The Mirror

Politico offends Indian Democratic operative

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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An Indian Democratic operative is irate at Politico over a story that emerged in Politico Magazine Monday night equating Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to actor Kal Penn‘s little brother. The story concerns “The State of the Union Curse,” in which politicians who perform the countering response often end up doing horrible jobs, Jindal among them.

“Delivering the 2009 response to Obama, Jindal looked like Kal Penn’s little brother—thoroughly lacking the gravitas to run for president, the chattering class sniffed,” wrote John Aloysius Farrell, who has written a biography on the late Thomas “Tip” O’Neill Jr. and is working on another about Richard Nixon.

Penn, born Kalpen Suresh Modi (his name is just a little Indian-sounding), is President Obama‘s Associate Director of Public Engagement. The 36-year old left his position a few times for acting roles but returned when each had concluded.  Penn was born in New Jersey, but his parents were both born in India.

Shah, obviously of Indian descent, is a former regional director for the DCCC. Oddly, there is another Shripal Shah who works as the chief strategy officer for the Washington Redskins, a team name that has come under tremendous attack for being horribly offensive to some.

The Mirror reached out to Politico Magazine Editor Susan Glasser and Politico Editor John Harris for comment.

Note to readers: Do you find Politico to be offensive in this instance? Let us know at or or @betsyscribeindc. 

CORRECTION: There are two men in the Washington area named Shripal Shah and unfortunately we confused the Democratic operative for now working for the Washington Redskins. The error has been corrected above.