McCain and Youth

Posted by Katherine | March 7, 2008 – 1:24 pm
Youth in NYC
Can Meghan reel in this generation? [dlemieux / Flickr]

As the de facto Republican nominee, John McCain, unlike the Democrats, now gets to focus on the general election. One of the items on his to-do list: a vice presidential candidate. Which inevitably raises the question of McCain’s age (he’s 71), whether that’s a problem for him in the race, and whether a younger running mate will help.

Either way, McCain’s 23-year-old daughter Meghan is doing her part to rally Republican youth in her behind-the-scenes, light-on-policy-and-politics blog McCain Blogette. (Subtitle: Musings and Pop Culture on the Political Trail.) Whether this is all politically calculated or simply groundbreaking expression from a candidate’s child, it appears to be working. A lot of bloggers seem pleasantly surprised by Meghan’s ebullient campaign snapshots, fashion tips, and playlists.

Christy in Georgia says:

I am independent, which means that I swing both ways ie. I select my party by the issues and candidate stance as it compares to my current status, lifestyle, and whims. My party affiliation has changed in the last 12 years.

Anyway, anyway, anyway… […] Meghan McCain is blogging from her Dad’s campaign. How cool is that! In McCain Blogette she threads campaign commentary with herself as the needle sewing through the trail. It is SO awesome.

Seriously. I mean, right next to pictures of her Dad giving a speech there is a picture of her with the spike of her heel broken off. She is so “real” and touchable.

In my opinion, her blog adds a youthful face to the old hands of the McCain Campaign.

While critics argue that make-up preferences and down-loadable play lists have little place with political narrative, that is just exactly what a blog is. It’s personal. It reflects the writer. This one reflects the patchwork of Meghan’s perspective, the colorful, sometimes-miss-matched-but-ever-honest quilted triangles of her view.

The fact that Meghan has worked at Saturday Night Live AND Newsweek supports the theory that this girl has an open mind, is smart, spunky and has a sense of humor.

Here’s my shout out to you Meghan: You Go Girl. I like your fresh-y blogettes: the Scorpio, the Aries, and the Sagitarious. More, I think they really add a crisp, modernistic, somewhat radical twist on this year’s Republican ticket.

Violinist Yasmin in LA observes:

pretty cool
she seems fashion conscious, likes makeup, very girlie
also very……mmmmm…white […]

you really get the sense through her pics
about the america that exists between ny and la
small town, rural, working class
you sometimes forget

Beth from the South, who has a son in the military and supports John McCain, thinks Meghan’s blog reflects well on her father:

She calls her parents ‘cute’. lol One of McCain’s sons has blogged there as well. They are very down to earth. It helps you get a sense about what kind of family this is which is a good indicator of what kind of man McCain is.

Patricia, a student writing from Knoxville, Tennessee, feels close to Meghan McCain:

Meghan gives readers access to her Mom goofing off of with her in their hotel room and other neat things older people probably aren’t very interested in, like hotel perks: the huge bowl of candy in the hotel room, the personalized pillows on her mom and dad’s bed, popping open champagne after another primary win, and getting to see the inside of all the neat places they spend the night. (I love being able to see the inside of the bus and private planes!)

Meghan’s access makes her the most accessible daughter, or future First Daughter, in history. The Bush daughters, even in person, are arms-length and bland even in person. It’s like encountering a popular clique at school. Granted, their family is an elitist bunch with generations in history books, they walk carry themselves just that way.

I read Meghan’s blog and already I feel like she’s one of my closest friends, unphased by her family’s money and political ties. She (and her funny hats) come off as anything but elitist. The videographer and photographer look like they’re a group of friends I’d run into at the Reef in Adams Morgan, or maybe even jamming out to some R&B band at Madams Organ after they’ve had one too many margaritas at Mixtec.

And finally, male praise for Meghan’s blog from a US-politics junkie in London:

I enjoyed it more than I expected. It’s not a thinly-veiled exercise in campaign communication, as these things can be. In fact there’s hardly any political stuff on it. It’s just a very personal, day-to-day insight into what it’s like to be on the trail, with cheeky shots of the candidate and his team at work and play. It captures the spirit of camaraderie in a tight team.

Ms McCain herself comes across as a mildly ditzy girl who, after Cyndi Lauper, just wants to have fun. You suspect that she and Chelsea Clinton would have little to say to each other. But she seems charmingly ingenuous and after spending a few minutes on the blog I rather liked her.

All in all, Meghan might just be a whole lot smarter than “mildly ditzy”…


  1. One Response to “McCain and Youth”

  2. nice article. well done!

    By christy on Mar 10, 2008

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