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Sunday November 29, 2015
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Ann Arborite Choi Palms-Cohen



Palms-Cohen took music business courses at Siena Heights University in Adrian and dreamed of being a professional singer, but after graduation decided the odds against success were too high. She managed Vintage to Vogue in Kerrytown and sold cars at Dunning Toyota before starting at ICLE six years ago. The job suits both her extroverted personality and her interest in contemporary legal issues. Several of her colleagues are Democrats from Detroit, and when Clarke won the primary, she says, "They were really thrilled!"

Their romance started at ICLE's Greene Street office in the summer of 2007. Palms-Cohen took a call from Clarke, a Georgetown-educated attorney, inquiring about a book. He asked her about her unusual name, then sought her out when he came to pick up his book.

The next day they dined at Cafe Verde--talking about art, not government. Though friends who'd Googled him told Palms-Cohen that Clarke was a state senator, she at first believed his tongue-in-cheek insistence that he "would never be able to survive" in politics.

Things moved very fast after that--two weeks later, they went to Las Vegas together to attend a Democratic convention targeted at both African and Asian Americans. The two stayed in the same hotel but in separate rooms, and she says they never so much as kissed. Then, the day they were to leave, Clarke proposed--during a cab ride.

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