Helicopter netas in the age of retail politics
In the early 1990s when Bill Clinton was campaigning for the US Presidency he permanently transformed the way Americans (and to a large extent the world) looked at Presidential campaigns. Hailing from a relatively small southern state, Bill Clinton turned on his rustic charm and reached out to people at coffee shops, fast food joints, restaurants, parks, malls you name it. He was indulging in “retail politics” like no politician had managed to do before. A product of a small town upbringing, he was a natural at this. His ability to connect one on one with people in person was phenomenal. He extended that rapport on to the TV screen during his debates. His brilliant mind and his thorough grasp of the issues further helped him stand out. Not surprisingly he went on to win two elections and led America through two terms of economic boom.
Fast forward of couple of decades and here we are in India at a time when the economy is in the tank, the ruling party is plagued by corruption and mis-governance and the opposition BJP on a rampant bid for coalition partners in a desperate attempt to achieve the the magic number of 272 seats at any cost.