The Obamasphere: Washington Supporters

by Editorial

maxine-isaacsMAXINE ISAACS
The press secretary for the Mondale campaign (where she met husband Jim Johnson, who served as campaign chairman) Isaacs is still very much involved in politics and political giving. The Harvard Kennedy School lecturer wrote her dissertation on the relationship between elite and mass opinion on American foreign policy.

jim-johnsonJIM JOHNSON
The prominent Washingtonian and former chairman of Fannie Mae, was an Obama bundler, and was involved in the VP selection process. He stepped down after questions were raised about favoritism he may have received from Countrywide Financial Corporation, though the Obama campaign staunchly defended him.

The Williams & Connolly partner with a focus on criminal and civil litigations was, like Obama, an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Previously a professor at George Washington and Georgetown law schools, Downey clerked for Judge Edward Becker, and the United States Court of Appeals before going into private practice.

Managing partner of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, Harris withdrew as a lobbyist for Microsoft and Cisco in June, but his partners still lobby. The former chief counsel for export administration at the Department of Commerce, he represents clients before the FCC, the courts, the Executive Branch, and foreign regulatory agencies.

george-stevensGEORGE STEVENS
Co-Chairman of the Obama arts policy committee, the award-winning writer, director, producer and founder of the American Film Institute, has received 11 Emmys, two Peabody Awards and eight Writers Guild of America Awards for his television productions, including the Kennedy Center Honors.

Bob Nixon and his wife Sarah moved to Washington from Los Angeles in 1992 to found Earth Conservation Corps, a non-profit devoted to engaging the city’s youth in efforts to cleanup the Anacostia River. Nixon has won five Emmy Awards, and was a strong supporter of Barack Obama’s throughout the campaign.

ann-jordanANN JORDAN
Co-chairman of the 1996 Clinton inauguration and the first African-American to ever chair an inauguration, Ann and her husband Vernon are a formidable duo in Washington politics. Formerly a professor and social worker, Jordan is a civic leader, who champions women and minorities across the nation.

Eacho made a fortune in the food distribution business in the 1990’s, and along with his wife, Donna, has been an active fundraiser in Democratic circles, bundling more than half a million dollars for Obama. Eacho is currently the CEO of Carlton Capital Group, a private wealtht management fund in the Washington area.

susaneisenhowserSUSAN EISENHOWER
Ike’s grand-daughter is an international security expert and frequent political commentator,  but the lifelong Republican recently switched her party affiliation to Independent, and passionately endorsed Obama in a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

spencer_overtonSPENCER OVERTON
This law school prof is one of the nation’s leading experts on election law, and a frequent commentator on issues of voting rights, voter suppression, and campaign law. Overton was two classes behind Obama at Harvard Law, and has worked for the DNC, NAACP, and a few prestigious “white shoe” law firms during his career.

howard-gutmanHOWARD GUTMAN
An original member of Obama’s national finance committee, this Williams & Connolly partner has advised Democratic candidates for president, Congress, and governor. He also went K Street on the HBO series of the same name, playing (what else?) a well-connected  Washington attorney.

william-kennardWILLIAM KENNARD
This managing director at the Carlyle Group and former FCC chairman was a tech advisor to Obama’s campaign, working alongside such fellow techies as Julius Genachowski and Google’s Eric Schmidt. Obama has promised to appoint the first ever chief technology officer, part of a broader initiative to create a more efficient, transparent government.

stewartbainumSTEWART BAINUM JR.
A former Maryland state senator and chairman of Choice Hotels International, Inc. (Comfort Inn and EconoLodge), Bainum’s father was a former plumber who opened a nursing home business and took it public in 1969. Partly, as a result, Bainum Jr. has twice made the Forbes “400” list.

timbroasTIM BROAS
This Winston & Strawn securities litigation attorney co-hosted one of the first D.C. fundraisers for Obama with fellow inner-circle allies Greg Craig and Kevin Downey. A veteran of both the Kerry and Bradley campaigns, Broas, an avid marathon runner, said recently that his claim to fame is, “that I’ve been to 74 Bruce Springsteen concerts.”

sheila-johnsonSHEILA JOHNSON
Black Entertainment Television co-founder and billionaire Sheila Johnson was one of Obama’s earliest backers, and continued hosting fundraisers for him throughout the campaign. Already a global ambassador for the non-profit CARE, there is speculation that she may be offered one of a handful of prestigious diplomatic posts in the Obama administration.

julius-jenachowskiJULIUS GENACHOWSKI
A friend of Obama’s since their days at Harvard Law, this tech guru who will serve as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has Washington pundits speculating about the larger role technology will play in the new administration. Genachowski has  also served on the boards of Expedia,, and Ticketmaster.

Next up: Champions of the Campaign

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