Hollywood starlets Eva Longoria, Scarlett Johannson and Kerry Washington took to the convention stage Thursday to try to persuade American voters to re-elect Barack Obama.
The trio laid out ordinary early lives far from the bright lights of Hollywood with Longoria using her previous existence as a server at fast-food chain Wendy’s to have a dig at Obama’s Republican rival Mitt Romney.
“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,” she said, pressing the charge that Romney is only interested in protecting the rich.
Washington, the 35-year-old star of “Ray” and “The Last King of Scotland” was first up.
“I’m here not just as an actress but as a woman, an African-American, a granddaughter of immigrants,” she said.
“A person who could not have afforded college without the help of student loans and as one of millions of volunteers working to re-elect President Obama!”
Next was 27-year-old Johansson, who told of her hard-scrabble childhood in New York City far from the bright lights of Hollywood.
“My father barely made enough to get by. We moved every year, and we finally settled in a housing development for lower middle income families. We went to public schools and depended on programs for school transport and lunches, as did most of my friends,” she said.
Last on stage as the anticipation built before Obama was due to address the nation for his biggest re-election pitch yet was “Desperate Housewives” star Longoria, the co-chair of the president’s re-election campaign.
She resurrected the theme of First Lady Michelle Obama’s convention speech on Tuesday, saying it is life experiences that make you who you are and drawing a sharp contrast between the president and multi-millionaire Romney.
“I signed up for financial aid, Pell Grants, work study, anything I could,” Longoria said.
“Just like our president and First Lady, I took out loans to pay for school. Then I changed oil in a mechanic shop, flipped burgers at Wendy’s, taught aerobics and worked on campus to pay them back.
“We’re lucky our president understands the value of American opportunity, because he’s lived it!”