Outgoing US ambassador Timothy J. Roemer (jokingly) scotched rumors that he's resigning to run for president and downplayed speculation that India's decision to oust Boeing and Lockheed Martin from the competition for the $10 billion multi-role combat aircraft would be a blow to Indo-US relations.

Speaking at a meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in New Delhi, Roemer said, "We respect Indian procurement process but we are deeply disappointed... But I am forever an optimist and positive," according to the Indian Express. "No single issue can decide the Indo-US relation. Our partnership is resilient and global in nature. It will make us inextricable in coming decades."

Earlier, local media reported that Roemer had communicated his decision to resign to his Indian counterparts before it was announced that the US companies had been eliminated from the multi-role combat aircraft competition, following some speculation (twitter, mostly) that his lobbying failure in the jet deal played a role in his decision to head home. 

In other respects, though, his timing is impeccable. He's out just as the mercury is crossing 40 degrees Celsius (the milestone here). That's 104F, according to my (now functioning) indoor/outdoor wireless thermometer. Indoor reading: 34C/92F in the non-air conditioned portion of my pad. I believe that's what the Dips call a "hardship post."

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