Eva Longoria's Next Role: Hispanic Activist in Washington
By MONICA LANGLEY
Eva Longoria emerged in 2012 as President Obama's secret weapon in securing the Hispanic vote. Now the Hollywood star is starting in earnest her transition from celebrity to political activist. WSJ's Monica Langley sat down with Ms. Longoria for an interview.
When Barack Obama takes the presidential oath of office on Monday, he will be joined on the platform by Supreme Court justices, former presidents—and one of the "Desperate Housewives."
Actress Eva Longoria, the 37-year-old star of the hit television show and twice Maxim magazine's Hottest Woman of the Year, is taking on a challenging new role as a Hispanic activist and power player in Washington, D.C. One of her primary aims is to make the case that "Latinos aren't a drain on the economy or criminals crossing the border," she says. "Most are hardworking people who are America's emerging market."
Eva Longoria emerged in 2012 as President Obama's secret weapon in securing the Hispanic vote. Now the Hollywood star is starting in earnest her transition from celebrity to political activist.
Ms. Longoria is the most prominent among Latino leaders who are gaining political sway from the 2012 election, in which the Hispanic vote was a critical force in delivering victory to Mr. Obama. A co-chair of his campaign, she stumped for him at rallies across the country and was one of the largest "bundlers," or fundraisers, while hosting star-studded events raising millions of dollars.
Her role reaches beyond fundraising and speechmaking, however, and into policy and strategy.
She helped urge Mr. Obama to make a key change in immigration policy last year, and she is teaming with business to explore investments in housing and retail developments in Hispanic communities.
Along the way she has developed a rapport with the president and his advisers. She is now planning meetings this weekend with the capital's elite, including private receptions at the White House and vice president's residence and a bipartisan brunch she is co-hosting at a Georgetown eatery this weekend with Mark McKinnon, a former strategist for George W. Bush and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain. There, she plans to begin a Republican outreach by meeting with Colin Powell, the former secretary of state, and other attendees including Grover Norquist.