Barack Obama : Acceptance Speech – “A True Masterpiece”

Barack Obama delivered a powerful, what appeared to be an extempore speech on Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. All of his supporters got rewarded by the force of his speech, coming through with total commitment and passion, attacking John McCain at all the right places in an aggressive manner. Most Hillary Clinton supporters would now have decided to vote for him, and it is apparent that there would be defections from the Republican ranks as well !

Hear Barack deliver his speech on MSNBC : “BARACK OBAMA ACCEPTANCE SPEECH – Video”

The text of the speech can be read at CNN : “BARACK OBAMA ACCEPTANCE SPEECH – Text”

I am sure most of you would agree that we do indeed have a great and powerful orator in Barack Obama. I am not sure whether he would make a good president – that is for Americans to decide.

Now, let us see what Barack said about outsourcing – there has been heavy discussion on this part of his speech in India, amongst the IT industry chieftains and in NASSCOM. This is what he said : “I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America”.

“I’ll eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow”.

As president of the United States, he has every right to make those decisions on corporate taxation. He also talked about taxing oil companies’ profits, and reducing the tax burden of middle class families. All that is great, but outsourcing is here to stay. It is an economic decision for all big corporations, and it is absolutely well established as a business policy in most boardrooms today in the U.S. One of the key questions being asked in boardrooms is “What is our India Strategy” – India is not only an outsourcing destination, it is also a huge market with growth rates atleast thrice that of the U.S. market today.

Hence, I do not believe a Democratic President would impose a ban on outsourcing, or give huge tax breaks to U.S. corporations which create jobs only in the U.S. It is not practical. I am sure the pressures of his job and the lobbying he would be subjected to, would make him change his mind on many of his poll (and acceptance speech) promises. It happens to all presidents (and, to prime ministers in India, of course).

Overall, the report card on Barack is positive – I am sure the nearly 40 million Americans who saw him deliver his speech live on Thursday night are now thinking about him and his promises. Good for him, good for the Democratic Party.

But, let us not forget that India depends on the U.S. (atleast 60% and above of the revenues of the top 10 IT companies of India come from the U.S.) for outsourcing and the inevitable Nuclear deal. There are many other areas of cooperation between the world’s largest and the most powerful democracies, which would demand that the new president follows through on the commitments of his predecessor. I hope he does. John McCain, probably will. But Barack ? Not so sure. Notwithstanding his preference for Naan and Daal.

Have a great weekend folks,


Vijay Srinivasan
30th August 2008