Bill Clinton, who normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam and ended the animosity between the two countries in 1995, was and still is considered a hero among the Vietnamese population. That’s why when Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton visited Vietnam in late July to talk trade and human rights, she was showered with wedding gifts for her daughter Chelsea.

Most notable is an image made of semi precious stones that depicted Hilary and her daughter in conical hats, the likeness was taken from an original photograph when they visited with President Clinton in Vietnam in 2000.

“Very nice,” She said upon presentation of the gift. Yet the image of the Clintons in conical hat has another meaning as Chelsea weds her betrothed, Marc Mezvinsky. It seems she’s marrying into a family in which there are three Vietnamese brothers. In fact, Marc Mezvinsky has 10 siblings, and most are adopted

Asians are very much part of the American political families these days, though they always seem to be on the periphery, not the center of power. Al Gore’s daughter, Sarah, is married to a  Chinese American businessman name Bill Lee, for instance, and John McCain has an adopted daughter from Bangladesh.

Senator James Webb, D. Viriginia, is also married to a Vietnamese-American, and they have a daughter. 

One of the more interesting thing to watch during president Obama’s inauguration is his half sister, herself part Indonesian, and her Chinese descent husband, Konrad Ng. Many tv viewers were wondering, "who is that Asian man?"

(And let's not talk about Hollywood, where the number of Vietnamese children of the famous are growing - from Julie Andrew's to Angelina Jolie's. )

Whether or not these Asian relatives of the rich and political ever emerge from simply playing supporting characters in the American political theatre to playing central characters remains to be seen. But it is interesting to think at least for Vietnam, America is no longer a far away country. Her children now are part of the American landscape, and a few can even call some of the most powerful people Daddy, Mommy, Uncle and Aunt. 

Andrew Lam is the author of Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, and East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres.