebration at IndiaFest Wisconsin 2023 was graced by State Senator Dan Knodl, State Representative Paul Melotik, Waukesha County Supervisor Jacob LaFontain, Menomonee Falls Village President Jeremy Waltz, and Chair of Republican Party Congressional District 4 Bob Spindell. Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers, Mayor of Milwaukee Cavalier Johnson, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, US Senator Ron Johnson, State Senator Chris Larson, Consul General of India (Midwest) Somnath Ghosh, Honorary Consul General of Bangladesh Monir Choudhury, Honorary Consul General of Nepal Marvin A. Brustin and Brookfield Mayor Steven Ponto were among the invitees. Both the country’s flags India and the United States were highlighted throughout the celebration, signifying the strong India-US relationship, denoting the largest and oldest democracy of the world with love and respect.

Picture : IndiaFestWI

A number of organizations, including Wisdom Infotech, Trayix, Codeworks, Airport Animal Hospital, West Allis Veterinary Clinic, Elite Bar & Grill, Chicago Association of Rajasthanis in America, Sri Gayethri Foods, Pro-life Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood, Asian American Store Owners Association, supported and contributed to India Day celebration at IndiaFest Wisconsin 2023. Vendors included Chic Sari from Green Bay, Kumar Juice Catering Service from Chicago, Labourers of Christ from Michigan and restaurants and clothing businesses from the broader Milwaukee and Waukesha region. IndiaFest Wisconsin was adorned with Mehendi (henna), threading, sari, kurti shopping, bounce house for children etc. IndiaFest Wisconsin is blessed to have a few individual donors as well.

Although the entire setup done by volunteers got ruined by heavy rain and wind the previous night and all things got soaked, we believe perhaps Bhagwan Shiva protected us and blessed the celebration from up above. The entire celebration on Saturday had no drop of rain and everyone had a great time learning about Indian culture. Help from above was noticed.

Officially, Aug 15th, 2023 was proclaimed as INDIA DAY in Wisconsin by Governor Tony Evers, in Milwaukee County by County Executive David Crowley, and in Waukesha County by County Executive Paul Farrow. Proclamations attached.

Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers proclaimed, “in addition to commemorating India’s independence, India Day provides an opportunity for all Wisconsinites to learn about Indian culture and its incredible diversity of language, region, and religion and to strengthen the bonds between the Indian community and others.”

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson congratulated and stated, “Congratulations on the 11th year of IndiaFest Wisconsin as well as the 77th Independence Day of India! Your dedication and efforts to bring visibility to the Indian Community of Wisconsin is to be commended. Thank you for your commitment to educating the greater Wisconsin community about the rich culture, traditions and heritage of India.”

Senator Dan Knodl applauded efforts of Spindle India, Inc., by stating “I applaud founder Purnima Nath, IndiaFest Wisconsin and the organization Spindle India, Inc., for their tremendous community service over the past decade in strengthening the India-US relationship and bringing visibility to Indian culture and heritage in Wisconsin.”

Since 2018, Spindle India, Inc., worked tirelessly with the Governor of Wisconsin’s office to obtain proclamation for India day in Wisconsin. We thank former governor Scott Walker and current Governor Tony Evers for their support and acknowledgment.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley proclaimed, “Milwaukee County recognizes IndiaFest Wisconsin and Spindle India, Inc., for their invaluable contribution of community service to Milwaukee County and joins all Wisconsinites in celebrating and appreciating India Day, Indian Culture, and the Indian community in Milwaukee County.” Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow proclaimed, “acknowledging the contribution of Spindle India, Inc., towards bringing communities together and bringing visibility of Indian community, culture, heritage, history and civilization.”

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow proclaimed, “acknowledging the contribution of Spindle India, Inc., towards bringing communities together and bringing visibility of Indian community, culture, heritage, history and civilization”.

Honorary Consul General of Nepal Marvin A. Brustin congratulated Spindle India, Inc. for the celebration of India and bringing communities together. Mr. Brustin stated, “As many of you know, India and Nepal share an open border and many common traditions. In my capacity of Honorary Consul General, I have had the privilege of learning more about both these ancient and remarkable cultures, and hope that spirit of openness and cooperation we often see between them will be present here in the US as well, allowing us to continue work together for our respective countries mutual benefit.”

Mayor of Brookfield Steven Ponto applauded the Indian community for placing emphasis on education and also congratulated Spindle India, Inc for its volunteering initiative.

“Spindle India, Inc, is an ultra-small volunteer-run nonprofit organization run in borrowed garage-space with big dreams and goals. Since 2013, Spindle India, Inc., strived hard to bring communities together regardless of the challenges of resources and funding, without cutting any corners. I am grateful to the universe for allowing me to be the custodian of this organization and her vision.”, stated Purnima Nath, Founder of Spindle India, Inc.

IndiaFest Wisconsin showcased ancient Indic culture, heritage and civilization through demonstrations of traditional clothing, music, dance, food, displays, decor, explanations, and art forms. Many local talents from across the broader Milwaukee, Waukesha and Racine area displayed art forms through music and dance. Kathak Dancer Natalia Armacanqui of Kallpa House of Spirit Dances from Madison and students from Milwaukee’s Aparna’s Dance Studio performed traditional, devotional, classical (Bharatnatyam) and contemporary dance forms. Mahijit Virdi, Abhijit Virdi, Manoj Tripathi from greaterMilwaukee and Racine counties and Special guest Dr. Neelima Sharma from India renditioned Bollywood’s old and contemporary music numbers. For the first time, IndiaFest Wisconsin illustrated a unique experience of the Folk Fusion of Indian and South American (Ecuadorian) Instruments by Victor Murillo from Ecuador, Indrajit Banerjee from India on Sitar, an eons-old Indian stringed instrument, and Jason McKinsey on Drums and tabla from Texas. Contemporary Bollywood music was performed by the Bollywood Orchestra of Archana Gauswami and Ajay Patel from India. IndiaFest Wisconsin was enriched by performers from various countries, India, Nepal, America, Ecuador and so on.

IndiaFest Wisconsin showcased the culture, history, and heritage of India’s ancient Indic civilization through art forms, food, music, dance and decor Ancient Indic culture is promoted through displays of traditional clothing, explanations, and displays of arts. First time IndiaFest Wisconsin showcased Folk Fusion of Indian and South American (Ecuadorian) Instruments by Victor Murillo, Indrajit Banerjee (Sitar, an eons-old Indian stringed instrument) and Jason McKinsey (Drums and tabla). Contemporary Bollywood music was performed by the Orchestra from India.

A few volunteers were kind enough to lend a few hands during their busy schedule to bring this festival in the land of Wisconsin are MaryJo Thompson, Gerald Knoch, Jenn Dedrick, Shubhra Prasad, Bharat Prasad, Ashita Verma, Jayanti Roy, Arnab Bag and Aparna Bag. These volunteers are not paid for whatever time, energy they dedicated for the cause of promoting Indian culture, heritage and civilization through IndiaFest. Without the help of their time and energy IndiaFest Wisconsin would not have been possible.

IndiaFest Wisconsin is an opportunity to get a glimpse of the warmth, breadth, and depth of India, launched by Spindle India, Inc, a nonprofit organization, founded by Purnima Nath. IndiaFest Wisconsin is an inclusive platform that transcends religion, region, language, culture, community, borders and political bias to promote true diversity, equality, and the value of inclusion and coexistence, that is a fundamental principle of ancient Hindu culture of India (Bharat = Hindustan).

Founder and Chairwoman of Spindle India, Inc., Ms. Purnima Nath, who serves as volunteer President and produces IndiaFest Wisconsin to promote Indian culture and heritage says, “in America, people do not know much about Indian culture beyond a few popular food items such as curry, samosa, or naan. We are more than that. Inventions, discoveries, ideologies, acceptance, tolerance, oldest-living surviving ancient civilization which has not been accepted by the world yet. Sadly, there are many misconceptions about India, the Indian community, and the ancient Indic civilization in the United States. Through such avenues and platforms, we can break barriers of cultural differences and communicate about the oldest-living-surviving Indian civilization through education and learning, and connecting with a broader community that fosters understanding. We hope this opens up the possibility of opening doors to potential wider acceptance of our community and incredible culture.”

Vivek Ramaswamy’s Surprising Ascent in Republican Politics

Vivek Ramaswamy’s unexpected emergence as a prominent figure within the Republican Party has sent shockwaves through the political landscape. The 38-year-old pharmaceutical executive’s sudden prominence in the GOP presidential primary race has raised eyebrows, especially after his standout performance in a recent debate.

Previously an unexpected contender, Ramaswamy’s surge in popularity has been evident in the polls, where he has begun to surpass the popularity of current Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. While DeSantis was once comfortably polling above 35% among voters, his favorability has dwindled in recent times, with numerous polls showing his numbers dipping below 15%. In contrast, Ramaswamy, who announced his presidential candidacy in late February, had started with a modest polling range between 1% and 5%. However, recent polls conducted by Rasmussen Reports and McLaughlin & Associates indicate that his support has soared, with figures reaching as high as 24%, and in some cases, even surpassing DeSantis.

 

Amidst the Battle for Second Place

As DeSantis and Ramaswamy vie for second place in the primary race, the prevailing sentiment is that former President Donald Trump maintains a commanding lead, consistently polling at over 50%. Trump’s resurgence and increasing popularity have been attributed, in part, to his recent legal challenges across four states, which appear to have rallied his base. Furthermore, Trump’s strategic return to social media, now under the name “X” after the rebranding of Twitter, is anticipated to further bolster his polling numbers.

Ramaswamy’s Policy Stances and Their Potential Market Effects

Vivek Ramaswamy’s policy platform is marked by a commitment to reducing government expenditure and regulations. While these policies might not directly impact individual stocks, the broader market indices such as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Stock Exchange tend to respond positively to initiatives aimed at deregulation in specific sectors.

Energy Sectors and Economic Implications

Ramaswamy aligns himself with many GOP candidates in supporting energy solutions rooted in natural resources like oil, coal, nuclear power, and natural gas. This alignment suggests that stocks in these sectors could experience substantial growth under a Ramaswamy presidency. Notable companies poised to benefit include ExxonMobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, Constellation Energy Corp., and NuScale Power Corp.

Cryptocurrency Standpoint and Financial Markets

While Ramaswamy takes a stance against central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), he has emerged as a proponent of Bitcoin. His campaign’s acceptance of donations in Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and other cryptocurrencies reflects his support for the crypto landscape. However, it remains unclear whether he would actively promote policies favoring cryptocurrencies. Ramaswamy’s priority appears to be strengthening the U.S. dollar over Bitcoin, thereby shaping his stance on digital currencies.

Tech Innovation and Startup Ecosystem

Ramaswamy’s focus on innovation, evident in his “America First 2.0” agenda and his background in technology, bodes well for traditional technology stocks. Although companies like Alphabet Inc. and Apple Inc. have exhibited resilience regardless of the party in power, potential tax incentives for companies moving their operations to the U.S. could enhance their profitability in the long term.

Picture : CNBC

Stimulating innovation and small business growth is anticipated to yield positive outcomes. The venture capital market, which encountered declines exceeding 50% in the U.S. during the first half of 2023, is showing signs of a rebound. Platforms facilitating retail startup investments, like StartEngine and Wefunder, are gradually recovering. The projected positive direction of these sectors is attributed to the potential for deregulation and policies promoting innovation, small businesses, and vocational trades.

Vivek Ramaswamy’s unforeseen prominence in the Republican Party’s presidential primary race has captivated attention. As he competes with Governor Ron DeSantis for second place, both candidates trail behind the frontrunner, former President Donald Trump. Ramaswamy’s policy positions, spanning from deregulation to energy preferences and cryptocurrency viewpoints, hold potential implications for various sectors in the economy and financial markets. His commitment to fostering innovation and supporting small businesses has the potential to reshape multiple facets of the American economic landscape.

Haley Vs. Ramaswamy: For The First Time, 2 Indian-Americans Spar In GOP Debate

For the first time in the history of the US, two Indian-American presidential candidates locked horns over the country’s foreign policy in the Republican party’s first presidential debate.

On Wednesday, Nikki Haley, 51, accused Vivek Ramaswamy, 38, of supporting America’s foreign adversaries and abandoning its friends, and said that her GOP rival lacked foreign policy experience.

Asserting that a win for Russia is a win for China, Haley said that Ukraine is the first line of defence for the US, which Ramaswamy doesn’t understand and wants to handover Kiev to Moscow.

“The problem that Vivek Ramaswamy doesn’t understand is he wants to hand Ukraine to Russia, he wants to let China eat Taiwan, he wants to go and stop funding Israel,” Haley said.

“You don’t do that to friends. What you do instead is you have the backs of your friends,” Hely said even as Ramaswamy interrupted her on and off, calling her accusations false.

Ramaswamy, who was the only presidential candidate to raise hand when Fox News moderators asked who would not keep supporting Ukraine, argued the US should focus on protecting its own border first.

Stating that Haley was “pushing this lie” about him, Ramaswamy accused her of backing Ukraine at the behest of defence contractors. “I wish you well in your future career on the boards of Lockheed (Martin) and Raytheon,” Ramaswamy told Haley.

The youngest presidential-hopeful had recently unveiled his foreign policy vision at the Nixon Presidential Library, which called for less involvement in foreign affairs that do not directly concern the US.

“I do not want to get to the point where we are sending our military resources abroad, when we could be better using them here at home to protect our borders, protect my homeland,” Ramaswamy said at the debate.

Haley said Ramaswamy is choosing Russian President Vladimir Putin who has said that once they take over Ukraine Baltic states are the next.

“That’s a World War we are trying to prevent… You are choosing a murderer over a pro-American country,” Haley blasted Ramaswamy in a heated exchange of words, warning that Ramaswamy’s moves could cost America’s security.

Earlier, another GOP rival Chris Christie tore into Ramaswamy during the debate, calling him an “amateur” Obama, and sounding like a ChatGPT. (IANS)

Republican Presidential Debate Showcases Standout Performances By Vivek & Hailey

The initial Republican presidential debate proved to be a lively event, as eight contenders engaged in heated discussions and exchanges. Despite concerns that the absence of the charismatic showman, Donald Trump, might render the debate dull, it was anything but lackluster.

The group of rivals, assembled in Wisconsin, demonstrated their capacity to generate excitement without relying on Trump’s presence. Within this competitive atmosphere, certain candidates emerged as strong contenders, while others seemed to fade into the background. Here’s an overview of the winners and losers from the debate.

FOX

Vivek Ramaswamy: In a surprising turn of events, a political novice with no prior experience in public office, and who had abstained from voting for presidents from 2004 to 2020, took center stage during the Republican debate. Sporting a wide grin and a sharp wit, Ramaswamy appeared to be the sole candidate genuinely enjoying the proceedings. His lack of political baggage allowed him to deflect criticism from fellow contenders, insinuating that Christie was auditioning for a left-leaning news channel, and Haley’s positions on Ukraine were aimed at securing positions on defense contractor boards.

“I’m the only person on the stage who isn’t bought and paid for,” Ramaswamy boldly asserted during a discussion on climate change, which sparked outrage among his opponents. Ramaswamy consistently positioned himself as an outsider amidst a sea of establishment insiders, championing unconventional views such as advocating Ukraine to cede territory to Russia, deploying military force to secure the US-Mexico border, and prohibiting US firms from engaging with China.

While his stances may diverge significantly from the Republican Party’s mainstream, Ramaswamy proved that even audacious and seemingly impractical policy proposals can garner attention, as demonstrated by Trump in 2016. Despite potential limitations in challenging Trump’s nomination, Ramaswamy’s performance guaranteed his influence in the upcoming months.

Mike Pence: A seasoned politician with a history as a congressman, governor, and vice-president, Pence showcased his remaining political vigor during the debate. Although his presidential campaign has encountered challenges, being disliked by both Trump supporters and critics, his experience on the debate stage served him well. Pence immediately went on the offensive, criticizing Ramaswamy’s inexperience and asserting that “now is not the time for on-the-job training.” He fervently advocated for nationwide abortion restrictions, a stance likely to resonate with evangelical Republicans, who wield significant influence in pivotal states like Iowa and South Carolina.

When the topic shifted to Trump, Pence had the final say, highlighting his prioritization of the Constitution on January 6, 2021, by refusing to overturn the election results as per Trump’s wishes. This stance garnered support from some of his rivals. While Pence’s campaign still faces challenges, his debate performance illustrated why he was once considered a promising presidential candidate among conservative Republicans.

Nikki Haley: The former US ambassador to the UN consistently defies expectations. Never defeated in any race for office, even when facing established Republican contenders for the South Carolina governorship, Haley continued her streak during the debate. She stood out by delivering early and pointed criticisms of both Trump and the Republican Party as a whole.

“Republicans did this to you too,” Haley remarked while discussing the substantial US budget deficit. She emphasized the need to curtail spending and borrowing. \

Turning her attention to the former president, Haley labeled Trump as the “most disliked politician in America,” cautioning that the Republican Party’s fortunes would suffer as a consequence. Haley exhibited her readiness for a fight, engaging in debates with Ramaswamy over continuing US aid to Ukraine and challenging Pence’s calls for a national abortion ban as unrealistic and politically damaging.

Even if she fails to surge ahead in the current race, Haley’s debate performance could position her for future presidential bids in election years not dominated by a former president.

Middle of the Pack

Tim Scott and Chris Christie: Christie adhered to expectations by adopting a confrontational tone, taking jabs at Trump and Ramaswamy while displaying a spirited and combative attitude. Yet, his criticisms of Ramaswamy and his comments about the political neophyte resembling “ChatGPT” failed to resonate with the audience.

Tim Scott’s conciliatory demeanor positioned him above the fray during the most heated exchanges. While this approach may not attract a substantial voter base, it could enhance his prospects as a potential vice-presidential candidate for Trump.

Losers

Ron DeSantis: Initially projected to be a strong contender alongside Trump, the Florida governor’s poll numbers have dwindled since the beginning of the year. DeSantis failed to revitalize his campaign during the debate, remaining largely absent during pivotal moments. While his performance wasn’t disastrous, Ramaswamy overshadowed him, and rivals like Pence and Haley dominated discussions on abortion and US aid to Ukraine. His uncertain footing during discussions about Trump and recent indictments further highlighted his struggles. DeSantis’ inability to close the gap with Trump demonstrated that he has become a marginal player despite past expectations of his prominence within the Republican Party.

Asa Hutchinson and Doug Burgum: Hutchinson barely qualified for the Milwaukee debate, and Burgum secured his position through an unconventional campaign gimmick. Both candidates needed to prove their worth but failed to stand out. Hutchinson’s criticisms of Trump paled in comparison to Christie’s sharper attacks, and Burgum’s modest, small-state conservatism didn’t capture attention. With stricter qualification standards for the next debate, neither candidate demonstrated the necessary support to secure another appearance on the stage.

The Republican presidential debate showcased a dynamic atmosphere with candidates engaging in fervent exchanges. Ramaswamy’s unexpected prominence as a political newcomer, Pence’s revival of vigor, and Haley’s resilience against expectations were notable highlights. Candidates like Christie and Scott occupied the middle ground, while DeSantis, Hutchinson, and Burgum faltered. This debate marked an early juncture in the campaign, offering a glimpse of the evolving landscape of the Republican nomination race.

Is Anyone Having More Fun Running For President Than Vivek Ramaswamy?

Vivek Ramaswamy is currently navigating through the bustling streets of New Hampshire in a crowded Ford Explorer. The Republican contender for the presidential race is managing a whirlwind of campaign stops, engaging in discussions with three journalists while simultaneously conferring with a campaign assistant. During this drive, there’s a brief jolt as the SUV veers onto the highway’s rumble strip, causing Ramaswamy to momentarily startle before promptly resuming his conversation.

In the world of presidential campaigns, the ability to multitask is a necessity – be it handling various tasks while on the move, interacting with constituents, or delivering speeches. However, among the Republican candidates, few exhibit the multitasking prowess of the affluent 38-year-old Ramaswamy. His day has been brimming with activity, starting from his visit to the courthouse in Washington where Donald Trump was to be arraigned, all the way to New Hampshire. Here, he engaged in a lunchtime meet-and-greet and later attended a backyard gathering, addressing attendees and distributing pamphlets outlining his 10 core “truths.” These include statements such as “there are two genders,” “human prosperity depends on fossil fuels,” and “the nuclear family represents the supreme form of governance known to humanity.” During these events, Ramaswamy also shared his plans to dismantle the Department of Education, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service. Additionally, he articulated his intent to take the “America First” approach even further than Trump by reducing support for Ukraine and deploying troops to secure the southern border.

Ramaswamy’s strategy of being present everywhere at once, combined with his knack for conveying provocative anti-establishment views in an amiable manner, has propelled him to a prominent position in the GOP primary. Since officially launching his candidacy in February, Ramaswamy’s pace has been relentless. From shaking hands in New Hampshire to rapping Eminem lyrics in Iowa, from featuring on over 70 podcasts to appearing on a plethora of news programs, and generating a consistent stream of online content, he has outperformed many governors and even a former vice president in the early primary states. This dynamism has led Ramaswamy to secure second or third place in various national polls, garnering attention as a major contender.

Sarah Longwell, a Republican pollster who conducts focus groups with GOP-leaning voters, noted a shift in perception. While previously, Ramaswamy was scarcely mentioned in discussions while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was frequently brought up, the tables have now turned. Longwell views Ramaswamy’s campaign approach as one DeSantis could have adopted. “I think that he has been running the kind of campaign that Ron DeSantis should have run,” Longwell commented on Ramaswamy’s strategy.

However, Ramaswamy’s journey ahead won’t be without challenges. The influence of Trump remains dominant in the race, commanding the support of a majority of primary voters as indicated by recent national polls. Furthermore, Ramaswamy hasn’t yet become a target for his fellow contenders, partly due to not being perceived as a significant threat. While Ramaswamy has made strides in winning over the GOP base, Longwell doesn’t consider him a genuine contender for the GOP nomination. She explains, “He’s not really running as a challenger to Trump. He’s running as somebody who’s trying to elevate his brand, elevate his name ID, and simply become a player in politics.”

In contrast, Ramaswamy asserts his intention to secure victory and categorically rejects the idea of joining a potential second Trump administration. The entrepreneur, who asserts billionaire status, has already injected $15 million of his personal funds into his campaign and is willing to contribute an “unlimited” amount. As the debate stage in Milwaukee awaits him on August 23rd, Ramaswamy and his team anticipate capitalizing on the momentum generated through six months of relentless campaigning. Beyond that point, he envisions transitioning to a more traditional campaign approach involving television advertisements and conventional voter engagement methods. By the time the Iowa caucuses arrive in January, Ramaswamy is confident he will have demonstrated to the Republican electorate what a plausible successor to Trump looks like.

Currently, Vivek Ramaswamy finds himself amid the flurry of activities that have become his signature approach. As we share the car ride through New Hampshire, he reserves the final 10 minutes to collect his thoughts and review his phone. While scrolling through his social media feed, he stumbles upon something intriguing – a post on social media that captures his attention. Specifically, it’s a MSNBC clip featuring Al Sharpton’s commentary on Donald Trump’s legal issues. In the clip, Sharpton raises a rhetorical question, “Can you imagine our reading that James Madison or Thomas Jefferson tried to overthrow the government so they can stay in power?”

Ramaswamy responds to this snippet with a chuckle, his eyes twinkling with an understanding that he can leverage this. He starts by recalling an incident from his college days when he posed a question to Sharpton during a news program. Although he doesn’t recall the specifics of that interaction, he capitalizes on the current moment. As our car nears the upcoming campaign stop in Concord, Ramaswamy plays off Sharpton’s comment and tweets a rejoinder: “It was called the American Revolution. We were successful. We won.” This tweet quickly garners over 2 million views.

Earlier in the day, the scene shifts to Milford, where Ramaswamy addresses a gathering of several dozen people in a local grill. Despite the awkwardness of some attendees eating their lunches while standing, there’s palpable interest in this candidate within the crowded field. Amidst the older, casually dressed voters, Ramaswamy stands out in his suit. He dedicates thirteen minutes to delivering his campaign speech and then devotes almost an hour to answering a diverse range of questions, spanning topics from his plans for national unity to his views on modern monetary theory and strategies to address pedophilia. Following this extensive exchange, he engages with those who have lined up for a photo opportunity.

Ramaswamy’s drive and charisma have deep roots. Born in Cincinnati to Indian immigrant parents who pursued the American Dream, his upbringing significantly influenced his worldview. Despite his parents arriving in the U.S. with limited financial resources, his father found work as an engineer and his mother as a psychiatrist. The values he imbibed were more rooted in culture than politics, he tells me during our time in the SUV. He elaborates, “That was sort of what we cared more about—moral foundations.”

During his teenage years, Ramaswamy began absorbing political insights from various sources. One influence was his conservative Christian piano teacher who admired Ronald Reagan. “She probably influenced me with modes of conservative thought that I probably wouldn’t have thought about in the past,” Ramaswamy reflects. He cites the emphasis on family stability and grounding as perspectives he gained from this exposure.

Despite his polished political demeanor, at the time Vivek Ramaswamy was primarily focused on the business realm. His Harvard years saw the co-founding of Campus Venture Network, an initiative supporting student entrepreneurs, and the launch of a college consulting firm. Graduating in 2007, he joined QVT Financial LP, a hedge fund where he achieved partner status by age 28. Concurrently, he pursued legal education at Yale Law School.

Around this juncture, Ramaswamy acknowledges entertaining fleeting thoughts of entering politics. He recalls, “I considered it briefly, the idea of possibly doing it at some point, when I was in law school.” While some in his circle maintain that he wasn’t deeply inclined toward electoral politics at that time, at least one acquaintance from that era shares that Ramaswamy had contemplated dedicating a decade to building a robust business career before embarking on a political journey. This strategy aimed to achieve success that would allow him to uphold his convictions without being influenced by the donor class.

Notably, Ramaswamy claims to have achieved multi-millionaire status by the time he obtained his J.D. in 2013. In the subsequent year, he founded Roivant Sciences, a drug development company aiming to advance stalled medical treatments. Through one of Roivant’s subsidiaries in 2015, he orchestrated the largest initial public offering in the U.S. biotech industry up to that point. While the Alzheimer’s drug central to this IPO faced setbacks, the company achieved success with other treatments, securing FDA approval for therapies addressing prostate cancer and overactive bladder. In 2016, he earned a place on Forbes’ list of richest entrepreneurs under 40, and his wealth soared.

The year 2020 marked a turning point. Ramaswamy’s discomfort grew as he observed corporate advocacy for ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing. He expressed his concerns in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, asserting that business leaders should refrain from influencing America’s societal and cultural values. The pandemic and the racial justice protests of that year further solidified his stance. An associate, Anson Frericks, recalls Ramaswamy’s frustration, noting instances where his board requested him to take positions on contentious issues related to COVID policies and matters stemming from George Floyd’s death.

In 2021, Ramaswamy relinquished his role as CEO of Roivant and published “Woke, Inc.,” a New York Times bestseller. Subsequently, he gained a regular presence on Fox News. He and Frericks established Strive, an asset management firm emphasizing shareholder value over political agendas. Ramaswamy swiftly penned another book, critiquing victimhood mindsets and identity politics. Amidst numerous appearances on cable news, he considered running for Senate in Ohio.

Picture: Vanity Fair

Surprisingly, Ramaswamy announced his candidacy for the presidential race on February 21. His YouTube video launch depicts familiar political-ad visuals, showcasing scenes from a small-town church, workers, families, and children at play. The video transitions into a more critical tone, featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci, climate activist Greta Thunberg, and transgender swimmer Lia Thomas. Ramaswamy’s voiceover voice warns against “COVIDism, climatism, and gender ideology.” The voiceover contends, “We hunger to be part of something bigger than ourselves yet we cannot even answer the question of what it means to be an American.”

The same day the video was released, Ramaswamy outlined his campaign themes on Tucker Carlson’s show. He expounded on core American values like meritocracy, self-governance, and free speech while highlighting how division, spurred by the left, has shifted focus to differences. Carlson commended him, stating, “I hope you’ll come back often, ‘cause you are one of the great talkers we’ve ever had.”

In the ensuing weeks, Ramaswamy embraced an inclusive approach to campaigning, engaging with anyone willing to converse, irrespective of potential detractors. Peter Christopher, a New Hampshire business owner attending Ramaswamy’s lunchtime event, expressed admiration: “He has an understanding of our culture today that he’s not afraid to share. And yet, the way he shares it is not in a way that other people have to be wrong.”

Apoorva Ramaswamy, the candidate’s spouse, emphasizes his enthusiasm for engaging with people, especially those holding opposing views. She notes his passion for being challenged and honing his arguments. Their initial meeting occurred in 2011 when he was attending Yale Law School. Apoorva remarks, “He loves being challenged, being forced to hone his arguments and his thought processes. That’s like his favorite hobby.”

Months of traversing the nation to engage with voters have passed, primarily through town hall meetings in early primary states. Ramaswamy ventures into unusual Republican campaign destinations, such as a Black barbershop in Chicago. These unique interactions generate social media buzz and distinguish him within the crowded Republican field. Paul Davis, a college friend maintaining contact throughout the campaign, reflects, “A lot of these candidates are very afraid of talking to the press… and they’re really worried about, ‘Oh, this outlet is biased, and they’re going to spin it this way, or that way, whatever.”

His educational journey brought him to a predominantly Black middle school in Milford, where he found himself among a diverse student body. He has shared an incident from his eighth-grade year when he was pushed down the stairs by another student, leading to surgery. This event marked a turning point as he transitioned to a Jesuit school, St. Xavier High School, where he became one of the few Indian students in a predominantly white class. In his valedictorian speech, he recollected feeling uncertain during freshman year mass, struggling with the lyrics and when to stand or sit. A sophomore religion class broadened his horizons, helping him explore various viewpoints and shape his own perspective. He expressed, “I’ll definitely remember emerging from St. X with a personal faith that was neither Catholic nor strictly Hindu, but was finally something that I could call my own,” addressing his fellow graduates.

Even during his teenage years, Ramaswamy’s warmth and sociability stood out, allowing him to discuss topics like local sports with ease. However, his unique background set him apart. Only recently did his former business partner, Anson Frericks, a friend from St. Xavier, realize he had been mispronouncing Ramaswamy’s first name for two decades. (The correct pronunciation rhymes with “cake.”) When confronted, Ramaswamy explained that as the only Indian student in an all-male Catholic high school, he grew accustomed to responding to whatever name people used. Frericks shared his perspective, saying, “He’s like, ‘Hey, you know, when you’re the only Indian kid at an all-male Catholic high school, you just take whatever you’re called.”

While pursuing a biology degree at Harvard, Ramaswamy engaged in a plethora of extracurricular activities, from playing club tennis to participating in the South Asian Association. He was deeply involved in leadership roles across various organizations and also explored his artistic side under the alias “Da Vek,” dabbling in rap. He held leadership positions in groups like the Harvard Political Union and the Institute for Politics, and he joined the Harvard Republican Club. He recalls, “I mostly, through college, considered myself a libertarian, a pretty staunch libertarian.”

Ramaswamy was unafraid to voice his opinions against prevailing campus liberalism or engage in debates with his right-leaning peers on issues such as Guantanamo prisoners’ treatment. A notable incident took place in 2007 when then-FBI Director Robert Mueller visited campus. Ramaswamy confronted Mueller with questions about external checks on the FBI with regard to civil liberties. Paul Davis, a friend from the same dorm, remarked, “He just kind of said what he thought about different topics, even if it pissed people off.”

During a trip to Las Vegas, Davis recounted an incident at a blackjack table that highlighted Ramaswamy’s pride in his American identity. When asked about his nationality, Ramaswamy responded, “I’m a citizen of the greatest nation on Earth, the United States of America.” This confident response resonated with the others at the table.

Davis likens his friend’s campaign strategy to that of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during his 2020 presidential campaign as the relatively unknown mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He notes that Ramaswamy’s approach is about confidently sharing his story across various platforms, despite the potential for unfavorable coverage. Davis acknowledges that while there may be risks involved, they are worth taking.

Starting in April, Ramaswamy has managed to produce over 50 episodes of a podcast called “The Vivek Show.” He engages in in-depth conversations with individuals from diverse political backgrounds, ranging from right-wing commentators like Glenn Beck to Democrat Tom Wolf, the former Governor of Pennsylvania. During these tapings, he turns off his phone—a rare moment of respite in his busy schedule. A second season of the podcast is set to launch in early fall, featuring interviews with figures like Papa John’s founder John Schnatter and Chaya Raichik, the operator of Libs of TikTok.

Ramaswamy’s political stance often leans hard-right: he advocates for cutting federal regulators, ending affirmative action, and argues that transgender children frequently grapple with unrelated mental health issues. However, he also deviates from the typical Republican mold. Although he personally identifies as “pro-life,” he stands out by not supporting a federal abortion ban. His proposals include banning social media for individuals under 16 and eliminating automatic voting rights for those under 25.

The forthcoming GOP presidential debate will offer a platform to present his views to a broader audience. Tricia McLaughlin, a senior advisor to Ramaswamy, notes that the campaign decided to skip traditional debate preparation in favor of maintaining their hectic travel schedule, which has been instrumental in connecting with voters. McLaughlin emphasizes that the campaign’s philosophy revolves around letting Ramaswamy be authentic.

The question of whether Trump participates in the debate introduces an unpredictable element. Ramaswamy has fervently pledged to pardon the former President, who has reciprocated with effusive praise. However, Trump has indicated that his support may shift if Ramaswamy’s poll numbers approach his own.

Ramaswamy remains optimistic about the future. He envisions a more directed campaign path after the first debate, focusing on the early primary states while incorporating more traditional approaches. As the SUV arrives at his next town-hall venue, Ramaswamy reflects on his connection with ordinary people. He reveals that he doesn’t indulge in lavish vacation homes but instead invests in private jets to save time.

After parting ways, the journalist searches for the mentioned interaction between Ramaswamy and Sharpton. A video from 2003 shows an 18-year-old Ramaswamy wearing a light-blue button-down shirt and a shiny watch, asking the first audience question on “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” He inquires why voters should choose the Democratic candidate with the least political experience. Sharpton responds with confidence, noting his extensive political engagement and social policy work over the past three decades.Ramaswamy listens with a grin, nodding in agreement as Sharpton speaks.

Indian Americans: A Journey of Acceptance in American Society

From Silicon Valley startups to leading medical institutions, Indian immigrants began to leave their mark, their contributions reflecting their ambition and drive.

In an ever-evolving global landscape, the recent state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States stands as a significant milestone, marking the strengthening bonds between two of the world’s largest democracies. This visit, hailed as a turning point in India-US relations, has not only fortified the strategic partnership between the two nations but also highlighted the substantial contributions of the Indian diaspora to American society. Prime Minister Modi, during his visit, praised the Indian diaspora as India’s “strength,” emphasizing their crucial role in the US economy and society. This acknowledgment from one of the world’s most influential leaders is a testament to the remarkable journey of Indian Americans.

Picture : Rediff

The narrative of Indian Americans is a saga that began over a century ago, a story of dreams, aspirations, and the quest for a better life. The first wave of Indian immigrants arrived on American shores in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, primarily as agricultural workers in California’s fertile farmlands. These pioneers embarked on a journey spanning thousands of miles, leaving behind the familiarity of their homeland for the promise of the American dream.

However, this journey was far from smooth. The early immigrants faced numerous challenges, from the harsh realities of manual labor to the sting of racial discrimination. Yet, they persevered, their resilience echoing in the fields they tilled and the communities they built.

Picture : ASPI Strategist

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 marked a significant turning point in the history of Indian immigration. The Act, which abolished the national origins quota, paved the way for a new wave of Indian immigrants, primarily highly skilled professionals, including doctors, engineers, and scientists. This influx of talent from India played a pivotal role in shaping the American technological and medical landscape. From Silicon Valley startups to leading medical institutions, Indian immigrants began to leave their mark, their contributions reflecting their ambition and drive.

Indian Americans, now numbering an estimated 4.4 million, have emerged as the second-largest Asian American group in the country. The majority of Indian Americans are Hindu (72%), followed by Muslim and Christian populations. But it’s not just their numbers that command attention; it’s the remarkable strides they’ve made in education, income, and professional fields that truly set them apart.

Education is a cornerstone of the Indian American community, with an impressive 73% holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. This figure stands in stark contrast to the national average of 33%, underscoring the community’s deep-rooted emphasis on academic excellence. This pursuit of knowledge extends into their professional lives, with one in four Indian Americans making their mark in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Achieving remarkable accomplishments, they have risen to leadership positions in some of the world’s most eminent companies. Their ingenuity, innovation, and steadfast work ethic have propelled them to the forefront of their industries, making them highly respected and influential figures.

Indian Americans are not just employees or professionals; they are business owners, innovators, and job creators. With an estimated 1.2 million businesses under their belt, Indian Americans are making a significant impact on the U.S. economy. These businesses, spanning across various sectors, generate an estimated $1 trillion in annual revenue.

A striking example of this entrepreneurial success can be seen in the hospitality industry. According to a report by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Indian Americans own more than 40% of all hotels and motels in the United States. This includes approximately 20,000 properties, a testament to their significant presence in this industry. The rise of Indian Americans in the US motel industry has been so remarkable that it has given birth to a playful moniker, the “Patel Motel Cartel.”

Indian Americans have made substantial strides in the political arena. Several notable figures have achieved unprecedented success, inspiring millions within the Indian American community. This rise is a testament to the assimilation of Indian Americans into American society, without losing their unique identity or heritage. It’s a testament to the American public’s growing acceptance of the role Indian Americans play in the progress of America.

The rise of Indian Americans in the US political landscape is powerfully exemplified by Vivek Ramaswamy. An entrepreneur and author, Ramaswamy has made a significant leap into politics as a Republican candidate for the 2024 US presidential elections. Despite facing challenges, including an attack on his Hindu faith, Ramaswamy has garnered cross-party support, underlining the growing acceptance of Indian Americans in politics.

Ramaswamy’s campaign is gaining traction, with him currently ranking third in the national primary field according to the FiveThirtyEight polling aggregate. His active campaigning and media presence have made him a prominent figure in the Republican presidential primary, reflecting the increasing influence of Indian Americans in American politics.

As we look to the future, the Indian American community continues to grow, evolve, and make their mark. Their journey is a testament to the fact that America’s strength lies in its diversity, and its acceptance of Indian-Americans enriches the nation. The story of Indian Americans is not just their story; it’s an integral part of the American narrative.

Ramaswamy Ties Desantis For Second Place In GOP Primary

Indian American entrepreneur turned politician Vivek Ramaswamy is tied with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)  for second place in the Republican presidential field in a new poll. An Emerson College poll showed DeSantis and Ramaswamy tied at 10 percent each, trailing former President Trump, who leads with 56 percent. DeSantis kept his position in second place from previous polls, but he registered a big drop from the 21 percent he had in June. Ramaswamy rose from just 2 percent then.

According to reports, the poll’s release comes as a leaked memo from the super PAC supporting DeSantis’ candidacy, Never Back Down, urged DeSantis to “take a sledgehammer” to Ramaswamy. Some polling has shown Ramaswamy closing in on DeSantis for second place, and the memo appears to acknowledge a few other candidates also gaining momentum behind the Florida governor.

“Another boring, establishment attack from Super PAC-creation ‘Robot Ron’ who is literally taking lame, pre-programmed attack lines against me for next week’s debate. ‘Hammer Ramaswamy,’” Ramaswamy responded to the memo on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Emerson College Polling Executive Director Spencer Kimball said in a release that Ramaswamy has made improvements in voters with postgraduate degrees, taking 17 percent of that group, and with younger voters, winning 16 percent of those younger than 35.

The release states that DeSantis’s drop is similar to that of Emerson’s New Hampshire poll that showed former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) surpassing DeSantis by 1 point for second place in the state, a statistical tie.

Pollsters also found somewhat more shaky support among DeSantis supporters than among those for Ramaswamy. Almost half of Ramaswamy backers said they will definitely vote for him, while only a third of DeSantis supporters said the same.  Meanwhile, more than 80 percent of Trump supporters said they will definitely vote for the former president.

DeSantis, Ramaswamy and several other GOP presidential candidates will have their clearest opportunity yet to stand out on a national stage at the first Republican primary debate next week, especially with Trump seemingly planning to skip it.

More than 80 percent of Republican primary voters said they plan to watch the debate.  The poll was conducted from Aug. 16 to 17 among 1,000 registered voters, including 465 who said they plan to vote in their state’s Republican primary or caucus. The credibility interval was 3 points.

On the ground, Ramaswamy has styled his politics on the agendas of the two men he hopes to usurp, making his stand against the “woke” ideology of the American left his signature policy issue. “We are in the middle of a national identity crisis,” he says darkly, accusing the country’s elites of metastasizing a “cultural cancer” — particularly when it comes to LGBTQ issues. His message has found an appreciative audience, and his book, “Woke, Inc.,” in which he develops this thesis, is currently near the top of the New York Times list of bestselling nonfiction.

While some candidates are beginning to aim their fire at former president Donald Trump, the 38-year-old Ramaswamy has moved toward the front of the chasing pack by placing himself firmly in the frontrunner’s slipstream. “I think I’m best positioned to advance our America First agenda, take it even further than Trump did, but also unite the country in the process,” the multimillionaire biotech entrepreneur recently told public broadcaster PBS.

Ramaswamy trails Trump by a seemingly unbridgeable gap, but he has spent millions of his own money in his bid to be best placed should the presumptive nominee fall by the wayside amid his growing tangle of legal problems. And the first-time candidate, a father of two young children, has been rewarded with higher poll numbers than most of his more experienced rivals.

A political novice by any measure, Ramaswamy started his campaign with no national profile but has shocked primary watchers by rising to second in the Republican primary field, five months ahead of the first vote in Iowa.

Vivek Ramaswamy Emerges As A Strong Contender 

Vivek Ramaswamy has emerged as something of a breakout star in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, raising speculation over his future within the party.

Many Republicans have praised the 37-year-old biotech entrepreneur, calling him an effective communicator with an impressive professional resume for a political outsider.

The biotech entrepreneur and author of “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam” is an audience favorite at multicandidate events and has polled well despite not being nationally known when he entered the race.

“Take it from me as a young person — I’m 37 years old. I was born in 1985. I truly hope and pray and believe that my best days may still be ahead of me,” he said at the Faith and Freedom conference in Washington, D.C. in June.

Ramaswamy’s campaign says he met the donor threshold earlier this year. This summer he rolled out “Vivek’s Kitchen Cabinet” to boost his donor numbers even more, by letting fundraisers keep 10% of what they bring in for his campaign.

While there’s heavy scepticism that Ramaswamy will win any of the early-state primaries, many see him as a rising figure within the party’s ranks.

Picture : MediaLite

“I think that his message is resonating well with the Republican activist crowd, and he is being positive enough with regards to [former President] Trump to basically be an alternative without being an anti-Trump guy,” said GOP strategist and former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis.

“I think that resonates with many of the Trump supporters and let’s say soft Trump supporters who would like to move on, but yet see somebody who’s not running kind of on a message of attacking Trump and his legacy,” he added.

Initially considered a long-shot candidate when he launched his campaign in February, the “Woke, Inc.” author entered the race known in part for his staunch opposition to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) policies.

But the political outsider and first millennial to run for president on the GOP side has started to catch some momentum in the GOP primary.

He’s garnered attention for some of his stances and proposals, including pushing every candidate in the GOP primary to commit to pardoning Trump over the Justice Department’s indictment alleging the former president mishandled and obstructed attempts to retrieve classified documents. Other Republican contenders like Perry Johnson have also vowed to pardon the former president.

Earlier this month, Ramaswamy gained some praise after a video went viral of him engaging with a protester who interrupted his Iowa event. After the woman turned to leave after interrupting his remarks, Ramaswamy offered for her to come back to ask a question.

“There is a division in our country and I think people are hungry to start talking openly again, and I think Vivek has a unique skill that he’s able to really lead people and rally people around what this country was founded upon, which is free speech, which is an open debate,” said Ramaswamy campaign senior adviser Tricia McLaughlin.

“I think that’s what not only the GOP electorate is hungry for, but I think independents and even disaffected Democrats,” she added.

National polling, too, suggests voters are starting to give Ramaswamy a serious look.

A RealClearPolitics polling average shows Ramaswamy placing third at 5.4 percent, behind Trump in first place with 52.4 percent and DeSantis at 18.4 percent.

Still, most national polls show the biotech entrepreneur in the single digits compared to Trump, who remains the front-runner in surveys. Some early state polls in New Hampshire and South Carolina show Ramaswamy trailing some of the other GOP candidates, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.).

Republicans also acknowledge more GOP voters will start to tune into the primary around next month’s debate in Milwaukee and note there’s still months to go until the first early states’ primaries.

Not all Republicans are buying the Ramaswamy hype. GOP pollster and consultant Whit Ayres said the GOP millennial is “not a serious contender for the presidency” and waved off Ramaswamy’s recent polling.

“It’s a sign just like Herman Cain caught something in 2011 and Ben Carson caught something in 2015 and Andrew Yang caught something in 2020,” Ayres said, referring to presidential candidates who appeared to have momentum at one point in their primary before sputtering out.

New Hampshire-based strategist Matthew Bartlett similarly suggested that Ramaswamy doesn’t have a viable path to the presidency. Putting it bluntly, Bartlett said, “No one is expecting him to win,” and he said he didn’t see Ramaswamy going after the former president in the primary but was “looking to cozy up to Trump.”

“His campaign was not looking to end up in the Oval Office. His campaign was to promote himself and to some degree, his ideas and articulate that,” he added.

But that hasn’t stopped members of the party from suggesting that Ramaswamy could have a bright future ahead, saying he could run for Senate, be picked for a presidential cabinet position or even selected as someone’s running mate.

“There’s so many people even after the Family Leadership Summit [who] said, ‘Boy, what a young, positive, inspirational guy. He has a bright future. He’d be good in somebody’s cabinet. He might be a vice president,’” explained Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of the influential Family Leader in Iowa.

“His biggest hurdle right now is crossing that threshold where people say, ‘No, I think he can be president.’ So he’s gotten a lot of people excited about his candidacy. Now he needs to make that transition: ‘Now they can see me be president,’” he added.

Ramaswamy for his part has previously said he’s not interested in being a vice presidential pick or taking a cabinet position, saying he’d return to the private sector instead if he didn’t win the GOP presidential primary. But his campaign argues he shouldn’t be underestimated.

“I think Vivek has already done what everyone said he couldn’t do. The fact that he is beating … the most former vice president, multiple governors, the former U.N. ambassador, a sitting senator … four or five months ago, no one knew who Vivek Ramaswamy is,” McLaughlin, the senior Ramaswamy campaign adviser, said. “And now he’s third in national polls. That in itself is meteoric.”

Republican strategists, too, say that while Trump is still the front-runner in the primary, a strong showing in Iowa can help galvanize a candidate heading into the next few states.

“I wouldn’t count anyone out that’s coming in the top three in Iowa,” said GOP strategist Alice Stewart, who’s an alum of multiple presidential campaigns. “And the objective of Iowa has never been to choose the party nominee, it’s to winnow the field.”

Vivek Ramaswamy And the Christian Language of Hinduism

(RNS) — Like many Republican presidential candidates, Vivek Ramaswamy has been outspoken about the role of faith and society. An enthusiastic second-generation Indian American, Ramaswamy also isn’t shy about talking about his own faith.

“I’m a person of faith. Evangelical Christians across the state are also people of faith,” he said in a July interview with NBC News. “We found commonality in our need to defend religious liberty, to stand for faith and patriotism and stand unapologetically for the fact that we are one nation under God.”

To reach evangelical Christians, the largest religious group skewing Republican, Ramaswamy has affirmed both his Hindu identity and the Judeo-Christian civic religion in which he was raised. Ramaswamy attended Catholic School where he studied the Bible, uniquely positioning him to use both fai

Not everyone is happy with that message. Earlier this week, a conservative pastor went viral for his condemnation of Ramaswamy’s faith.

“If he does not serve the Lord Jesus Christ and stand primarily for Judeo-Christian principles, you will have a fight with God,” said Hank Kunneman, of One Voice Ministries, in a video tweeted by Right Wing Watch on July 24. “You are going to let him put all of his strange gods up in the White House and are we just supposed to blink because he understands policies? No.”

Hindu Americans across the country condemned the pastor’s remarks, including Democratic Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Ro Khanna. The United States-India Relationship Council, a political action committee dedicated to supporting political candidates who are pro-India, released a public statement.

“We need to expose and condemn this bigotry,” said Amit Desai, founder of the PAC. “By doing so, people will get educated.”

The ancient tradition of Sanatana Dharma — more commonly known as Hinduism — has long been misunderstood by unfamiliar audiences, especially in places like the United States, where Christianity predominates.

A tradition that has more than a billion adherents worldwide, Hinduism does not always fit neatly into categories understood by those more familiar with Abrahamic faiths like Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Hindus hold a pluralistic worldview in which many paths exist to experiencing the supreme, eternal spirit of reality known as Brahman.

Brahman, sometimes referred to as God, is a genderless and metaphysical concept, but Hindus believe it manifests itself in the sometimes human-like forms of gods and goddesses. Many Hindus can see the divine revealing itself in the holy people of other religious traditions.

Hindus worship at temples and within their homes to as many murtis as they wish, or embodied forms of God. Families and communities within Hinduism can also have a patron deity, known as an Ishta Devata, that they especially venerate.

To help people from other backgrounds better understand their faith, Ramaswamy, like other American Hindus, has emphasized the elements of Hinduism that relate closely to Christianity — such as a focus on one God that all of humanity shares.

The Hindu American Foundation, the largest nonprofit representing the religious community, has started shifting away from using the word “idol,” instead using “deity,” so as to eliminate the chance of misunderstanding by Christians.

Suhag Shukla, executive director of HAF, says that even though God might not necessarily be the appropriate word to equate to Brahman, saying God is the fastest way to communicate with other faith traditions.

“When your goal is to educate people who are wholly unfamiliar with a tradition or a philosophy or religion, you have to meet them where they are,” said Shukla. “The words that might have some resonance for Christians is a good starting point.”

Anantanand Rambachan, a Hindu theologian and author of “Pathways to Hindu-Christian Dialogue,” says that, while it is not incorrect to say Hindus worship one divine being, practitioners should not shy away from explaining that this one being has infinite names and forms. The faith is neither polytheistic nor monotheistic, he says, but something entirely more complex.

“In communicating our tradition, we should not be afraid to be different,” said Rambachan. “To reduce the murtis (idols) only to a symbol, is not to be faithful to centuries of a very sophisticated theology.”

Back in 2007, as the first non-Christian chair of the Religion Department at St. Olaf College, a Lutheran school in Minnesota, Rambachan faced his share of backlash from critics who insisted he could not serve a largely Christian student body.

“Communicating the Hindu point of view in all of its richness and its integrity is possible, but it takes time,” said Rambachan. “Those who are formed and steeped in an exclusive theological position — it is not easy to open their hearts and minds.”

While Hindus have overwhelmingly voted Democrat, some in the community say they are disappointed with the party for not standing against anti-Hindu hatred they say is rampant.

For Desai, a leader of USIRC, Ramaswamy’s battle against what he calls “woke-ism” and his embracing of young voters is enough to sway his vote. He points to Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of the UK and a member of the Conservative Party, as an example of someone who has held his Hindu faith on unapologetic display.

Hirsh Vardhan Singh Of New Jersey Announces Bid For US President

Filing his candidacy, Hirsh Vardhan Singh, an Aerospace engineer from New Jersey, has become the fourth Indian-American to enter the race for 2024 US Presidential Polls. On Thursday, July 27, 2023, he formally submitted his candidature to the Federal Election Commission.

He is the third Indian American to join numerous Republicans vying for their party’s endorsement to run for President. The other two are former governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Singh posted a video and said he is a “lifelong Republican” and “America First” conservative who worked to restore a conservative wing of the New Jersey Republican Party. In the video, he criticized the “corruption” of Big Tech and pharmaceutical firms, saying they had “relentlessly attacked our freedoms.”

“We need strong leadership to reverse the changes that have occurred in the past few years and restore American values. That is why I have decided to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for the 2024 election for the office of president of the United States,” Singh said in his video, according to The Hill.

With a dozen contenders vying for the Republican nomination, including former president Trump, Singh joins a crowded field.
Singh entered the Republican primaries for New Jersey governor in 2017 and 2021, a House seat in 2018, and the Senate in 2020, but he was unable to secure the party’s nod.

Aerospace engineer Hirsh Vardhan Singh has become the third Indian-American vying for the Republican nomination for the 2024 US presidential race after former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Singh joins a crowded list of Republican candidates vying for presidency, which includes Trump, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Governer Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, Ramaswamy, Haley, Senator Tim Scott and businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley.

Singh, 38, introduced himself as a lifelong Republican and an “America First constitutional carry and pro-life conservative who helped restore the conservative wing of New Jersey’s Republican Party starting in 2017” in a video message posted on Twitter on Thursday.

He ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 2020, and the present bid is the fourth time the defense and aerospace industry executive is eyeing public office.

According to Singh, Americans face grave threats from the corruption of both, big tech and big pharma, and in addition, there is an all out attack on American family values, parental rights and open debate.

“While Big Pharma has made massive profits working with the government to compel everyone to take the experimental vaccines, Big Tech has become the Big Brother, who invades our privacy and indulges in censorship of our political and contrarian viewpoints,” her said in an over three-minute-long video.

“We need strong leadership to restore American values. That is why I have decided to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for the 2024 election,” he added.

While praising fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump as the “greatest president of my lifetime”, Singh said that “America needs more”.

“It is time to move past outdated politicians of a bygone era,” Singh said, calling himself the “only pure blood candidate for the President” as he never gave in to the Covid vaccinations. “Even New Jersey’s Democrat Senate President labelled me as ‘Trump on steroids,” he said in his video message.

According to a recent Morning Consult poll, 59 per cent of voters support Trump, 16 per cent would vote for DeSantis, 8 per cent to Ramaswamy, 6 per cent to Pence, and 2 per cent to Scott.

Born to Indian immigrant parents, Singh has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2009. Entering New Jersey politics in 2017 as a candidate for Governor, Singh finished third in the race, securing a meagre 9.8 per cent of the vote share.

He was awarded Aviation Ambassador in 2003 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. (IANS)

Shiva Ayyadurai Announces 2024 U.S. Presidential Bid

The 2024 United States Presidential elections is turning out to be an Indian American affair as tech entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai became the fourth candidate from the community to announce his bid for the country’s top post.  Scientist and entrepreneur, Shiva Ayyadurai is running as an independent candidate.

Announcing his campaign bid recently, the 59-year-old Mumbai-born said he wants to serve America, beyond “Left” and “Right” to deliver solutions people need and deserve.

“I am running for President of the United States of America. We stand at the crossroads where we can either head into a Golden Age or into the Darkness… America becomes great when innovators, entrepreneurs, working people with skills and those committed to using common sense and reason run this country,” Ayyadurai said. “We stand at crossroads where we can either head into a Golden Age or the Darkness. I stand before you as someone who is a personification of the American Dream.”

On his campaign website, Ayyadurai maintained that America becomes great when innovators, entrepreneurs, working people with skills and those committed to using common sense and reason run the country. He added, “The Founders of America were blacksmiths, engineers, soldiers, architects, entrepreneurs, scientists — they worked for a living and produced through their labor, products and services to help other citizens.”

He is now the fourth Indian-American to bid for the US presidency, following Indian-American aerospace engineer Hirsh Vardhan Singh, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

A Fulbright Scholar with four degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ayyadurai has started seven hi-tech companies, including EchoMail, CytoSolve, and Systems Health. He is said to have “invented email” at the age of 14. Currently, he serves as the Founder and CEO of CytoSolve, Inc, which is working on discovering cures for major diseases, from pancreatic cancer to Alzheimer’s.

The 59-year-old MIT scholar, who “invented email” when he was just 14, had earlier made headlines when he expressed interest in taking up the position of Twitter’s chief executive officer after Elon Musk said he wishes to step down from the post.

Mumbai-born Ayyadurai is an award-winning scientist and recently invented CytoSolveⓇ, a revolutionary platform for modeling complex biological phenomena, to support the development multi-combination medicines without animal testing. His parents immigrated to the US in 1970, when he was seven years old and settled in Paterson, New Jersey.

The question remains, if a foreign born US citizen is able to run for President’s office!

Axovant Strengthens Management Team and Completes Organizational Restructuring in Preparation for Pipeline Expansion

Axovant Sciences (NASDAQ:AXON) has announced that Gavin Corcoran, MB BCh, FACP, will join the Company as Executive Vice President of Research & Development, and Michael Hayden, MB ChB, PhD, FRSC, has been appointed as a senior scientific advisor to the company and Chairman of Axovant’s newly established Scientific Advisory Board.

“I am pleased to welcome Gavin and Michael to the Axovant team,” said Pavan Cheruvu, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Axovant. “Since starting as CEO in February, I have been focused on transforming Axovant into a leaner organization, introducing heightened standards of quality and excellence throughout the business, and establishing a new pipeline strategy. We are now poised for growth, and I am excited to have Gavin and Michael join us as we look toward expanding our pipeline in the coming months.”

“I am very excited to join Axovant at this turning point,” said Dr. Corcoran. “I look forward to working closely with Pavan and the senior management team to bring new investigational medicines into the portfolio as we build upon Axovant’s capabilities in research and development. We have a wonderful opportunity to develop life-changing medicines for patients with CNS diseases. I am also eager to leverage the Roivant platform to accelerate the development of Axovant’s pipeline.”

“I share Pavan’s vision of rebuilding the company on a foundation of transformative science and I look forward to expanding Axovant’s Scientific Advisory Board,” said Dr. Hayden. “I have been very impressed with the caliber of the Axovant team and am excited about the future growth of the company.”

Dr. Gavin Corcoran has overseen successful drug development across multiple therapeutic areas including neurology and psychiatry. He currently serves as Chief Medical Officer at Allergan plc, and previously served as Chief Medical Officer of Actavis. Dr. Corcoran was Executive Vice President for Global Medicines Development at Forest Laboratories prior to the acquisition of Forest Laboratories by Actavis. In addition, Dr. Corcoran served as Head of Late Stage Clinical Development for Inflammation and Immunology at Celgene, and as Chief Scientific Officer and head of R&D at Stiefel Laboratories. Earlier in his career he held leadership roles in clinical development and regulatory affairs at Amgen, Schering-Plough, and Bayer. He received his MB BCh from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and completed his clinical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Dr. Michael Hayden is one of the world’s leading experts in the genetic basis of movement disorders and CNS drug development. He recently served as President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer at Teva. Prior to Teva, he founded multiple biotechnology companies, including Aspreva Pharmaceuticals. He currently serves as Killam Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia and Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine. Dr. Hayden played a key role in the discovery and development of GLYBERA®, the first approved gene therapy product in the Western world, and has received numerous awards including the Order of Canada, granted for his contributions to the understanding of Huntington’s disease and other genetic disorders. In 2008 he was named Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year and in 2017 he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Dr. Hayden received his MB ChB, PhD in Genetics, and DCH Diploma in Child Health from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine and clinical genetics at Harvard Medical School.

Beginning in February 2018, Axovant initiated an organizational restructuring to simplify its organization, reduce costs, and streamline business processes in preparation for future business development activities.

As part of the restructuring plan, Axovant enhanced its capabilities in clinical research and business development, while reducing the size of its global commercial team. Overall, internal headcount has decreased by approximately 43%, and Axovant has increased its use of the Roivant platform to supplement internal capabilities. Forward-looking G&A expenses are expected to decrease in the current fiscal year. Most of the affected employees were transferred to roles within the Roivant family of companies.

“Roivant supports Axovant’s plans for pipeline expansion and organizational transformation,” said Vivek Ramaswamy, Chief Executive Officer of Roivant. “We are committed to hiring and developing high-caliber talent, and we were pleased to support many of Axovant’s employees in finding new roles within the Vant family. I am excited about the new direction that Axovant is taking.”

Axovant is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to advancing innovative treatments for patients with serious neurologic and neuropsychiatric conditions, and turning promising therapies into lasting solutions for patients. Axovant is committed to developing and commercializing a pipeline of product candidates by identifying and developing novel treatments for unmet needs in neurology and psychiatry.

Roivant Sciences is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on reducing the time and cost of the drug development process to improve the lives of patients and their families. Roivant partners with innovative biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions to ensure that important medicines are rapidly delivered to patients.

2 Indians in Forbes list of US’ richest under-40 entrepreneurs

Two Indian Americans, investor Vivek Ramaswamy and Instacart founder Apoorva Mehta, were named among Forbes’ “Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40” list, now in its second year. Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has been ranked 24th on ‘America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40 2016’ list with a networth of $600 million, and Instacart co-founder Apoorva Mehta, stands at the 31st spot with a $360-million networth.

Ramaswamy, 31, a Harvard University and Yale School of Management alumnus, continues to make waves in the biotech business with his deals and drug development plans, Forbes said. He was behind the biggest biotechnology IPO of 2016, Myovant Sciences, which raised $218-million listing its shares on Nasdaq in October, it said.

Last year, Ramaswamy pulled off the biggest IPO in the US biotech history by listing shares of Axovant, a company that is trying to develop a new Alzheimer’s drug. He runs Roivant Sciences, a biotech holding company with an innovative financial strategy to develop drugs, often by purchasing drugs that have been forgotten or abandoned by the pharmaceutical industry.

He made his roughly $600 million net worth on his own accord and through investments, and continues to make waves in the biotech business with his deals and drug development plans, Forbes said. He was behind the biggest biotechnology initial public offering of 2016, Myovant Sciences, which raised $218 million listing its shares on Nasdaq in October, it added. Ramaswamy formed the company in April and struck a deal with Takeda Pharmaceuticals for a prostate cancer drug and a female infertility drug.

Forbes called Mehta one of Silicon Valley’s youngest immigrant success stories. Born in India, Mehta and his family moved to Canada in 2000, where he studied engineering at the University of Waterloo before working at Blackberry, Qualcomm, and then Amazon. In 2012, he co-founded Instacart, a grocery-delivery service that partners with grocery chains. The company is valued at an estimated $2 billion, and most recently raised funding from Whole Foods Market in March, it said.

The 30-year-old Mehta would not have been included on the list in the inaugural year of 2015. A year ago, the cutoff to make the list was $400, but that dropped drastically with a number of entrepreneurs aging out. The cutoff in 2016 came in at $270 million, allowing the Instacart founder to place No. 31 on the list with his net worth of $360 million.

Mehta is one of Silicon Valley’s youngest immigrant success stories, Forbes said. Born in India, Mehta and his family moved to Canada in 2000, where he studied engineering at the University of Waterloo before working at Blackberry, Qualcomm and then Amazon.

Vivek Ramaswamy, Apoorva Mehta among richest entrepreneurs under 40

Vivek Ramaswamy, 30, a former hedge fund manager, has been ranked 33rd on the list with a net worth of $500 million. Forbes said his source of wealth is investments. On the 40th spot is 29-year old Apoorva Mehta, the founder and CEO of web-based grocery delivery service Instacart. Mehta’s net worth is $400 million.

Zuckerberg leads the pack with a net worth of $47.1 billion, more than four times as much as the second person in the ranks, his co-founder and college friend Dustin Moskovitz. At number three is Jan Koum, who came to America at age 16. He started WhatsApp, now the world’s biggest mobile messaging service with 800 million users, in 2009 and sold it to Facebook for about $22 billion in cash and stock in 2014.

Forbes said California techies dominate the first ever list of the nation’s 40 most successful young entrepreneurs under the age of 40, “reaffirming the American Dream and proving yet again that there is no better way right now to get rich fast than to go west and convince venture investors to back your most ambitious ideas”. Elizabeth Holmes is the only woman to make the ‘America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40’. Holmes quit Stanford at age 19 to start blood testing company Theranos. All of the young entrepreneurs in the list have a net worth of $400 million or more and 34 made their money in the tech sector.

Twenty-one are billionaires and many either created or work for some of the hottest tech companies, including Uber, AirBnB, Fitbit, GitHub, Instacart and Pinterest. The list’s youngest member is Palmer Luckey, who was just 21 years old when he sold his virtual reality equipment company, Oculus, to Facebook for $2.3 billion in July 2014. Luckey’s net worth is $700 million and is one of half a dozen in the ranks who are still in their 20s, Forbes said. Two Indian-origin businessmen have been ranked by Forbes magazine among the richest entrepreneurs in America under the age of 40, a list that has been topped by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy Featured on Forbes Cover

Indian American entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, 30, shocked a lot of people when he turned $5 million into $3 billion with Axovant Sciences’ initial public offering. Now, as featured in the Sept. 28 cover story for Forbes Magazine, Ramaswamy is poised to repeat history.
In June, Ramaswamy was at the forefront of the biggest IPO in the history of the American biotechnology industry. The Bermuda-based company, with offices also in New York, has just one product: a dementia drug to treat Alzheimer’s.
Axovant was formed eight months prior to the IPO and raised roughly $360 million to develop the drug that was essentially abandoned by GlaxoSmithKline. By the end of the first day on the New York Stock Exchange, Axovant had a market capitalization of about $3 billion. Ramaswamy had purchased the drug from Glaxo for $5 million.
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy Featured on Forbes Cover
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy Featured on Forbes Cover

A graduate of Harvard College with an A.B. in biology and the recipient of a law degree from Yale Law School, Ramaswamy is a former hedge fund partner. There were skeptics who wondered how a company could be worth so much. The stock had dipped 12 percent below the IPO price by the beginning of the month.

And while Ramaswamy was touting that Axovant’s goal “is to be the leading biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of dementia,” they had yet to generate any revenue, even as other companies were creating drugs to compete with his company’s product.
But now, as Axovant drifts to the backdrop, Ramaswamy is up to his old tricks: rescuing the pharmaceutical industry’s forgotten drugs, according to Forbes. Ramaswamy said Axovant is the first step in a broader mission to liberate abandoned or deprioritized drugs, the report said.
It’s not unprecedented. Drugs like Lipitor and Imbruvica have also almost faced extinction before being presented anew to the world. Ramaswamy hopes to do the same for dozens of companies.
“This will be the highest return on investment endeavor ever taken up in the pharmaceutical industry,” he boasted in the Forbes report. “It will be a pipeline every bit as deep and diverse as the most promising pharma company in the world but with a capital efficiency that is unprecedented.”
As an analyst, Ramaswamy noticed there were several forgotten drugs that he would have liked to invest in but couldn’t. They were trapped in big pharmaceutical firms that had shelved them for strategic or bureaucratic reasons, or in small biotechnology firms that had to focus all their resources on a single product, no matter how good option No. 2 was, the Forbes report said.
The Indian American accomplished successful returns with his company Roivant Sciences’ 76 percent stake in Axovant, as well as turning an $8 million purchase of drugs to treat liver virus hepatitis B into $110 million in Arbutus BioPharma. With Roivant, in May, he bought a psychosis drug for $4 million from Arena Pharmaceuticals and later partnered with a Duke University group known for inventing rare-disease drugs.
Axovant speculators will have to wait until 2017 before they hear any new drug data for Alzheimer’s, during which the stock could drift without a bona fide catalyst, said Forbes. Under the best possible scenario, real benefit to Alzheimer’s patients is years away.
But it would be a mistake to get stuck in the weeds of Roivant’s Alzheimer’s efforts. Ramaswamy’s approach is long term and broad in scope and even if Axovant’s efforts fail, the money raised will help with finding other compounds of drugs that could be more effective.
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