Like much of the world waiting to find out who leads the United States as its president for the next four years, India too looks askance at the mother of all elections.

While some believe India-U.S. relations have evolved to a strategic level where it does not matter who is at the helm of affairs, a debate rages on whether Obama or McCain will be good for the South Asia region, and India in specific.

As in the U.S., in India the balance seems to tilt in favour of Obama. His backers say he will be a welcome change from the stifling neoconservatism of the Bush administration and its heavy-breathing belligerence.

The Times of India newspaper says: “…a McCain win will result in a broad continuation of Bush administration policies…Beyond that, US-India ties, at least from Washington’s perspective, would continue to be largely security driven, subject to conservative impulses arising from fears of an extremist Islamist agenda to India’s west and an expanding Chinese influence everywhere.

“Obama on the other hand promises to be different, he will bring in fresh informed change to the region.”