Meghan, Meghan, Meghan! Hard to believe there was a time one had to identify Meghan McCain as the-daughter-of. Three years beyond the 2008 race, she’s a brand-name freelance all-purpose media whatever — writing for Daily Beast, speaking on campuses, punditizing on TV, and scrapping with the Twittersphere.
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.
McCain, 27, took the stage with a story about the time she totally freaked out while riding in a chauffeured car on her way to appear on “The View.” Stop her if you’ve heard this one before: In March 2009, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham (“who at that point I’d never heard of!”) called her “plus-sized”; McCain went on the ABC show and said that Ingraham could “kiss my fat [bottom]”; and, well, it was just the talk of cable news!
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