Born on Inauguration Day: Growing up with presidents

Larry Sequino was born on the inauguration of George H.W. Bush and once celebrated his birthday at an inaugural ball for George W. Bush. His birth date hasn't influenced his politics though -- he says he's a liberal voter who prides himself on understanding the issues.

Larry Sequino isn’t sure when he first realized his birthday fell on Inauguration Day, but he’s been proud of it ever since.

On January 20th, 1989, Sequino was born on President George H.W. Bush’s inauguration. Since then, one of Sequino’s most extraordinary birthdays was in 2005 at the age of 16. Instead of heading to the DMV and getting his driver’s license, he attended President George W. Bush’s second inauguration as part of a student ambassador trip.

“I got to go to an inaugural ball afterwards where everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, so it always stands out in my mind,” he says.

Despite sharing his birthdate and one of his most memorable birthdays with Republican presidents’ inaugurations, the 24-year-old is a left-leaning voter who prides himself on understanding where each candidate stands on the issues. It’s not about the party’s brand, he says.

“I think it's important to never just blindly say you're going to vote for one person because of the label … I’m not the type to vote for a third-party candidate, but I definitely tried to understand the issues as best as I could," he adds.

The topic that concerned him most this year, and sealed his vote for President Barack Obama, was gay marriage -- the only issue that was “totally clear-cut” for him.

“If you think about it, our country is still apologizing for legislation that discriminates against certain people. There's no justification as to why they can't get married,” he says. “We're not hurting anyone by letting someone get married. I can't support [a candidate or party] that discriminates against a group.”

Another hot-button issue for Sequino in the 2011 election was foreign policy, in which he felt Obama was once again more aligned with Sequino's feelings.

“I thought Obama was more tactful than Romney. The biggest piece is the ability to be tactful and not say anything stupid,” he said.

Growing up in Woodbridge, Conn., a wealthy town outside New Haven with about 9,000 people, Sequino’s understanding of justice began early on. His mother was a judge and in their suburban colonial home where Sequino was the youngest child of three, the rules were strictly enforced.

After attending public school in Connecticut, Sequino was admitted to the University of Southern California. He has lived in Los Angeles since graduating from USC in 2011 where he now works as a software engineer.

Business and the economy was also a key one for Sequino in the presidential election -- as it was for many voters. Yet it wasn’t a topic that swayed Sequino.

“It's a really complicated issue. History has proven that even people who know how [the economy] works, don't really know what to do with it," Sequino said. "Whoever is president doesn't have as much control over it as people would like to think he does.”

“I'm sure my viewpoint is a little skewed because I got a great job straight out of school, but all in all … I don’t think the country is collapsing,” he said. “I think we’re going to be just fine.”

About the author

Paige Brettingen is a journalism student at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

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