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Rahul Gandhi lacks ‘either aptitude or passion to master subject’, says Obama in new memoir

Former US president Barack Obama writes that Rahul Gandhi had ‘a nervous, unformed quality about him’ and describes Manmohan Singh as having ‘impassive integrity’.

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New Delhi: In his new memoir Promised Land, former US President Barack Obama has words for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister of India Manmohan Singh. 

Excerpts of the book were mentioned in Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s review of the book in The New York Times

Adichie while reviewing the book, which is the first of two volumes, mentioned that Obama has written that Rahul Gandhi had “a nervous, unformed quality about him, as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject.” 

Gandhi had met Obama in 2017, during the latter’s visit to India in December that year. The former Congress president uploaded a picture with Obama then and said he had a “fruitful chat with President @BarackObama. Great to meet him again”. 


Obama has described former PM Manmohan Singh and US Secretary of Defence Bob Gates as those who came across as having a “kind of impassive integrity”. 

Putin ‘physically unremarkable’

On other world leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Obama has reportedly described him as being “physically unremarkable”,  but adding that Putin reminded him of the “tough, street-smart ward bosses who used to run Chicago”.

Speaking about the newly-elected president of the US, Joe Biden, Obama says he is an honest, loyal and decent man. The former president, however, added that he sensed Biden “might get prickly if he thought he wasn’t given his due — a quality that might flare up when dealing with a much younger boss”.  

As for the former president of France, Nicholas Sarkozy, Obama says he is bold and opportunistic and had “his chest thrust out like a bantam cock’s”. 

The first part of the soon-to-release memoir is 768 pages and will hit the stands on 17 November. 

Also read: Congress cannot afford to become BJP-lite, says Shashi Tharoor


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