We had managed to keep a mercifully vague impression of John McCain’s daughter Meghan as a blandly cheerful young woman, and would have been pleased to keep it that way, but someone thrust in front of us this Daily Beast feature she wrote about her dating life, and now we are genuinely concerned for her well-being.
Miss McCain has had trouble dating Democrats who tend to overexplain their political positions when they should be, as we had assumed all young Democratic males did, trying to get her relaxed with a couple of drinks and maybe a shoulder rub. But neither does she like it “when I find my father’s face staring back at me on a potential date’s Facebook page.” Well, neither would we. When she has consented to date supporters of her father’s, the results have been unnerving. “One extreme fan of my mother’s recently told me I could be ‘his Cindy,'” she reveals. “And then asked me if I ever wore pearls because they probably would look as good on me as they do on my mother.” Such an event at so tender an age would have driven us into a life of taxidermy and solitude. Also, “more times than I would like to count” she has become aware on dates “within the first 30 seconds” that her escort for the evening has been “bragging to his friends that he was going to go on a date with ‘John McCain’s daughter.'”
We always assumed rich people had better dating networks than this. Try to picture what sort of swains these must be, who can somehow project their trophy-hunting attitude to her within seconds, maybe by taking a series of cell-phone pictures as they shake hands. Imagine also the contender “who said the food I had ordered was a ‘maverick choice’ and proceeded to tell me, ‘Wow, straight talking must run in the family.'” It reminds us painfully of our disastrous date with Thona Birch, when out of nervousness we kept referring to her as “a real American Beauty” and asked her to put on a rubber Batman mask.
All told Miss McCain describes over a year of what sounds like horrific romantic deprivation. “Too paranoid about getting set up for some sort of weird ‘gotcha’ moment” to date during the campaign, left “scarred and wary” from her post-election encounters, she declares, “at this point, my biggest aphrodisiac is an apathetic attitude toward politics.” Soon John and Cindy must prepare themselves to meet Sluggo, a drug-addled musician and/or waiter who thinks Lincoln was the first president and earmarks are something you get at a tattoo parlor. We propose that the sons and daughters of presidential candidates be given a blanket exemption from publicity and news coverage till they are 30 years old at least. (Except for Sarah Palin’s kids. They’re just too much fun to lose.) Photo (cc) Ronnie44052.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 2, 2009