Ass-Kicking P. Diddy Meets With Kerry, Young Republicans

Mogul vows to keep young people's issues front and center in '04 race.

The campaign trail got a bit more crowded on Thursday, as P. Diddy threw himself into the fray, meeting with presidential hopeful John Kerry and later talking with young Republicans in an effort to place young people and their problems front and center in the race for the White House.

Diddy has made a great deal of noise about his interest in making sure that urban issues are addressed in this year’s election, and now he’s taking those issues directly to Democrats and Republicans. The hip-hop mogul began by meeting Thursday with candidate Kerry at the NAACP convention in Philadelphia, where Kerry had addressed the organization earlier in the day. The two met privately, but Diddy has publicly made it clear that he’s concerned about issues involving the economy, education and health care.

After a quick helicopter jaunt back to New York, Diddy met up with young Republicans gathered as part of the Bush campaign’s Party for the President Day. “We are here to understand what’s going on with the beautiful Republican party,” Diddy said as he stormed the event. “We heard y’all were strong. Y’all won the last election. We want to see what y’all are about.”

The Bush supporters were happy to oblige, extolling the virtues of their party. “They let you choose how to spend your money,” Bush supporter Britta explained. “They let you choose what school your kids are going to go to, and that’s what you need. All you need from the government, whichever side it is, is for them to move out of the way.”

As the day closed, Diddy remained firmly in the middle of the road and committed to bringing his issues to the candidates. “I am nonpartisan,” he explained of his equal-opportunity ambush. “I’m gonna stick my nonpartisan foot up Bush’s ass, up Kerry’s ass. Republicans and Democrats, my foot is so way up your ass right now it’s crazy.”