Obama's Early New Yorkers

Now that Hillary Clinton, and a bunch of New York elected officials, are congratulating Barack Obama on his campaign victory, it’s time to look at some of the few New Yorkers that were in his corner from the beginning.

State Senator Bill Perkins.
He was one of the first elected officials to endorse Obama and acted as his point-person on a number of events. While it may have been a popular move with many residents of Harlem, it wasn’t popular with the political establishment there: Representative Charles Rangel, Governor David Paterson, former mayor David Dinkins, former Borough President Percy Sutton, Assemblyman Keith Wright and Councilman Miguel Martinez all went in the other direction.

City Councilwoman Helen Foster.
The Bronx Democratic political machine endorsed Clinton. While Foster does get credit for breaking with the political machine there, she’s done that on a number of occasions, making it a somewhat expected move.

Assemblyman Michael Benjamin.
He’s also run had his run-ins with the Bronx Democratic machine, making his endorsement of Obama something less than a surprise. Benjamin has raised his profile with his commentary about the race, often emailed to reporters circa midnight. He’s also traveled out of state campaigning for Obama.

Central Brooklyn Legislators:
Assembly members Karim Camara and Hakim Jeffries and State Senator Eric Adams, City Council members Charles Barron and Albert Vann all came out for Obama. The major win Obama got in their parts of the city made their decisions almost a no-brainer.

Fund-raiser Arthur Leopold.
The young fund-raiser for Obama gets to crow about being with a winning candidate, and to continue to fatten his rolodex. Just wait till he’s old enough to drink. (One more year!).

Fund-raiser Jeh Johnson.
Johnson is a partner at Paul, Weiss and was out in front raising money for Obama way back before he looked inevitable.

Fund-raiser David Carden of Jones Day.
Carden is a member of Obama’s campaign national finance committee and has been very active in the money-raising effort for the campaign.

Preeta Bansal, partner at Skadden, Arps
Bansal has been part of Obama’s policy team, working on foreign policy, immigration and legal issues, and has been part of the outreach effort to women and Asian-Americans. She’s also a member of the national finance committee and a delegate.
Which is kind of unusual (though not unique) for someone who worked in the Clinton White House. Bansal was there, working on Supreme Court nominations, and did legal work connected to health care policy. Afterwards, she came to New York and was, for a time, the state’s solicitor general.

Union Leader Norman Seabrook.
Seabrook led his correction officers into an early endorsement of Obama, the first union in New York to do so. This political acumen may be needed when Seabrook seeks re-election.

Jordan Thomas, founder of Brooklyn for Barack.
Thomas, a 36-year-old political unknown, founded of one of the city’s largest political operations (while still remaining relatively unknown, despite all the ink). With a proven infrastructure in place, Thomas’ operation is now looking at other races.

Obama's Early New Yorkers