Saturday, July 26, 2014

U.S. Congressman Mistakes U.S. Officials For Indian Officials


One would think  a U.S. Congressman would know members of other United States Agencies - if not by face at least by name and title. Taking this one step further; one would certainly expect a Congressman to  be prepared enough going into a hearing that he would know who he would be talking to.

Neither was the case with  freshman Rep. Curt Clawson (R-FL) . At a House Foreign Affairs hearing on Thursday July 24, 2014, Clawson addressed State Department official Nisha Biswal and Commerce Department official Arun Kumar as if they were Indian government officials. Was this a case of profiling via ethnic appearance, or a sudden Fruedian moment? We don't know. What we do know is it was one heck of an uncomfortable moment for Clawson when he realized his mistake.



"I'm familiar with your country. I love your country. And I understand the complications of so many languages and so many cultures and so many histories all rolled up in one," Clawson said. He added: "Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, I'm willing and enthusiastic about doing so." - Clawson

Ooops!

"I think your question is to the Indian government," she said, "and we certainly share your sentiments and we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the U.S. government." - Nisha Biswal

Very eloquently handled Ms. Biswal. Had it been me he would have gotten "Just who do you think I am sir?"


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