The “Latino Inaugural 2013: In Performance at the Kennedy Center” was part of the inaugural festivities to say thank you to the Latino community from President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for its decisive’ support during the recent presidential election.
“This is your moment. America owes you,” Vice President Joe Biden told the audience. Biden, a surprise guest, was greeted with wild cheers and a standing ovation, according to an ABC News.com report. It marked the first time a vice president has attended a Latino inaugural celebration, and underscored the importance the White House has placed on the Latino vote.
As Fox News Latino reports, Latinos took a more prominent role in Obama’s second inauguration, from the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice swearing in Biden to the first Latino inaugural poetry reading by Richard Blanco to the high profile star-studded concert celebrating Latino culture.
Actress Eva Longoria, co-chairwoman for Obama’s campaign, hosted the event as a salute to the president Sunday evening ahead of his public swearing-in Monday. Jose Feliciano, Chita Rivera, Rita Moreno and Latin pop star Prince Royce all performed. The lineup also included Mario Lopez and Wilmer Valderrama.
Marc Anthony later drew big cheers when he applauded Latinos’ growing political influence. “Our united voice got us all here tonight and got the best man for the job in the White House,” Anthony said.
Watch a USA Today video with highlights from the event.