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Will Barack Obama back Indo-US N-deal?

Last updated on: June 08, 2008 20:19 IST

Will Democrat Barack Obama, who once proposed a 'killer' amendment to the legislation on Indo-US civil nuclear deal placing limits on the amount of atomic fuel to be sold to India, back the landmark agreement if he wins the White House race?

While a clear-cut answer is not available, the 46-year-old Illonis Senator who overcame an intense electoral battle against his rival Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential nomination race had reluctantly backed the legislation on the deal worked out by the Republican administration of President George W Bush.

McCain vows to support Indo-US N-deal

Though the African-American senator co-sponsored the 'killer legislation', it was eventually rejected.

The Clinton campaign had been more vocal on the issue saying that she was voted in its favour and was not 'lukewarm' in her response as Democrats are perceived on the issue.

"She looked into the issue. She decided to vote in favour of the nuclear deal and was a supporter of it," Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said.

'Uncertainty on deal may rise if US admn changes'

However, the strongest backing for the stalled deal has come from Obama's Republican rival John McCain, who said that the nuclear agreement would strengthen ties with the world's biggest democracy and involve India in the fight against nuclear proliferation.

With Clinton now having formally bowed out of the race and backing to him, Obama wants to define the faltering economy as the paramount issue facing the country.

The economic push is intended to highlight the distinctions between Democratic and Republican proposals on health care, jobs, energy prices, education and taxes.

'How much does India want the N-deal?'

Obama's Republican rival, John McCain, by contrast, has been emphasising national security more than any other issue and has made clear that he would like to fight the election primarily on that ground.

Obama has moved in recent days to transform his primary organisation into a general election machine, hiring staff members, sending organisers into important states and preparing a television advertisement campaign to present his views and his biography to millions of Americans who followed the primaries from a distance.

He is moving to hire Aaron Pickrell, the chief political strategist of Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio, who helped steer Clinton to victory in that state's primary, to run his effort against McCain there.

In another, aides said, he has tapped Dan Carroll, an opposition researcher who gained fame digging up information on opponents' records for Bill Clinton in 1992, to help gather information about McCain.

'That is the latest evidence that, for all the talk on both sides about a new kind of politics, the general election campaign is likely to be bloody,' the New York Times reported.

Obama's campaign is considering hiring Patti Solis Doyle, a long-time associate of Clinton, who was her campaign manager until a shake-up in February, the first of what Obama's aides said would be a number of hires from the Clinton campaign.

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