“I want the third generation, the seventh generation, I want them all to think ‘Mexico first.’ ” These are the words of Juan Hernandez, John McCain’s “Hispanic outreach director,” on Nightline June 7, 2001.
The blogosphere has been abuzz over the news of Hernandez’s position in the McCain campaign, thanks to the spadework of Michelle Malkin (see here, here, and here) and Jerry Corsi. Thanks also to the power of the Internet, McCain was actually asked about this at an event in Florida Sunday, though he tap-danced his way out of answering directly.
But this potentially explosive story hasn’t gotten any traction in the mainstream press. The first explanation that comes to mind, of course, is that McCain is the media’s preferred Republican, a sense reinforced not only by Thursday’s endorsement of him by the New York Times , but also the Washington Post’s quasi-endorsement on Sunday.
But the more likely explanation is that many people don’t see the news value. After all, whom do you expect McCain would name as his Hispanic outreach director but a fellow supporter of amnesty and accelerated mass immigration? But this is a bigger deal than that.
Contrary to some of the more enthusiastic venting on the web, the problem is not that McCain has a Hispanic outreach director; while the government shouldn’t have anything to do with race or ethnicity, it’s perfectly natural for a political campaign to do outreach to any and every kind of voter. In fact, McCain’s “very close” friend, Hillary Clinton, last spring named Raul Yzaguirre to lead her Hispanic outreach effort. Naturally, Yzaguirre is a big supporter of amnesty and mass immigration — until he retired in 2004, he was president of the National Council of La Raza.
But even Yzaguirre has never been a foreign government official.
After Vicente Fox was elected in 2000, he named the U.S.-born dual citizen Hernandez (a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas) to head the newly created, cabinet-level Presidential Office for Mexicans Abroad (making him, in effect, Fox’s “Hispanic outreach director”). Hernandez’s oath of office was presumably similar to the one taken by his boss:
I swear to follow and uphold the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States and the laws that emanate from it, and to perform the job of President of the Republic which the people have conferred upon me with loyalty and patriotism, in all actions looking after the good and prosperity of the Union; and if I do not fulfill these obligations, the Nation will demand them of me.
“Loyalty,” “patriotism” — it’s a good oath. For a Mexican. Not for an American.
Before Earl Warren started making up emanations and penumbras of the Constitution (in this instance, the case of Afroyim v. Rusk in 1967), Hernandez would have been stripped of his American citizenship for having committed an “expatriating act,” specifically “accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof.” (8 USC 1481)
On the radio Saturday, Hugh Hewitt and Michelle Malkin noted the incongruity of the McCain campaign’s embrace of this former foreign government official:
HH: I know. I’ve got a question for you. If John Kerry had employed as a senior adviser a dual citizen who had served in the French cabinet under any of our many French adversaries/allies, how would the Republicans have treated that Kerry adviser position? Wouldn’t we have raised holy hell about that?
MM: Oh, yeah, it would be worth five Drudge sirens in 100 point, World War IV font.