Virginia (USA), Nov.3 : With less than 48 hours to go before American voters decide on who their 44th President will be, the Indian American community appears to have already decided that the United States is ready to have its first Afro-American head of state.
In their view, Illinois Senator Barack Obama is on all counts, a transformational candidate, a man who has the potential to lead the country, a candidate who will bring fresh energy to the White House and to the administration in Washington.
"To his advantage, Obama is from all accounts, a transformational candidate who has been able to go beyond race, who is very thoughtful, very contemplative and in that sense, he looks more presidential and ultimately people want a leader who doesn't necessarily look like them or so on, but someone who can lead and he seems to have that," Jaikishen Desai, a senior economist at the World Bank, told ANI in an interview.
He further went on to say that "In politics, people say something and when they come in power, they do something else, that's a different thing.
When asked to comment on the issue of outsourcing, Desai said that the Democratic camp seemed to be in favor of greater checks and curbs than the Republican camp.
"Right now, there might be little negativism towards outsourcing. But I think, the downturn of the world economy will have more effect (on outsourcing). There might be small differences between McCain and Obama (on the issue)," he said.
On the longer-term issues like Iran and China's relationship with the United States, he said: "I guess Obama's effect would be more positive in these." Referring specifically to the meltdown of the American economy, Desai said: "Ultimately, if the wage difference is more, it would cause a loss."
He was, however, confident about the American economy making a comeback.
"Yes it can come back. But according to me, there can be more things that can create a difference like banks which set up offshore units to take advantage of the tax loopholes. Because, these days the sentiments are against the Wall Street and the financial world, there can be little difference on outsourcing. But the trend has been set and it's difficult to say whether Obama or McCain's presidential victory would make a difference," Desai said.
Some Indian Americans like Sumathi Subramanium, a healthcare professional, said that the Induian American community is looking for change in the United States, and therefore, it should come as no surprise that they were rooting for Obama as opposed to Republican candidate John McCain.
"I think he (Obama) represents fresh energy, I think, you know, it's Indian Americans who are also looking for change in the country as opposed to people who have sort of seen George Bush over the last eight years and John McCain probably is going to be more of the same for them," said Subramanium.
The comments from the Indian Americans came as both camps (Obama and McCain) are positioning themselves for a long night on Tuesday. Both expect the closing stages of the race to be tight, as there is a potential for fraudulent voter registration.
The latest Investor's Business Daily-TechnoMetrica poll out Sunday showed the race with just a 2-point spread, with Obama at 46.7 percent, McCain with 44.6 percent and 8.7 percent of the 844 likely voters still undecided.
McCain's team points to several other polls showing the race tightening as the nation comes into the home stretch this election season.
His campaign manager, Rick Davis, told "FOX News Sunday" not to discount McCain, who was the underdog in the primaries and came roaring back.
"Look, this election is moving very quickly. There is no doubt that John McCain is increasing his margins in almost every state in the country right now. And I think that what we're in for is a slam-bang finish. I mean, it's going to be wild. I think that we are able to close this campaign," Davis said.
As for the Obama camp, chief strategist David Axelrod said that the McCain camp is deluding itself into thinking he can stage an historic comeback. He also said that he is worried about potential new voters not going to the polls because they believe Obama has it wrapped up.
Campaign manager David Plouffe said the Obama team expects at least 130 million voters this election, particularly from states where Democratic registration has increased this year.
Both sides are also talking about criticism about the voter registration process and how so many millions more people are on the rolls. Plouffe said that any fraud would be investigated, but obvious fraudulent registrants won't make it into the booth. By Smita Prakash