RAISING MCCAIN is the new Pivot TV Show starring Meghan McCain, the outspoken daughter of Senator John McCain, who goes “on the road” talking to unexpected experts, everyday people and members of her Millennial generation, exploring the most important and unusual questions of the day framed by Meghan’s own experiences in her personal life. The new series on the new Pivot network will explore topics ranging from bullying and feminism to sex overload and the death of romance, among many others. Politisite’s Entertainment and Politics Editor, Jennifer Williams, was able to catch up with Meghan between episodes and learn more about her show and herself.
Jennifer Williams: Why are you a Republican or a Conservative?
Meghan McCain: I was an Independent when I turned eighteen because I was trying to rebel against my Dad. I didn’t really know anything about politics at that point. I wasn’t interested as an eighteen year-old. When I went to college at Columbia, I majored in Art History. I genuinely thought that when I left Columbia that I was going to do something actually in art or be a music journalist. I wanted to be like Lester Bangs. When I graduated from college, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t really know where I wanted to live if I wanted to stay in New York or Arizona? But, I knew my Dad was running for President. So… I decided to work on his campaign and they graciously let me join. I started really loving politics, the political process and what it really meant.
I’ve been a Republican for Fiscal issues, National Defense, all the stuff with Syria… it just sort of really validates why I remain a Republican. At the very core of who I am, I really believe in the Republican Party. I just think it has been taken over by a lot of wing-nuts. I am aware… very aware of what people think of me. I know the really good stuff and I know the really bad stuff. All I have to do is log-on to Twitter every day and see all the nasty stuff that people say about me. Again, I don’t know why we dismiss young people’s opinion in this country. People don’t have to listen to me, but we keep losing elections. And the trend is that this country is further and further away from someone who doesn’t believe in Marriage Equality. People who only think that Abortion Rights are their number one voting issue. The trend is swaying. Especially with young people and I’m just to make the Republican Party reach out to a younger audience.
Jennifer Williams: And that is one of the things… actually, I directed a documentary called FEAR OF A BLACK REPUBLICAN which looks at why there are so few Blacks and Minorities in the Party. It seems to me that these problems are inter-related in going after Minority and Black voters, but also going after Young voters. The Republican Party, for whatever its reasons is not getting what it should be doing and what it shouldn’t be doing.
Meghan McCain: What was the conclusion that you came to in your documentary?
Jennifer Williams: The biggest problem is money and resources more than anything else. But at the same point… many Republicans really do not have any idea of what it is like to speak to someone and treat them the same way that you do any other voter. And give them respect and put the time in. Because a lot of Republicans in the Party seem to have a self-fulfilling prophecy of “they’ll never vote for us anyway, so why should we even try?” But, there are a lot of people around the country trying to make efforts on their own like you’re doing in trying to reach out to younger people.
Meghan McCain: Well, I don’t think that I’m alone at all. I just think that the people who have the microphone and spew the most hate and have the loudest opinions for whatever reason. But, I will definitely watch that. It seems very interesting.
Jennifer Williams: Do you feel that any of the criticism that’s been lobbed your way is fair at all? Particularly from Conservative Media?
Meghan McCain: I don’t mind constructive criticism at all. One thing I will say is that really harsh criticism has made me grow as a person and really take a hard look in the mirror about who I am, what I say and what I’m doing with my life. So in some way, I thank people for all the criticism because it has totally made me grow as a person. If you disagree with me politically, if you disagree with my style, if you disagree with my Show and what I’m saying… that part of the game, Baby! I have no problem if you don’t like me and have something to say about it. I just did it with Chris Christie. What I have a problem with is when it becomes about my weight. About the way I look. About the way my voice sounds. I’ve been told that my voice sounds like a Valley Girl. Things like that or just to be dismissed as young. That is what makes me so absolutely insane. I think that is very toxic. I can take constructive criticism any day. If you can’t take criticism, if you can’t handle being criticized… media and television are not the business for you. I definitely can take criticism. Just sometimes, it is overtly personal. That is when I have a harder time with it.
Jennifer Williams: Did you have to do a lot of thinking about what you were about to do before you decided to really put yourself out there socially and politically? Or were you kind of forced into that situation?
Meghan McCain: You know… on the 2008 Campaign with my Dad… I was doing this daily blog for the Campaign and it just kind of snowballed. People were interested in me, obviously because I was the candidate’s daughter. But, I think I’ve always been just so different and I’ve just been a little louder, a little rowdier, probably a little wilder. For better or worse. I don’t know, but I think that is where the curiosity started. At a certain point… God, I’m almost twenty-nine now. I just want to do good work in this world. I just want to try to put out positivity.
Just recently, Greg Gutfeld who is a pundit on Fox News Channel and who has just been so brutal to me for so long… tweeted something nasty about my Show and I tweeted him back, “Can we have a truce? I’m too old for this!” And of course, he didn’t respond. But I just would like as much as possible to have some positivity in my life. Again, it is in Politics and in Media and there really is only so much you can do. Because anger will come at you. But, I can only control how I respond to things and I definitely have learned a lot.
Jennifer Williams: It seems that you are not trying to change the Republican Party, but just some of the things about it. Is that right?
Meghan McCain: I just think that there are a lot [of people] and not just Millenials or even Gen-Xers as well, who just don’t live in this Black and White life. Most people think there is a lot of gray in life and I think finding an American right now who doesn’t have a gay friend or who watches something on television or in entertainment and doesn’t see a gay character… you can’t really find that anymore, so to sort of ask young voters to choose between their gay friends and gay rights… and their political party… there’s a lot of people who are going to say “Sayonara” and they are. I always tell people who say, “Do you think you know what you are saying?” I say, “Don’t listen to me. Just look at the statistics. Facts are facts and we keep losing elections.”
Jennifer Williams: Jim Morrison once sang, “The future is uncertain and the end is always near.” If you knew the end was coming for you, what would be the one thing you’d like to try to do career-wise… that you haven’t already?
Meghan McCain: My dirty, little secret is that I would like to be the first woman campaign manager to elect a Republican Woman President. I know it’s like pie-in-the-sky, fantasy land. But, I grew up on campaigns. I grew up around “political dudes” all the time and I’d like to do what Rick Davis, my Dad’s Campaign Manager, did for my Dad. I want to elect the first Woman Republican President. That’s my fantasy, my goal… maybe not an achievable goal, but there’s a lot of variables.
Jennifer Williams: You never know.
Meghan McCain: Yes, you never know.
Raising McCain comes of Age – Part 1 of our Exclusive Meghan McCain Interview