ASIAN AMERICAN ISSUES
WILL GARY LOCKE BE THE FIRST AA PRESIDENT?
ary Locke can tick off almost every qualification for a successful presidential bid: third-generation Washingtonian whose father fought in Patton's tank corps; Eagle Scout; Yale grad; former prosecutor with a tough crimefighting record; popular two-term governor in a state with arguably the nation's most successful educational system and fiscal policies; a highly telegenic wife with impeccable credentials of her own.
Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 04:59:41 PM)
Significantly, Gary Locke's 26-year political career unequivocally establishes him to be a republican in democrat's clothing. Political balancing acts of that order have become de rigueur for White House aspirants from both parties, as shown by recent elections. And he's only 51.
But one misstep may haunt Locke in any quest for higher office -- he was born to Asian parents.
Locke's ties to Washington state go back to a paternal grandfather who had immigrated to Olympia at the turn of the century and worked as a houseboy before returning to China to start a family. His father James returned to Washington and fought under General Patton. Gary was born January 21, 1950 in a Seattle veterans public housing project called Yesler Terrace.
Gary worked at his father's grocery store but earned the rank of Eagle Scout and graduated with honors from Franklin High in 1968. He worked his way through Yale, earning a poli sci degree in 1972. Three years later he got a J.D. from Boston University Law School and became a deputy prosecutor in King County.
His crimefighting record got him elected to the state house in 1982 where his star rose rapidly through hard work on the Judiciary and Appropriations committees. He chaired the latter from 1988 until 1993 when he was elected chief executive of King County. That office gave Gary Locke the opportunity to prove his knack for improving social services while enforcing fiscal discipline.
Locke's popularity is undoubtedly boosted by his pretty wife, the former Mona Lee. Before their marriage in October of 1994 she was a news reporter at Seattle's KING-TV. She gave birth to a daughter in 1997, then a son in 1999. As first lady Mona has won raves by championing the causes of early learning and quality childcare.
Gary Locke has never publicly shown interest in running for national office.
Supporters see no other progression for the lifetime civil servant. They dismiss racial concerns by citing the fact that only about 6% of Washington voters are Asian, not very different from the 4% figure nationally. Some even feel that Locke's prospects for winning the presidency are better than that of any other minority politician. They cite his cleancut image combined with a sterling track record at the helm -- not to mention the likely support of the world's biggest software company.
Others believe that on the national political stage an Asian politician would have so much of an uphill battle simply trying to establish that he is an American to have a shot at getting his message across.
Could Gary Locke win a presidential election or would he be foolish even to consider a run?
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WHAT YOU SAY
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Practical minority politicians like Gary Locke and a few others that I could mention are our best hope of electing a person of color who can be attractive to not only people of his own race.
I look at the so-called African-Americans leaders we have today and I am appalled, quite frankly. We have either Jessie Jackson/Al Sharpton one side and Clarence Thomas/Ward Connerly on the other. These are not choices; these are alternatives and not very good ones.
I've done some research on Governor Locke. He has some minuses, but his pluses outweight his negative political attributes. To my knowledge, people dispute his political philosophy, not his character nor his intellect. That impresses me a great deal.
My biggest complaint against Bill Clinton was his character flaws. His personal weaknesses overshadowed his accomplishments.
Governor Locke will need to find a way to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters if he is to get a chance at national public office.
I anticipate he will be appointed to a cabinet level post in John Edward's upcoming Democratic administration.
Sunday, April 06, 2003 at 14:03:19 (PDT)
Whites still make up 70% of the U.S. population.
Asians make up a mere 4%.
The chances of a non-white President are slim to none.
Saturday, April 05, 2003 at 19:59:52 (PST)
I honestly feel that the next non-WASP male presidential candidate will be a white, non-protestant male, i.e. a Catholic (Irish, a la Kennedy?), or a perhaps a very wealthy and influential Jew.
Then a white-Hispanic (NEVER a black or indigenous/Indian or mixed Hispanic), then a female WASP (by-pass any other ethnicity of females), then maybe, MAYBE a very conservative black or Asian male president. In this sexist and racist society, being a woman AND minority is the kiss of death, so I'm afraid that that minority women candidates have next to zero chances of making it to the top.
The last three are LOOOONG shots, maybe one-in-several hundred thousand.
To be honest though, after the Catholic/Jewish male candidate, it's a toss-up between a black president and a WASP woman president. America seems to make a concerted effort (at least in public realms like politics and government) to be politically correct, so you might see a degree of support for a black president over a female one. Then again, this country is still quite racist, in a latent way. A HUGE push will be needed to overcome the inertia of inaugurating the first non-white president. On the same token, there is a strong anti-female bias in American politics.
Regardless, my point is that we as a nation are not as progressive as we hope and sometimes think we are. I think it's unrealistic to hope for an AA president within the next 4 or 5 presidential election. Perhaps when I am an middle-aged/old man (I'm 21) we'll see an Asian American presidential candidate with a realistic shot at the Presidency or the Vice-Presidency.
Not foolish, realistic.
Wednesday, April 02, 2003 at 05:14:15 (PST)
to the one who asked, isn't Daniel K. Inouye an asian american politician? well, just lookin at the top 40 inspiring people, I think they list a few.
Monday, February 24, 2003 at 11:59:40 (PST)
Actually there already was one. Kennedy was catholic.
IMHO the first non-WASP-male president will be a WASP-female, then hispanics.
Monday, February 24, 2003 at 10:21:36 (PST)
Do you think he would have been elected if...
A. He had a more Chinese sounding name?
B. He actually looked Chinese?
I don't think so.
Friday, February 21, 2003 at 12:47:49 (PST)
First of all, an Asian American male will not be picked as a presidential or even vice-presidential candidate. They would never get enough votes, even if they were the vice-presidential candidate and the presidential candidate was the most attractive candidate in the history of the planet. The racists would never go for it and they are the majority when it comes down to where the rubber hits the road - voting. If it did look like they could win, the Asian American guy would be assasinated before he could be elected.
Monday, February 17, 2003 at 19:42:57 (PST)
wow. you were able to find one prominent Asian-American politician. id be surprised if you could name any others (past or present).. good luck.
Monday, February 10, 2003 at 19:31:43 (PST)
Locke in 2004,
Don't place any credence in an Al Sharpton presidential bid. The guy is a loud mouth. I used to like him a while back. He was making some sense, but then he got greedy and now he's starting to act like Jesse Jackson.
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest a Democratic ticket of John Edwards and Gary Locke. The two would win all the Gore states and a few Southern (red) states.
Yes, I know there would be typical anti-Asian bias in the South and other parts of the country, but it would be nice to see a person of color in the White House. I think Colin Powell doesn't want the job AT ALL and he's also getting too old for it anyway.
Sunday, February 09, 2003 at 13:08:52 (PST)
Gary Locke should definitely run for president. His response to the State of the Union was very impressive. The fact that he gave the speech could mean that he'll be taken seriously as a contender. It was a historic moment for Asians. He would also liven things up in the race for the Democratic nomination.
If he doesn't run, we need to look seriously at supporting Al Sharpton.
Locke in 2004
Monday, February 03, 2003 at 18:31:34 (PST)
> GW Bush only served in the National Guard, and was AWOL half the time there too.
HEck! he's the prez now and he's AWOL half the time to spend time in his ranch in Tex too.
If the country is in a nuclear attack, i bet he's the first one to hide.
Sunday, February 02, 2003 at 23:27:15 (PST)
eh-eh-ehem, I seriously doubt hispanics and blacks would vote for a woman president. Just because they tend to vote democrat doesn't necessarily make them bleeding heart liberals or feminists. I think an asian candidate would have the best chance in terms of percieved racial balance (i.e. not favoring one race over others), however he will be seen as "working for china," being un-american, and have considerable issues with the insecure segments of the populations who can't stand the sight of asians.
Take a good hard look at george bush, a white guy with NOTHING going for him except conservative hatred for Clinton, Democrats n' Liberals. Bush is a fine example of affirmative action at work... just sit there, pick your nose, and BE white, while the job lands on your lap.
IMHO the first non-WASP-male president will be a WASP-female, then hispanics.
Sunday, February 02, 2003 at 14:50:49 (PST)
Gary Locke and AL Sharpton have something in common. They will both be long dead before a non-white makes it into the Presedency. That's not happening for a LONG time if ever.
I believe the first non-white president will probably be a hispanic or a Black considering how much of the population they comprise and the possibility of being able to vote in a massive block.
If only there was a black-hispanic woman with a White father running. She'd get in EASY in the next 30 years.
Spanish would vote for her, Blacks would vote for her, confused White feminists would vote for her, etc.
I bet good money the firstnon anglosaxan male in the presedency will be a woman.
Saturday, February 01, 2003 at 14:55:01 (PST)
After the SOTU address, Gary Locke gave the speech I've been waiting to hear since Bush stole the White House. I'd nearly given up on the Democrats but that night I heard the voice of someone who could make me believe again. I subsequently researched him and immediately began telling freinds that we have seen our first President of color and his name is Gary Locke. And I'm a whitey from Missouri.
Saturday, February 01, 2003 at 10:45:19 (PST)
"It is about time, if he is the best man for the job, good for him. Go for it. Be great if he ran with Lieberman."
Frankly, I think Jewish politicians harbor some animosity towards Asians & Middle Easterns. Hence, most media portrayals of these 2 groups are usually slanderous. I don't think Lieberman would accept Locke as a running mate.
wake up 2 the media bias
Friday, January 31, 2003 at 17:19:12 (PST)
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