By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
Earlier this year, Marc Anthony appeared in a Latinos for Obama promotional video, encouraging Hispanics to back the president's re-election bid. And over the past seven months, the soulful salsero has increasingly poured his energy into Barack's campaign, shifting his focus from music to politics.
"Latinos are a force that can, and will, help decide this election," Marc Anthony said in the ad. "And it's a good thing that we've got so much to say, right? We have jobs, the economy, [and] education. President Obama is on our side on all of them. We just have to make sure that he gets four more years to make more progress. The president has our back."
The POTUS's record, however, has suggested otherwise. In December 2011, ABC News reported that under Obama's administration, an average of 400,000 people were being deported from the United States each year, according to the Department of Homeland Security. More than 95 percent of deportees in 2010 were Hispanics, the same group that makes up 80 percent of the nation's illegal immigrants and a "key constituency for Obama's re-election campaign."
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For that reason, the prez and his campaign apparatus have worked tirelessly to regain the Hispanic vote. A few "Yo Decido" T-shirts and "Latinos for Obama" bumper stickers won't convince immigrants that the president is on their side. That takes Puerto Rican star power. And Marc Anthony's video was only the beginning of his Latinos for Obama campaign.
Shortly after appearing in the ad, the 43-year-old salsa king hosted a private dinner with the president at the Miami home of Abigail and F.J. Pollak, charging upward of $40,000 per person for the three-course feast that featured duck confit, key lime diver scallops, and dark rum chorizo pecan ice cream. The dinner was followed by a small concert in front of about 2,300 people at the Fillmore Miami Beach, where Anthony performed with a 16-piece band before the president addressed the crowd and talked about the economy, education, and immigration.
But with just three months left until the November 6 election, Anthony seems to have put the campaigning on hold. He'll hit the road on a 14-city trek, dubbed the Gigantes Tour, alongside Mexican crooner Marco Antonio Solis and Puerto Rican pop singer Chayanne, beginning this Friday in Miami.
Though it's the first time the three superstars will tour together, they have collaborated on other projects. "I think it's helped that we worked together," Anthony explained in April. "We all want to present a spectacle that connects the three of us in one show. Our fans deserve this kind of show."
"Being in front of an audience is special, but doing it along with Marco and Marc will be unforgettable," Chayanne said at a promotional event earlier this month. "In some ways we are very different, but when it comes to putting on a great show for our fans, we have very much in common. Plus we've got a few surprises in store for everyone."
Maybe a voter registration rally?