Democrats unleashed their own star power Thursday night in Charlotte, a week to the day after actor/director Clint Eastwood made his infamous empty chair speech at the Republican Convention.
Musicians James Taylor and the Foo Fighters started out the night with performances and actress Scarlett Johansson also took the stage, but Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria won the crowd over with a speech that emphasized the Obama administration’s progress over the past four years.
“We're lucky our president understands the value of American opportunity, because he’s lived it,” Longoria said. “And he’s fighting to help others achieve it. He's fighting to make college more affordable. He’s cut taxes for every working American. He's helping small businesses get loans and has cut their taxes eighteen times.”
The Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy's flipping burgers—she needed a tax break. But the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not.
- Eva Longoria
Longoria has been a long time supporter of Obama and is one of seven Californians named as a national co-chair in his reelection campaign – along with Los Angeles Mayor and chair of the 2012 Democratic Nation Convention Antonio Villaraigosa.
The Mexican American actress has also been an outspoken opponent of Arizona’s strict immigration law, SB 1070. The most contentious section of Arizona's law - dubbed the "show me your papers" provision by critics - was upheld Wednesday by a federal judge.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton clears the way for police to carry out the 2010 law's requirement that officers, while enforcing other laws, question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.
"I haven't made it a secret that I'm strongly opposed to the Arizona law and I've been pretty vocal about it," Longoria said, according to US Weekly. "It's unfortunate that this immigration issue has been on the national agenda for the past three administrations."
In her speech, an energetic Longoria mixed anecdotes about her family’s blue-collar upbringing and stories of entrepreneurs with attacks on Mitt Romney’s economic platform and tax breaks for the wealthy.
“He would raise taxes on middle-class families to cut his own—and mine,” Longoria said of Romney. “That’s not who we are as a nation, and here's why: The Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy's flipping burgers—she needed a tax break. But the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not.”
The actress said that Obama has fought for American progress, while arguing that Romney will not.
“President Obama is fighting for changes that grow the economy from the middle out and help all Americans succeed—jobs, education, health reform, the DREAM Act, equal pay for women,” Longoria said. “Mitt Romney wants to take us back to yesterday.”
Along with the celebrities, California Rep. Xavier Becerra took the stage at the DNC to plug El Sueño Americano – the American Dream.
The Congressman from California’s 31st District and Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus echoed other speakers' statements by saying the Obama administration was fighting for middle class America, while railing against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s economic policies.
“When President Obama was elected, the American dream was on life support. The middle class was being hollowed out,” Becerra said. “We’ve all heard the saying, 'Put your money where your mouth is.' Well, Governor Romney, ante up! Show us how your economic policies differ from President Bush’s.”