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Latinos take on bigger role in Obama inauguration

 Presidential Inaugural Committee Co-Chair Eva Longoria gestures as she participates in the opening ceremony for the National Day of Service as part o...

Inaugural Day of Service

Presidential Inaugural Committee Co-Chair Eva Longoria gestures as she participates in the opening ceremony for the National Day of Service as part o...

Latinos are taking a more prominent role in President Barack Obama's second inauguration, from the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice swearing in the vice president to a star-studded celebration of Latino culture.
Eva Longoria, a co-chairwoman for Obama's campaign, was hosting a salute to the president Sunday evening. Antonio Banderas, Rosario Dawson, Marc Anthony and other entertainers were scheduled to appear in "Latino Inaugural 2013: In Performance at the Kennedy Center." The lineup also included Jose Feliciano, Prince Royce, Frankie Negron, Rita Moreno and Mario Lopez.
Meanwhile, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama appointee, administered the oath of office Sunday to Vice President Joe Biden.
Latinos have a distinct presence at this inauguration after showing their growing political influence in the 2012 election. Hispanics voted 7 to 1 for Obama over his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, whose Hispanic support was less than any presidential candidate in 16 years. Analysts said Romney's hardline stance on immigration was a factor.
San Antonio philanthropist and business leader Henry Munoz III, who is coordinating the Latino inauguration event with Longoria and other Obama supporters, said this is a special moment when the Latino community is positioned to take an expanded role in shaping the country's future.
"Without question, the presidential election of 2012 proves that Latinos are perhaps the most important influence from this point forward in the election of the president of the United States," Munoz said. "It's important that the leadership in Washington view us not as a narrow interest group but as a vibrant political force" that carries not just votes but influence and financial resources.
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Updated : 2021-05-06 07:04 GMT+08:00