Marc Anthony Opens for President Barack Obama at the Fillmore Miami Beach; Both Leave Crowd Swooning
Michael E. Miller
Yesterday, word on the email press release tip was that the gays would be out protesting President Obama's appearance on South Beach (the actual South Beach, not the South Beach of ESPN). But when I arrived at the Fillmore to see both our dashing Commander in Chief speak and the dazzling Marc Anthony perform, there were merely a trio of ill-informed, Israeli-flag flying dudes yelling: "Obama's a Muslim."
But you know where the gays were? They were inside, cheering for the prez and intermingling happily with a possibly wealthy, more music-loving subset of our state's Democratic, Hispanic vote.
I was fortunate enough to be offered a seat for the event by my friend who is both gay and Hispanic, but who doesn't currently live in town. His personal story is one that is relevant to main points discussed over the course of the evening: Immigration and the Dream Act. Though my friend was eventually granted residency, he had already accrued much college debt and boundless anxiety prior to the court decision that resulted in his eventual citizenship. More importantly, during the post-September 11 crackdown on harmless illegal immigrants, his parents were deported. Both owned property, paid taxes, worked jobs, and had been here for twenty years.
This may all seem off-topic, I mean, y'all came to read about Marc Anthony. But it isn't. The salsa singer is out on the trail, campaigning with and for Obama, because though he's the current president, he's still the financial underdog. He's the racial underdog too, and as far as the room was concerned, one of them in many ways.
There were cheers for the Heat win from everyone onstage, and we even had our very own former-Heat player in the audience. Alonzo Mourning was in attendance with his wife Tracy. Just as exciting, the MC Enrique Santos -- a gay Cuban man who gave a wonderfully funny and warm intro -- called out Christina in the crowd, referring to her as the Hispanic Oprah Winfrey. Santos said, "I support Barack Obama because, it's very simple, there is no other candidate." He made sure to mention that Obama had repealed don't ask don't tell and came out in support of marriage equality. US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, got the crowd politically frothing at the mouths before the musical moments of the night got them to their feet, swaying and singing in ecstasy.
There really is nothing nerdier than feeling pure joy while scream-cheering for the Supreme Court or the Dream Act. Take that back, there is! It's being a non-Spanish speaking white girl who is head over musical heels for Marc Anthony. I admit it, I think he's great. I reviewed his show last year at the American Airlines Arena, and man, that guy is the real thing. Maybe I spent too much time at La Covacha in college, or maybe inside, I'm just a middle-aged Cuban lady, but he is amazing. Weird looking, to be certain, but incredible. His voice never falters, he holds ridiculously long notes, he sings just pure emotion, and he's got so much presence for a man who weighs that of a third grader. Last night, he wasn't as hyped as the last time I saw him. His energy was a little different, but when "I Need to Know" started, the whole place fell to its knees in reverence.
Seriously though, there were like five people who left after Marc Anthony and before Obama. As they say, only in Miami. Of course, most stayed stayed put for the main act. When Barack hit the stage, older ladies cried out next to me: "He's so cute!" Women called from the audience, "I love you, Mr. President!" And he responded, "I love you too!"
Main points by Obama: Energy, education, economics. He asked us to break the stalemate in DC, to move this country forward, make sure it doesn't go backward. He touched upon politics generally, job creation, Afghanistan, Planned Parenthood (big cheers for women's health), healthcare, don't ask don't tell, the Dream Act, and campaign finance reform. To that end, he noted that there will be plenty of Romney ads in this state, adding, "They'll say the economy's bad and it's all my fault." Our president is a funny guy, and people laughed and swooned. They yelled, "Four more years!" and "We've got your back!" The latter is undeniably hilarious.
When President Obama said, "I'm not a perfect man." A lady in the crowd yelled, "You are!" Whether or not you agree, it's certain these two main men of the night are a charming pair. Obama's people ain't no dummies. They know how who wears the real pants in a Latin household, and how to to get her riled up and hot for president.
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