06/20/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

McCain to Hold "Virtual Town Hall" To Woo Clintonistas

(Update: initial post-town-hall report on this special "Independents and Clinton Supporters" event here.)

Given how beaten up the Republican "brand" is these days -- wars and rumors of wars, recession, foreclosures, joblessness, floods, and record low approval ratings for the President aren't helpful for the party in power -- John McCain knows the only way he can win in November is to snake some voters away from Barack Obama's broad coalition of Democrats and moderate Independents. And he's been trying his best to do just that -- from his horribly delivered but very well-written "green wall" speech praising Clinton and saying how terribly she's been mistreated (audio here), to his creation of a so-called "Citizens for McCain" group for people who are "Americans first," which is headed by Joe Lieberman, the "man without a party" who has turned Connecticut Democrats' rejection of him into what I've previously called "something resembling lemonade, but more sour."

It's designed to look like nonpartisanship, but it's really all about maximizing the schism that the Clinton campaign created in the Democratic base. McCain says he's reaching out to "independents" and "Americans", but he's really speaking directly to two groups:

(1) "hardworking white voters" (Clinton's term) who openly admitted that race affected their voting, who remain upset about "bittergate," and who suspect Obama of being either a Rev. Wright Christian or a stealth Muslim or both; and

(2) "paleofeminists" (my term), the women who cling bitterly to the belief that sexism is a barrier in America while racism isn't, and who think Hillary lost because of misogyny instead of seeing that she was given an equal chance and lost fair and square because she simply wasn't as appealing, and didn't run as good a campaign, as Obama.

That's McCain's strategy: snake the folks Clinton separated from Obama. Oh -- and if he can look "hip" and modern and techno-savvy while he's at it, so much the better.

Ergo, this press release, just in from the McCain campaign:

ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain's campaign today announced that John McCain, along with RNC Victory Chair Carly Fiorina, will participate in a virtual town hall with Democrats and Independents this Saturday to discuss McCain's record of putting country before political party. Many town hall participants are expected to be former supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Press release reproduced below.