Eric Garcetti is Finally Headed to New Delhi as Senate Narrowly Clears His Nomination as U.S. Ambassador to India
- Garcetti’s nomination came under a cloud from the very git-go because of the allegations that as Mayor of Los Angeles, he cast Nelson’s Eye on sexual harassment charges against his deputy chief of staff.
The Democratic Party has been hemorrhaging politically since it hastily threw out Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota on a flimsy allegation of sexual harassment at the height of the ‘Me Too’ movement. The same cancel culture threatened to derail one of the most important diplomatic nominations of the Biden administration — that of Eric Garcetti as U.S. ambassador to India.
After stalling in the Senate for nearly two years his nomination was cleared on Wednesday, March 15, after six Republicans voted with the Democrats, 52-42. The U.S. came embarrassingly close to not having an ambassador in New Delhi when India is preparing to host the G-20 summit in September, a crucial event in the light of a series of crises unsettling the global order.
“Earlier Wednesday,” The Washington Post reported, “there had been some uncertainty even among Democrats over whether Garcetti would have the support needed to clear a procedural vote. But though a few Democratic senators voted no, enough Republicans crossed party lines for Garcetti’s nomination to advance.”
Garcetti’s nomination came under a cloud from the very git-go because of the allegations that as Mayor of Los Angeles, he cast Nelson’s Eye on sexual harassment charges against his deputy chief of staff Rick Jacobs. Senate Republicans ran with the bipartisan allegations — Sen. Charles E. Grassley placed a hold on his nomination and even released a report detailing multiple accusations of sexual harassment. Garcetti consistently maintained that he had no personal knowledge of the harassment by his aide.
But what worked in Garcetti’s favor was President Biden’s steadfast support for his nominee. Just this week in Nevada Biden voiced his support saying the upcoming vote was very important. The vote was already trending his way over the past few weeks which helped Garcetti garner support from Republican senators Susan Collins (Maine), Bill Cassidy (La.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Roger Marshall (Kan.) and Todd C. Young (Ind.). Only three Democrats — Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Mark Kelly (Ariz.) — voted against the nomination, while six others did not vote.
During his Senate hearings, Garcetti pleaded his case to be ambassador to India saying that he studied Hindi and Indian history in college and that he would champion a strong partnership with India. “The bedrock of our partnership,” Garcetti affirmed, “are the human ties that connect our nations, embodied by the 4 million strong Indian American diaspora that strengthens our nation and the nearly 200,000 Indian students and tens of thousands of Indian professionals who contribute to our economy.”