If someone did not know the Democrats were holding a national convention, they might have thought an awards show with Hollywood stars was being broadcast last night. A number of Hollywood stars graced the stage at the Democratic National Convention last night including Kerry Washington, Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria, who all gave speeches during prime time. Tom Hanks narrated a tribute to America’s veterans while The Foo Fighters and Mary J. Blige performed and James Taylor told jokes.
However, quicker than you could imagine more serious folks dressed in dark suits started taking the stage talking about someone named Mr. Barack Obama. The Democratic Party has looked long and often to celebrities from Hollywood for a great deal of fundraising. However, Thursday night it was all about putting on the show and not asking for the dough.
The number of celebrities that took to the stage could cause a backlash from the right, which has criticized Obama during his entire first term for being so close to Hollywood. Because of that, many of the speeches by celebrities focused on their roots that were from working class families and not their millions made.
Johansson spoke about representing millions of young women across America who depend on non-profit and public programs to survive. She spoke of how she was raised in a middle class family in New York City and lived in a housing project for lower to middle class families. She received benefits for school lunches and transportation and some friends of hers still depend on Medicaid and Planned Parenthood.
Longoria spoke of her childhood in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was the youngest child of four, her father was employed on an Army base, and her mother taught special education. The family priority she said was education. Longoria learned how to change the oil in a car and flipped burgers at the local Wendy’s to help pay student loans.