Presidential Campaign Update

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A very gracious thank-you from our new First Sister and First Sister and First Brother-In-Law as well as from National AAPI Vote Director Charmaine Manansala to the Asian American community for coming out in support of President-elect Barack Obama.

According to numerous exit polls, Asian American voters supported Sen. Obama 61 percent to 35 percent over Sen. McCain. Studies also showed that Asian Americans were a key factor in deciding the final outcome in battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Virginia, Nevada and Minnesota. So, to all of you in those states (and all others) — we owe you our thanks!

Two names floating as possible Cabinet appointees are Rep. Mike Honda and Former Washington state governor Gary Locke. Reports also suggest that the former solicitor general of New York, Preeta Bansal, currently a senior advisor on the Obama campaign, may be considered for the position of Solicitor General in the Department of Justice.

Already the Obama transition team has three Asian Americans, one of whom is Chris Lu, the exceutive director of the Transition Senior Staff. The other two Asian Americans are Peter Rouse, whose mother is Japanese, and who is now one of 3 co-chairs of the transition team along with John Podesta and Valerie Jarrett, and Sonal Shah, head of Google.org’s Global Development team, who is now an Advisory Board member to the transition team. (In recent days, Shah has faced criticism for alleged ties to Hindu extremist groups. Today, she released a statement refuting these claims.)

In addition, Tammy Duckworth has been mentioned as either a possible appointee to succeed the president-elect in the U.S. Senate or as secretary of Veterans Affairs in the new Obama Administration. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawai‘i), another Obama supporter, is set to become chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee on Nov. 18.

— Eugenia Beh

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