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Friday, March 28, 2008

Politically Misunderstood: Meghan McCain

Hi World,
I am starting a new feature on this blog called Politically Misunderstood. This feature will profile those in the political world who are often misunderstood by the general public. My first topic will be on Megan McCain, one of John McCain's kids.

I was inspired to write this blog piece after reading a Washington Post article on Meghan McCain a few days ago. To make a long story short, the article noted the irony of Meghan, the fact that even though she is the daughter of a presidential candidate, she has no interest in politics whatsoever. She is interested in fashion, movies, and just about everything else except the political world.

Even though Meghan says that she doesn't care for politics, I disagree. She does care about politics because her father is directly involved in it, and because of this involvement, Meghan is able to merge political culture with a style and youthfulness that American politics is seriously lacking. For example, Meghan gives her blog readers a list of things that they don't know about her mother, Cindy McCain. This is smart to me because I feel like Meghan knows that much of the general public doesn't know as much about her mother as they know about the spouses of the other political candidates. Granted, the information she gives is frivolous and not issues-focused, but it humanizes Cindy to me a bit because, up until this point, she just seemed like someone who smiles and nods. Another blog post provides pictures of John McCain's fundraising event at New York's Plaza Hotel. In it, Megan writes a funny caption under a picture of the crowd at the event: "The place was packed full of people... there ARE Republicans in New York! :-)" An ironic comment due to the fact that New York City is very Democratic.

Of course, this is not what spurred me to write about Meghan. What piqued my interest is how she is seen as a silly girl who talks about silly things, but in reality, her media savvyness not only makes her clever, but more relateable. Meghan's relatability is beyond party partisanship, because her take on things appeals to me, and I am a Democrat. Meghan is appealing because she caters to people, especially young people, who are political virgins who probably usually wouldn't be into politics. On her blog McCainBlogette, a visitor to the site writes that she finds Meghan's blog to be "fun and informative without making you feel like you're being pestered to believe one thing or another." Oh and by the way, the person is not only an Obama supporter, but she is also from Great Britain.

Another site visitor from Alabama writes to McCainBlogette: "I have always wondered how I could mesh my love for politics and national events with my love for fashion and fun and still be taken seriously." I totally can relate to this comment because it is the reason why I have chosen to call the blog Politically Chic. I gave it that name because I wanted to give a perspective on politics that was young, hip, and fashionable. A perspective that is the antithesis of the stodgy, old, and White bread image one thinks of in regards to politics, and Meghan McCain is successfully and cleverly doing this.

I wonder if Meghan will still keep this blog going should her father win the presidency, and even if she does, will she be able to be as candid about her thoughts as she is now. If her father becomes president, what Meghan chooses to write or not to write will be given more media attention. It will be harder for her to give her opinions such as, for example, calling Barack Obama, a presidential opponent of her father's, "sexy." It seems like Meghan is already being hassled by the media a bit too much. She wrote a recent blog post admonishing the media for the scrutiny she is getting for not being rail-thin.

Perhaps this blog will enable Meghan to be a different sort of presidential daughter than the ones we have seen in the past, at least if her father becomes our next president. Usually, presidential families are seen and not heard. They are expect to behave themselves at all times and be knowledgeable and interested in politics. Maybe Meghan will be the one to change the rules. I know one thing for sure. Meghan is really not helping her dad to shake the doubt some people may have as to how conservative he is. These doubters may say that if he was really all that conservative, he wouldn't be letting his family members conduct themselves in such a way as Meghan is conducting herself, but it is a free country.

1 comment:

Matt C said...

This is some great information - I love your point about how her media awareness makes her more accessible to many Americans. Some might criticize her for not being "political" enough for a candidate's daughter, but who says we need to use the previous generation's definitions? So many young people in America are sick of the same old political strategies and "acceptable" behaviors - it's nice to see something new and refreshing that many people can relate to.