This past Sunday, my wife and I attended a fund-raising dinner in Manhattan for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. It was organized by Indian-Americans for Hillary - a group that supports her 2008 campaign. No, we did not pay $1,000 for an hamburger dinner. Neither are we very active followers of the U.S. presidential politics. We attended for the experience (our first), and our invitation was free (from a very close friend, whose employer was the main host).
The event, apparently the biggest of its kind, raised ~$2m for the former first lady. Given a rather early start for the 2008 campaign, it'd be hardly surprising if all the previous fund raising records get broken this time. Mrs. Clinton’s ties with the increasingly wealthy 2.3M-strong Indian-American community in the U.S. could therefore prove very helpful.
According to the US Census Bureau, Indian-Americans are the richest ethnic group in the country - their median annual income is $61k compared to the national median of $41k. More than 300,000 Indians work in the Silicon Valley, where their average annual income is $200k. This, combined with the increasing importance of India on the global economic scene, indicates that alienating Indian-Americans could be an expensive prospect in the US politics, as Barack Obama, Mrs. Clinton's main Democratic presidential rival, realized recently.