On Wednesday night, McCain — along with Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker — headlined an evening of monologues at the Newseum, billed by hosts USA Network and storytelling collective The Moth as “stories of prejudice and power.”
One man recounted how his mother set fire to all his belongings after he came out as gay. Another, who has cerebral palsy, regaled the audience with his humiliating encounter with a manic faith healer. A third man described the bullying of his teenaged son, who later killed himself. Whitaker, deploying that great, soft voice that makes you lean in to listen, talked about growing up in a still-segregated community.
Er, raise your hand if you can relate? Still, McCain’s vivacity (and comfort dropping a few four-letter words) drew some warm laughter and applause. “I started getting requests from colleges not to talk about politics but to talk about my weight,” she said, but “I started to feel empowered” by leading discussions on body image. “I’d like to say I’m totally over it, but I’m not. This comes up in every interview I do.”
Flashback: Meghan McCain offers her own straight talk on the campaign, 3/28/08