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The Other Maverick McCain

Meghan McCain
Meghan McCain (Cheryl Senter - AP)
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Boom! McCain was on "The View" encouraging women to stop worrying so much about their bodies. In an inspired flourish, she suggested that Ingraham "kiss my fat [ahem]."

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Well, if McCain doesn't make it in journalism, she has a future in marketing. She has learned, perhaps from a lifetime of observing political strategy, how and when to pick a fight. Trying to provoke Coulter (who so far has gamely ignored her) was shrewd. And engaging American women in solidarity against market-imposed body images was a stroke of genius.

Yes, of course, a 24-year-old political pundette doesn't find her way onto "Larry King Live" without a famous name. McCain is interesting because of who she is, not because of what she has accomplished. Liberals found young Ron Reagan equally riveting for the same reason.

On the other hand, McCain is also a successful blogger with a following. She has established a voice and an audience. And the GOP is, allegedly, hoping to expand its tent.

Moreover, thanks to the "Internets," as our former president liked to say, young people are gaining influence sooner than ever before. One of the smarter, slicker political Web sites, Scoop44, is produced, written and edited by high school and college students across the country. Its editor in chief, Alexander Heffner, is a 19-year-old undergraduate at Harvard.

As Heffner put it in a February interview, he and his colleagues belong to a generation that was galvanized by Barack Obama to take their civic responsibility seriously. Meghan McCain may be simply another manifestation of that call to engagement. And she isn't wrong on the substance of her charges.

The GOP's extreme voices are a turnoff, not just to young people but to millions of Americans who might otherwise be attracted to conservative principles. Who better to point that out than a young maverick named McCain?

kparker@kparker.com


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