Indian-Americans Say Democratic VP Pick Tim Kaine Is A Friend Of India

WASHINGTON: Senator Tim Kaine is a strong advocate of the Indo-US relationship and a great friend of India, leading Indian-Americans have said after he was chosen by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to be her running mate.

“Great friend of Indian-Americans and India,” Silicon Valley-based Indian American entrepreneur Mr. M Rangaswami said after Clinton announced her decision to have Virginia Senator Kaine as her vice presidential running mate.

“A good friend of Indian Americans. A decent, honourable man with principled views and fully thought-through positions,” said Mr. Shekar Narasimhan, a leading Indian-American community leader from the Greater Washington Area.

“Someone I am proud to call a friend,” said Mr. Narasimhan who was among the leading Indian-Americans to attend the Clinton-Kaine rally in Virginia last week.

“Kaine will help propel Hillary Clinton to victory in 2016 and importantly, will be a great partner in governing this country,” Mr. Narasimhan said.

Mr. Rangaswami said Kaine gave a “riveting foreign policy analysis” when he attended the Indiaspora Forum last year.

Kaine is an active member of the powerful Senate India Caucus.

Incidentally, Clinton is the founding member and first Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, which is the only country specific caucus in the Senate.

“I met him recently during the Narendra Modi visit- he was totally engaged in India related issues. He had read the entire speech of the Prime Minister and he generously gave me his copy as a souvenir,” Mr. Rangaswami said.

Kaine has made multiple trips to India as Governor of Virginia and US Senator.

He is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate Budget Committee and Senate Special Committee on Ageing.

“With the strategic importance of the US-India relationship growing every year, I’ve been encouraged by increased cooperation on defence issues between our two countries, including the ongoing discussions regarding aircraft carrier technology,” Kaine had said last month after listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech before the joint session of the US Congress.

During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on India in May, Kaine recollected his visit to India in October 2014 wherein he went to the Mazgaon Docks in Mumbai to see the India ship building industry, and encouraged the defense ministry to send a delegation here.

“There is ongoing work in these various defence spaces. US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has been really good about it. I even noticed, this is interesting being on the Armed Services Committee, every DOD witness we now have always talks about the Indo-Asia Pacific. When I started on the committee they always talked about the Asia Pacific,” he had said.

Now, they always talk about the Indo-Asia Pacific,” Kaine had said.