President Obama’s re-election campaign today designated 35 state, local and community leaders as national co-chairs, or “ambassadors” for the president, who will play a high-profile role in defending his record and mobilizing voters for November.
The list includes current and former Democratic members of Congress, governors and mayors, as well as business and labor leaders, members of clergy and a few local campaign organizers, a nod to the value Obama places on his grassroots volunteers.
Former White House chiefs of staff Bill Daley and Rahm Emanuel will play key roles. Actor Kalpen Modi (aka Kal Penn) is expected to lead outreach to younger voters, while actress Eva Longoria will spearhead efforts to reach women and Hispanics.
All are “proud of the president’s record and leadership,” the campaign said in a statement.
Also notable are the names not on the list as Obama ambassadors.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., played a key role for Obama in 2008 but faces a fierce re-election battle in a red state.
Neither former President Bill Clinton nor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are listed. (Secretary Clinton cannot participate in political activity because of her role as the nation’s chief diplomat.)
And despite Modi and Longoria, there are few big Hollywood stars, such as George Clooney or Jay-Z, whom the campaign had reportedly sought to enlist.
Bruce Springsteen, who stumped for Obama in 2008, said last week he won’t be hitting the campaign trail for Obama this time, but still supports his re-election.
Full list of Obama 2012 National Co-Chairs:
- Lynnette Acosta – Obama for America (OFA) volunteer leader from Florida
- Marc Benioff – CEO of Salesforce.com
- Sen. Michael Bennet – U.S. senator from Colorado
- Mayor Julian Castro – Mayor of San Antonio
- Gov. Lincoln Chafee – Governor of Rhode Island
- Ann Cherry – Retired teacher and OFA volunteer leader from North Carolina
- Rep. Judy Chu - Representing the 32nd District of California
- Rep.e Emanuel Cleaver – Representing the 5th District of Missouri
- Bill Daley – Former White House Chief of Staff to President Obama, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce
- Maria Elena Durazo – Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
- Sen. Dick Durbin – U.S. Senator from Illinois
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel – Mayor of Chicago
- Sen. Russ Feingold – Former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
- Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez – Representing the 20th District of Texas
- Loretta Harper – High School Counselor and OFA volunteer leader from Nevada
- Attorney General Kamala Harris – Attorney General of California
- Sai Iyer – Student at Virginia Commonwealth University and OFA volunteer leader from Virginia
- Caroline Kennedy – Author-President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
- Eva Longoria – Actress and Philanthropist
- Felesia Martin – OFA volunteer leader from Wisconsin
- Bishop Vashti McKenzie – African Methodist Episcopal Bishop
- Attorney General Tom Miller – Attorney General of Iowa
- Kalpen Modi – Actor/Former White House Associate Director for the Office of Public Engagement
- Adm. John Nathman – Retired U.S. Navy Admiral
- Gov. Deval Patrick – Governor of Massachusetts
- Secretary Federico Pena - Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and U.S. Secretary of Energy
- Elaine Price – Retired Ohio resident and OFA volunteer leader from Ohio
- Penny Pritzker – Founder and CEO of PSP Capital Partners
- John Register – U.S. Army Veteran and Paralympian
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky – Representing the 9th District of Illinois
- Sen. Jeanne Shaheen – U.S. Senator from New Hampshire
- Joe Solmonese – President of the Human Rights Campaign
- Alan Solow – Partner at DLA Piper LLP and past Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
- Gov. Ted Strickland – Former Governor of Ohio
- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – Mayor of Los Angeles