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Korean Americans Play Major Role in Obama’s Campaign

Posted October. 31, 2008 10:45,   


The inner circle of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is driven by unheralded Korean-American staff.

Eugene Kang, 24, is considered a close confidant to Obama. Working as a political assistant in charge of Obama’s campaign schedule, Kang is said to always accompany the Illinois senator.

According to a report on the Obama Exploratory Committee filed by the Federal Election Commission in January last year, Kang was listed as one of 14 members of the committee’s political division based in Chicago. The committee’s campaign manager was David Plouffe, now Obama’s campaign manager, with most staff at the time retaining key posts in the Obama camp.

As a junior at the University of Michigan, Kang unsuccessfully ran for an Ann Arbor City Council seat in 2005. He also formed Obama’s Web site for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Betsy Kim is deputy director of Obama’s Asian-American and Pacific Islander voter outreach effort in Chicago. She joined the Obama camp early and became a key member of his inner circle. A second-generation Korean American in her early 30s, Kim directs Obama’s strategy to woo Asian Americans.

Kim Dong-suk, who led the grassroots movement for passage of Comfort Women Resolution through Congress, has worked as voting director for the Obama camp.

Jun Choi, mayor of Edison, New Jersey, and Sam Yoon, city councilor of Boston, are also influential Korean-American politicians who have long worked to support Obama.

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