【本報記者徐敏子柏克萊 - 德拉瓦電話採訪】 80-20 促進會主席吳仙標 28 日表示，2008 年總統選舉中，促進會將像 2000、2004 年總統選舉時一樣，根據兩黨候選人向促進會作出為亞裔謀利益的承諾，然後再決定向亞裔選民推薦的總統候選人名單。
吳仙標並說，2008 年時，促進會將提出更多的要求，除了要求兩黨候選人承諾當選後推動舉辦有關亞裔在職場受到歧視的國會聽證會、並責成勞工部執行職場平等的11246 總統行政命令外，還會要求他們作出增加聯邦法院亞裔法官的承諾。
儘管離 2008 年總統選舉還有兩年，但正式宣布或非正式表達有意競選的兩黨總統候選人已經露出檯面，其中包括共和黨的馬侃、朱利安尼；民主黨的喜來莉、愛德華茲、歐巴瑪、白登等。
被問及前兩次總統選舉共和黨候選人陣營未能如促進會所願作出承諾、若 2008 年發生同樣情況將如何應對時，吳仙標很有把握地表示，2008 年的情況會很不同，因為今年 11 月選舉情況表明，共和黨已經失去了南方及中西部的票倉，共和黨已經沒有本錢向促進會展示同一付面孔。
吳仙標並稱參院變天，促進會在其中扮演了一個重要角色，選前促進會預期民主黨候選人委柏將勝出，因此呼籲網上支持者將選票投給委柏，而 CNN 選舉出口調查顯示，委柏的選票中有三個百分點來自亞裔，而正是該三個百分點使委柏以多出對手七千多票的結果勝出。
吳仙標因此十分確定，2008 年時共和黨會與促進會聯繫，而屆時促進會的「價碼」會高一點，除了 11246 總統行政命令，還要聯邦法官，他說亞裔目前佔全美總人口的4.4%，但亞裔聯邦法官僅六人，只佔 0.7%，相差太大。
English Version (translated by Helen Wang)
Interview by Minzi Xu, World Journal correspondent, via telephone
On December 28th, S.B. Woo, the President of 80-20 Initiative, stated that for the 2008 Presidential election, the Initiative would ask the candidates of both political parties to promise to keep in mind the interests of Asian Americans, before recommending any particular candidate to 80-20 members. This practice is in keeping with what 80-20 has done in the 2000 and 2004 elections.
S.B. Woo further stated that, for the 2008 election, the Initiative would make more demands upon each presidential candidate. In addition to a promise for an evidentiary hearing on workplace discrimination against Asian Americans, 80-20 will demand that a potential candidate, after being elected, will push the Department of Labor to bring into reality Executive Order No. 11246, regarding equal workplace opportunity. 80-20 Initiative also demands that the newly elected President appoint more Asian American federal judges.
Even though the next Presidential election will not take place for another two years, formal and informal declarations for presidential candidacy have already started to take place. Some candidates have included, on the Republican side, John McCain and Rudolph Giuliani. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Joseph Biden are also potential contenders.
Dr. Woo has also put forth some predictions regarding the Republican and Democratic primaries. On the Republican side, the Presidential candidate will probably be John McCain. For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton will probably win the primary. In Dr. Woo’s opinion, McCain has accumulated much experience from his previous bids for the Presidency. Furthermore, McCain is not a “yes-man;” he has a great background and a great ability to work with both parties effectively. These are McCain’s advantages. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has finances, ability, and popularity. As long as she doesn’t make a mistake, it seems very promising that she will win. However, if another unexpected contender wins the Democratic primary, Dr. Woo predicts that person would be the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Joseph Biden, not Senator Obama. Although Biden is not well-known, Dr. Woo believes that he would win, just like lesser-known primary winners Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
When asked about the Republican Party’s refusal to comply with the Initiative’s demands in the last two Presidential elections, Dr. Woo responded confidently that this time, the situation is different. This past November election showed that the Republicans have lost the support of Southern and Mid-Western notes. The Republicans no longer have any leverage to refuse the Initiative’s demands.
Dr. Woo also noted that the Initiative played a major role in Congress’ shift of power. Before the congressional vote, the Initiative predicted that a Democratic candidate, Jim Webb would win. As a result, the Initiative contacted its online supporters to vote for Webb. After the vote, CNN conducted an investigation and determined that 3% of Webb’s votes had been from Asian Americans, and it was exactly by this 3%, a margin of over seven thousand votes, that Webb defeated his opponent.
Dr. Woo whole-heartedly confirmed that, at the next time the Initiative and the Republican Party speak with each other for the 2008 election, the Initiative’s “price” will be higher. In addition to Executive Order No. 11246, the Initiative will demand that there be more Asian American federal judges appointed. At the present, Asian Americans comprise of 4.4% of the entire US population, but comprise only 0.7% of total US federal judges (six judges). The disproportion is too great.
Dr. Woo further added that the Initiative’s requests require the united support of all Asian Americans. This includes the support of Asian American Congress members, and especially the support of areas where Asian Americans and Asian American media are numerous, like California. Every Asian American has a responsibility to collectively push the federal government to remedy the inequality which we face as soon as possible, and to attain the right of first-class citizenship for Asian Americans.