8 Asians

I caught this bio piece over in the Taipei Times discussing Lanhee Chen, who heads up Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s policy division:

“Lanhee Chen (陳仁宜), 34, the son of Taiwanese immigrants. … A politician with a strong academic background, Chen holds four Harvard degrees — one bachelor’s, one master’s and two doctorates, one in law and one in politics. He worked at a lobbying firm after obtaining his first degree in 1999. … In a profile of Chen in the Washington Post, freelance writer Molly Redden described him as “brilliant.” Former US secretary of labor Elaine Chao (趙小蘭), who was born in Taiwan, said Chen was a rising star in the Republican Party.”

I’m surprised I had not heard of this Chen before, considering there are not too many high profile Asian Americans in government or politics. His academic profile is quite impressive (I guess he must have had a Tiger Mom), and reminds me a bit of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindall’s credentials.

Chen’s role is focused on Romney’s policy team, which means he doesn’t necessarily dictate what Romney’s policies are, but certainly helps dig into the details and I’m sure, do opposition research against Romney’s opponents during the Republican primary as well as now against Obama.

Given he fact that most Asian Americans lean Democratic or unaffiliated, I would be interested to learn how Chen’s views on politics were shaped. His parents currently live in San Gabriel Valley in Southern California – not sure if Chen grew up there though. Obviously, the greatest initial influence in anyone’s political (as well as religious beliefs) are formed and shaped by parents.

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