With Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria and Tom Hanks all showing their support, Barack Obama couldn't have hoped for a glitzier finish to the Democratic party convention.But the man who would be president again is still regarded as a hero by millions, and his followers gave him an ecstatic welcome as he strode on to the stage flanked by wife Michelle and their daughters Malia and Sasha.
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Adding to the razzle dazzle atmosphere were some of the biggest names in music. Salsa king Marc Anthony sang the national anthem and hip hop diva Mary J Blige had delegates grooving in the aisles with her set. James Taylor raised a laugh at Clint Eastwood's expense, making jokes about the Dirty Harry actor's much talked-about appearance at the Republican Party convention. Gesturing to an empty chair that had been set out for him the legendary folk singer quipped: "I know, it's an empty chair, makes you nervous, dunnit? It's ok, I'm gonna sit on it, not talk to it." At the end of his first song he commented: "I've been watching the coverage and I don't get it. I mean, I'm an old white guy and I love Barack Obama". The star who most impressed was Scarlett. Looking businesslike in a smart blazer over a T-shirt emblazoned with the Stars and Stripes, the actress told the crowd that she wasn't there as a representative of young Hollywood but as "a representative of the many millions of young Americans, particularly young women".Recalling her childhood the 27-year-old spoke of going into the voting booth with her mother."When I was a little girl, my mother – a registered Democrat – would take me into the polling booth, and tell me which buttons to press and when to pull the lever. Is that even legal?
"I remember the excitement I felt in that secret box, and feeling like my mom's vote wasn't just about the candidate, it was about our family – and all the families just like ours."She went on to issue a rallying cry to young people to register, declining to tell them who to vote for. Following the Lost in Translation star came another powerful Hollywood act.Miles away from her self-involved Desperate Housewives character, Eva Longoria went down a storm in the congress hall, making a case for higher taxes for the rich.
She talked about how her modest upbringing meant she had to work her way through college, taking jobs in fast food restaurants to pay her way.To thunderous applause, the Latina dynamo finished: "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."