VP Biden to Indian Prime Minister: “You’re the Hottest Ticket in Town”

Nov 24, 2009 5:29pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: Vice President Biden, ever the gracious host, told Indian Prime Minister Singh that he is the most popular man in Washington today. “There’s a phrase Mr. Prime Minister here in this country: ‘You’re the hottest ticket in town,’” Biden said to laughter at a luncheon at the State Department hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Singh’s honor. "I want you to know that we could not find a room big enough in America to accommodate all the people who wanted to come to lunch with you,” the vice president said. “You think I’m joking. I am not.” Perhaps by limiting the guest list, the State Department in fact was able to find a room to accommodate the luncheon, holding it in the Benjamin Franklin room at Foggy Bottom. Singh is getting the red carpet treatment in Washington today, from the White House welcoming ceremony this morning to a state dinner in his honor tonight on the South Lawn. Over 300 guests are expected at the White House for the dinner, the first of the Obama Administration. “We've come here and you've come here to strengthen a relationship that's already strong, to build on our vibrant past and also to forge what…must be and will be an even greater future between India and the United States,” Biden said. Biden noted that this week is the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack in Mumbai that left more than 170 dead. “This is coming up on an anniversary of a very sad event in your country, the terrorist attack in Mumbai,” Biden said. “And no one need tell you, Indian population or India leadership, that we have a common concern about terrorism in the world.” Biden also acknowledged New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who was in the audience for the luncheon and who wrote “the book The World is Flat,” which focused on globalization and the importance of India to the global economy.  ”As a famous American journalist wrote about, ‘The World is Flat.’ It is flat,” the vice president said. “[T]he truth of the matter is, the flatter it is, the more consequential it is, Mr. Prime Minister, that we work together, that we're on the same page.” Secretary Clinton spoke about the importance of a “strong and sustainable partnership” with India and said the two nations would work together on security, science and technology and increasing political, economic and social opportunities for women around the world. Biden quoted Gandhi in his toast: “‘As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.’ I would argue that, as we adapt to this new century, as we enter this new era of growth and prosperity, as we remake ourselves, that India and America and our partnership will help remake the world.” -Karen Travers

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus