In the U.S., Highest Elected Office Held by a Person in a Mixed Race Marriage?

If the answer is different for current vs. of all time, then broader discussion is welcome. Likewise, offering up possible nominees even if you’re not certain if that person indeed holds/held the highest elected office compared to other possible nominees is still helpful to the discussion.

“Highest Elected Office” may be subjective anyway. Is Governor of Wyoming a higher office than Mayor of New York?

Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio was actually the inspiration for this Thread. Are there any current or previous office holders of similar political clout who are in mixed race marriages?

Jeb Bush’s wife Columba is Hispanic, having been born and raised in Mexico. (Jeb Bush is, of course, former governor of Florida.) However, there is a great debate over whether Hispanicity should be defined as is a race, an ethnicity, or something else entirely; so it may or may not “count” depending on how you define things.

For that matter, Ted Cruz is married to a non-Hispanic woman; so if we count Jeb! we should probably count Senator Cruz as well.

Obama is mixed race so he should count. His mother was white. It’s just as valid to view Obama / Michelle as a black white marriage as a black - black marriage.

Otherwise the question is meaningless, theres no such thing as a “pure white” or “pure black” person, we’re all mongrels if you go back far enough.

Obama has as much right to be called white as black, so that is the answer to your question. It is only the “one drop” theory of race that prevents that. It also illustrates the fatuous nature of the whole idea of race.

Well, Obama’s biracial, so any marriage he’s in is going to be a mixed race marriage…

There is no such thing. But the question is not meaningless, because it refers to marriages between people whose ‘races’ are defined in different slots in the American system. Per which, Obama is black.

William Cohen (U. S. Senator 1979-1997). He married Janet Langhart in 1996.

Yeah, I forgot to put in the disclaimer “Yes, the OP understands that race is a social construct having no valid scientific taxonomic significance and is looking for discussion framed within such social construct as it is sociologically observed in the present day United States” in 50 point font in red in bold.

Silly me. When will I learn?
You can file the Obamas under “broader discussion” if you like. Barack Obama, being biracial, in some ways probably experienced society coming of age in ways different from both his white peers and his black peers but, when faced with systemic racism as it is applied in society a biracial person who looks black is not going to get any mileage out of protesting “But I’m only half black!”

The general thinking is that if society sees you as black, then you’re black- despite the rich tapestry of nuance that you may enjoy with people who know you personally as an individual. When you sees reds and blues in your rearview mirror: if you look black, you’re black. When you’re in a job interview: if you look black, you’re black. When you’re applying for a bank loan: if you look black, you’re black.

So, yes, under the “broader discussion” the Obamas count. Under the narrower view, they do not.

But, like I said in the OP, I’m all for broadening the discussion. But now that I’ve added the disclaimer missing from the OP can we stop pretending that we don’t have established common vocabulary to discuss this?
Ted and Heidi Cruz, I’d file under broader discussion since he’s got European stock on his father’s side (Spanish Grandfather, though born in Cuba) as well as his mother’s side. He’s pretty white.

Jeb and Columba Bush, I’d say, do count.

Since I, as the OP, am welcoming varying definitions on the terms as well as welcoming disagreement on the examples, the mods can feel free to move this out of GQ if they deem so fit. I still think it’s a GQ kind of question and I raise no objection to responses that challenge or reshape the subject matter.

Another Senator, Ed Brooke, was a black man married to an Italian woman.

Later he was married to another white woman but that appears to have been after his career in electoral politics came to an end (helped along by the very public divorce from wife #1).

Vice President (1929-1933) Charles Curtis was “nearly half American Indian” (Wikipedia) himself. I’m assuming his wife Annie Elizabeth Baird Curtis was European-American(?).

I just noticed that Curtis was a widower by the time he became Vice President. But he was a Senator from 1915-1929.

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is married to former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

McConnell is of Scottish and Irish descent. Chao is of Chinese heritage and was born in Taiwan.
Of non-elected members of government Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is married to Virginia Thomas (née Lamp).

Clarence Thomas is an African American descendant of slaves. Virginia Thomas is a white woman from Nebraska.

Carl Stokes[1], Mayor of Cleveland (1968-1971). Married to Shirley Edwards from 1958-1973[2].

Alexander Twilight, member of the Vermont state legislature from 1836 to ?


With regard to his marriage, the sources don’t specifically state his spouse was European-American, but I’m assuming it is implied.

SC Governor Nikki Haley is Indian and married to a white dude.

Former Republican Senator Phil Gramm’s wife is has Korean/native Hawaiian ancestry.

Never knew that! Was it an issue at all during the election?

What if Michelle had been the daughter of a black African and a white American? :smiley:

I don’t know. Whatever the case may be, he certainly didn’t keep his heritage a secret:

(bolding mine)

… and what race are Indians? :smiley: