Reggaeton star Daddy Yankee backs McCain
BY JORDAN LEVIN
John McCain may not be able to move forward on offshore drilling right now, but he's getting another kind of energy boost. On Monday morning the Republican candidate got some new Gasolina when he appeared with reggaeton star Daddy Yankee at Central High School in Phoenix, Arizona.
The endorsement of Yankee, one of the biggest acts in Latin music, is a new step for the 71-year-old McCain, who is better known as a fan of ABBA than raunchy reggaeton and thus far has gotten only one other pop artist, country singer John Rich, to speak out for him.
Until now, Democratic candidate Barack Obama has been the biggest beneficiary of pop star largesse, with popular Web videos from Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am. and a Spanish-language effort featuring Latin pop stars Paulina Rubio, Alejandro Sanz and Yankee's reggaeton rival, Don Omar, among others.
The choice of Central High School, whose students are three-quarters Latino, in a state where immigration has been an especially contentious issue, seemed clearly calculated to boost McCain's profile in a population that could be key in several battleground states.
The unexpected appearance of the Puerto Rican rapper, wearing trademark sunglasses and diamond stud earring, aroused screams from the teenage girls present. McCain ''has been a fighter for the Hispanic community . . . a fighter for immigration,'' Yankee said, according to the website politico.com.
Yankee, whose hits also include Lo que pasó, pasó, met with McCain in his Washington office at the beginning of August, and found him convincing. ''Yankee feels that [McCain] has the best proposal for Latino voters referring to immigration, education and economy,'' said Yankee press representative Mayna Nevarez, adding that ``McCain has been very down to earth. They have sat down and talked about the issues.''
According to Latina.com, the rapper has no plans to meet with Obama.