twofacemccain1.thumbnail.jpgJohn McCain just loves him those town-hall meetings — so much so that it’s becoming his chief way of campaigning: "[I]t not only gives you a chance to hear from me … but it gives me an opportunity to hear from you," he waxes rhapsodic about them.

Yeah, unless you bus in a pre-selected crowd of Latinos in the dead of night and hold your "town hall" meeting. Then, maybe you’re just trying to play both sides of the immigration coin in a bid to two-facedly appeal to Latinos while not letting on that you’re doing so to the nativist base.

Because that’s what McCain did last night in Chicago. In contrast to all of his other town-hall gatherings, this one was invitation-only and generally kept quiet and held late at night. According to news reports, some Latino community leaders were specifically excluded. Instead, they gathered at the plaza outside the gathering and expressed their disgust.

From Hoy Internet [English translation below]:

"(Latinos) we must begin to respond to the effect that the Republican administration in Washington has had, which has only destroy the U.S. economy and eliminate services to the working people of this country over the past eight years," said Eluid Medina, executive director of Near Northwest Neighborhood Network (NNNN) Humboldt Park and whose name figured in the list of participants of the conference.

Medina, in a telephone interview after the meeting at Federal Plaza, expressed his dissatisfaction with the meeting convened by McCain. "Because if you are going to talk about the problems of Latinos, one cannot be partisan — the problems affect all of us as a community and the meeting had to be open," he said.

But then McCain couldn’t keep making that simultaneous reacharound play for the Republican nativist base, could he?

David Neiwert

David Neiwert

David Neiwert is the managing editor of Firedoglake. He's a freelance journalist based in Seattle and the author/editor of the blog Orcinus. He also is the author of Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community (Palgrave/St. Martin's Press, June 2005), as well as Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America (Palgrave/St. Martin's, 2004), and In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest (1999, WSU Press). His reportage for on domestic terrorism won the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2000.