Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Daddy Yankee (Ramon Ayala), a Puerto Rico native and prominent Latin hip-hop ('reggaeton') performer, has publicly endorsed GOP Presidential candidate John McCain, appearing with him at an Phoenix, Arizona high school rally.

Some general insight on Latino voting trends can be found here:

Current U.S. Census statistics identify American Latinos as the largest minority group in the USA (http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/011910.html). That McCain has been openly attempting to make inroads with American Latinos and youth voters is laudable as it is transparent; but while the much-described "maverick" makes said appeals with star power via Daddy Yankee, it's important to note, however, that:
Puerto Rican natives are already considered U.S. citizens, since 1917. However, those who are residents of the island territory (like Daddy Yankee) cannot vote for a U.S. President, and their elected official who serves in the U.S. House of Representatives (Republican Luis Fortuño) has severely limited legislative influence. In any case, people of Puerto Rican descent have a distinct political advantage compared to someone from Mexico (or any other Latin American country) who comes to the United States legally or illegally.

For the record, McCain has not taken a definitive stance on the Puerto Rico Independence Movement (http://www.independencia.net/ingles/welcome.html): P.R. already participates in the Olympics as a separate 'nation'. McCain has also not taken a public stance on whether or not to admit P.R. as a fully participating U.S. state (51 stars! somebody call Betsy Ross!).

Thus, Daddy Yankee is kind of an odd fit to tangentially insert into the U.S./Mexico border-immigration debate, a hot-button issue that is not likely to go away anytime soon.
Not to mention-- well, who was the guy who started the whole "don't trust celebrity" ads?

Still, if Yankee can get McCain to try and dance, the spectacle might be worth it since it's bound to be YouTubed..