Wednesday, September 1, 2010
John McCain's daughter, Meghan, has released her new book, Dirty Sexy Politics. She appeared on Good Morning America yesterday to discuss it, but George Stephanopoulos's interview questions focused mainly on Governor Palin and the 2008 campaign. You can watch that interview here.
In her book--and in the interview--Meghan McCain managed to point out something that many of McCain's campaign staffers weren't honest enough to admit but even semi-observant people always knew: McCain's loss was not Governor Palin's fault. The Associated Press reports:
In the end, she writes, her father lost because "Obama was unbeatable" — the electorate and the news media were too enamored with a fresh new face who represented a monumental change from then-President George W. Bush.
McCain also acknowledges:
She brought so much momentum and enthusiasm to the campaign. You saw crowds double and you saw a lot more women coming to the rallies.
That's an understatement, but kudos to Meghan for stating the obvious.
Speaking of women, Meghan states:
I respect her as a feminist, a Republican feminist--going out there and working for women, especially Republican women.
While I'm glad to see that Meghan fesses up to Governor Palin's magnetism and feminism, other comments she makes need to be addressed. She writes in her book that the Palins are "nice and down-to-Earth" but also writes that the Governor snubbed her mother, Cindy McCain, and wasn't a team player. She goes on to call Governor Palin "the Time Bomb," and says she was always expecting her to explode.
Now, which was it? Was Governor Palin a down-to-Earth woman with the incredible ability to connect to other women, or was she a volatile snob who refused Cindy's attempts to draw close? Maybe Meghan's contradictory statements can be blamed on the "conflicting feelings" she confesses to having about Governor Palin.
Furthermore, are we really to believe that the same woman who has never uttered a negative word about John McCain, even when people have tried to coax her into it, snubbed the closest woman to him--his wife? Governor Palin, who was given hell by those who somehow expected her to abandon Senator McCain in his re-election bid, rather than endorse and stump for him, turned up her nose at Cindy and didn't play nice? I'm not buying what Meghan is selling.
In all fairness to Meghan, though, she was even younger and more immature two years ago--to the point, mind you, that she was asked to leave her own father's campaign--or take a bus. So perhaps her youth and banishment had an impact on her interpretation of matters. However, in the interest of truth, I'd rather take a look at what the two mature women have said about each other. The following was reported during the campaign:
"She is marvelous and I just have such great respect for her...She has done nothing but help this ticket," McCain, wife of GOP presidential candidate John McCain, says on CNN's "Larry King Live.
King asks whether Palin has received a "bad rap."
"Oh yes...McCain replies."
Apparently she's still getting somewhat of a bad rap--from Cindy's daughter.
Let's not forget that Governor Palin had a few things to say about Cindy McCain in her best-seller, Going Rogue. On page 210, she writes:
As Cindy and I talked, I was pleased to find that this elegant, beautiful woman was really a down-to-earth mom who is as crazy about her kids as every other mom.
So that makes two down-to-earth women.
On page 221, the Governor writes:
I looked up to see Cindy walking down from the house to join us. She is one of the most striking women I've ever seen, and that day she reminded me of one of those perfect, elegant moms on a 1950s TV show: a sleeeveless dress, a little sweater, not a hair out of place. So petite and pretty, with those intense blue eyes. I remember her clothes because I was there in my let's-discuss-the-issues suit while she breezed across the lawn like a walking summer day.
This doesn't sound at all like someone with disdain for Cindy McCain.
Governor Palin continues on page 221 to defend Cindy against those who say she is actually somewhat distant:
Yes, she can be guarded. But who can blame her? It's no wonder that people like Cindy, who are unfairly clobbered in the press with lies about them and their family, appear to say, "Forget it, I'm here to help, but I'm not going to offer myself up anymore."
In Cindy's case, the press had been pretty merciless over the years.
Governor Palin clearly speaks up for Cindy and calls out those who do what Meghan accuses the Governor of doing.
One can beg to differ, and I mean no disrespect to Meghan, but I'll take Governor Palin's words over the words of Meghan McCain any day.
I'm grateful that Meghan admitted the selection of Governor Palin as John McCain's running mate ignited the campaign, that she helped women become engaged in politics, and that she's a bonafide feminist. Much appreciated. However, those comments don't excuse the claims of snobbery, anger, and aloofness she makes--and must not go unchallenged.