More than a month after the Obama campaign said the president could not lead the Bud Billiken parade and picnic, event organizers and the White House said that Obama deputy assistant Michael Strautmanis would instead serve as grand marshal of Saturday's parade.
The Obamas and Strautmanis have been acquainted since he was a paralegal for Michelle Obama at the Sidley Austin law firm. While serving as chief counsel and deputy chief of staff in Obama's U.S. Senate office, he became an ambassador for key constituencies, such as African-American leaders and unions.
He is now deputy assistant to the president and counselor for strategic engagement to Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett.
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