Longtime fans of GlobalPost may remember Inder Dan Ratnu, whose story I first told in "Obama's Indian strategist" in 2010.
The upshot? Inder “believes that he deserves credit for [President Obama's] stunning landslide victory in 2008, as his third self-published novel, 'First Lady President,' outlines in detail the strategy behind Obama's 'Yes, We Can' campaign," as I wrote back then.
At the time, Inder was angling for me or another journalist to put Obama on the spot when he visited India, and demand to know whether he'd drawn inspiration from Inder's book.
I wasn't able to accommodate him. But since then, I've thought about re-introducing Inder to GlobalPost readers several times, as he has continued to pitch me ideas about how and why his book on the 2008 US presidential race remains current (if not prophetic).
(One email, which he wanted me to forward to other members of the press corps, ran to 11 pages, if I recall correctly, so I am also writing this post with a little trepidation).
But now I have a news peg: Obama is running for re-election. And, I think you'll find, Inder is irresistible. So in the interest of convincing you to read my first story about him, I'm giving you an update.
In pitching his Obama novel — actually, it was more about Hillary Clinton, whom Inder still insists would really have been the first lady president if she'd bothered to read his book, like Obama did – Inder simply wanted to get his due as a modern-day soothsayer.
"I'm more accurate than Nostradamus," he told me in 2010. "What Nostradamus wrote were the stanzas, the verses, which were poetic, and people made conclusions out of it." Inder's own predictions were clear and specific, he insisted.
This time, though, he wants to influence Obama's campaign without the trouble of writing a 200-odd-page novel (not to mention his ill-fated, Borat-like trip to Washington, where a vigilant bus driver reported him as a terror suspect while he was looking for the McCain campaign HQ).
So he's developed a five-point shortlist of the reasons that Obama will lose this time around – which have nothing to do with, as Inder says, “the reasons of economy, unemployment, obamacare, an unbalanced budget and enormous national debt, etc. (most of which he can always blame upon the preceding republican administration).”
Here's the dirt, edited for brevity: