Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-8, Elected June 1987, 10th term)
-- Highest ranking female in government ever
-- A Baltimore native and child of the Baltimore Democratic machine before going West and settling in San Francisco. Her father, Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., served in the House from 1939 to 1947 and was mayor of Baltimore for 12 years. Her brother, who shares his father's name, was also mayor of Baltimore 20 years later, from 1967 to 1971.
-- Met her husband at Trinity College in Washington, D.C. He became a real estate investor in San Francisco.
-- In 1976, Pelosi returned to Maryland to run Jerry Brown's presidential primary campaign. (Incidentally, in 1992, Brown was the last failed presidential candidate to have his name placed in a roll call vote in either party.)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO, Elected 2006)
-- An early and ardent endorser of Obama; has since been one of his most effective surrogates.
-- A 4th-generation Missourian
-- Waited tables for six years as she worked her way through college and law school at the University of Missouri.
-- Clerked for the Missouri Court of Appeals in Kansas City and then got a job as an assistant prosecutor in Kansas City. In 1993, she became the first female prosecutor in Jackson County (Kansas City).
-- In 2006, she became the first woman elected to the United States Senate from Missouri.
Maya Soetoro-Ng (Obama's half-sister. They share a mother. Her father was Indonesian.)
-- Soetoro-Ng, 36, cites Obama as a father figure, as her parents divorced when she was just 9.
-- Holds a Ph.D. in comparative education from the University of Hawaii.
-- Teaches 9th grade world cultures and 11th grade U.S. history and the constitution at an all-girls school in Honolulu. She's married to Konrad Ng, a Chinese-Canadian. They have one daughter, Suhaila, who was 2 in Sept. 2007.
-- One of the four bumper stickers on her car reads, "1-20-09. End of an Error." One other is a "Women for Obama" sticker.
-- Said their mother would wake them up in the middle of the night -- to look at the moon.
-- On religion, she says, "Philosophically, I would say that I am Buddhist."
-- Asked what effect their mother's "wanderlust" had on Obama, she said, "Maybe part of the reason he was so attracted to Chicago and his wife, Michelle, was that sense of rootedness. He elected to make a choice, whereas Mom sort of wandered through the world collecting treasures."
Said their mother used to joke that Obama would be the first black president.
-- She said, Obama "was always good at winning arguments through very diplomatic ways, right. He would make you feel apologetic for losing an argument."