“Daughter of John McCain Is a Rebel,” declares the New York Times on Sunday. She couldn’t have said it better herself. The 25-year-old Meghan fancies herself the zany future of the Republican party (loves the gays!), but has made more splash for her image and cultivation thereof than her policy recommendations or even “get out the vote”-style potential First Child tasks. Her book, Dirty Sexy Politics (pictured), is out now, making her ripe for the Times, though at the risk of getting the Snooki treatment. Instead, the profile reads like a hang-out between a couple of, McCain might put it, “clutch girlfriends.”
The description of McCain that begins the article, were it a press release, might need to be toned down. As journalism, well…
Ms. McCain, the 25-year-old politics and pop-culture columnist for The Daily Beast and daughter of Senator John McCain, is also the author of the just-published “Dirty Sexy Politics,” a frank, dishy and often scathing chronicle of her experiences during the 2008 presidential campaign. Her book is not only a front-row view of one of the most historic elections in recent American history, it is, as she told George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America,” a “coming-of-age story.”
Also employed in the profile? The “she’s so real I didn’t even recognize her in the restaurant” bit. See also: “My Oklahoma accent almost came back, unbidden.”
As for the book, it’s both for serious people and kids on spring break:
Her own book would make as gripping a read for vacationers on South Padre Island as it would for students at midterms or for politicos on the eve of midterm elections.
The way McCain handles criticism about her looks, meanwhile, is commendable and rightly praised. Her honesty is, at times, refreshing and her charm seemingly electric. But even her mom calls her “John McCain in a dress.” That means different things to different people. Still, her anecdotes are funny.
But when Mrs. Bush, in a sweater and slacks, greeted her and her mother, she told them there’d been a misunderstanding. The invitation only applied to Mrs. McCain. Meghan was sent to the White House mess. “I was given a doggie bag of enchiladas,” Ms. McCain writes.
Maybe McCain is a fantastic, flawless person, but with a sassy anti-establishment streak. Obviously, this is McCain’s vision of herself, one the New York Times happily corroborates. (Spoiler: writer and subject hug at the end.) In McCain’s words, it’s “the first article ever written about me that has accurately depicted who I am.” So take that as you will.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 12, 2010