December 19, 2014

Book: Dirty Sexy Politics by Meghan McCain

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 11:33 pm

My God, what a book this could have been! Imagine getting a ringside seat at the inside details of the famous Obama – John McCain battle for the presidency! Imagine how the scene could have been set by describing the impact of Featured imagethe George W Bush presidency that had just ended, the battle between Obama and Hillary and with the inside information that the author had, it could have been a fabulous book. The author is, of course, Meghan McCain, John’s daughter and by her own account, was intimately involved in the campaign. Instead, we get one of the worst accounts of the campaign arguably ever written.

The preamble is all blather on how Republicans have lost their way and how Barry Goldwater was the greatest republican who lived and who was inspiration to Ronald Reagan and Meghan’s father John McCain. She describes what she considers to be an insider account of McCain’s battle with Obama and also the degeneration of the Republican party from the lofty ideas of the heroes mentioned above to extreme right wing partisan values.

She makes fun of Romney. The tone is that of a schoolgirl – she is young enough – trying to write a diary, though valiantly trying to be poignant about the lamentable decline of politics and the republican party in itself. She sounds surprised that the campaign managers who run election campaigns turned out to be nice people.

For all that, her fundamental point is valid. She laments that there does not seem to be a place in the Republican party for fiscally conservative (small government, private enterprise) but socially liberal (tolerance towards gays, pro life) people today. That is about the only good thing I can tell about this whole book.

The adolescent writing continues. She cries because her mom will not tell her who the running mate for McCain is. She is crestfallen because her mom asked her to change the dress she chose. And you start to think, ‘Is this what I want to know about the McCain campaign’?

And she also talks of her moderate Republican fanbase.  What? Fanbase? For Meghan? Maybe she is confusing her family for fans.

We can make on guess about this book. It surely is not ghost written because no ghost writer can write this badly.

It reads like a self centred, immature girl account all the way through. For instance, there are vicious attacks on the press corps because Meghan knows that they are all secretly on Obama’s side.

She spews venom on her father’s aides that she does not like.

Then there is a kind of gloating over how popular McCain turned out to be in New Hampshire and a kind of snobbish pity for the candidates who did not do so well.

Breathtakingly whiny and stereotypical. All of South Carolina was “bad” she thought (really Meghan? What was the reason?)  but it is all “warm and nice”.

As if it is not enough, she uses the invented word ‘daughter-of’ way too much, which  is irritating. “Daughter-Of” by itself, with no ending.

She is also a TV junkie. Instead of painting a picture of a place or person, she points out that this is like such and such place or person from a TV serial.

There is unintended humour too. She says that in politics everything should be planned and one should be in control. This comes right after her account of her fiasco of a press interview, where her words, dress, manners were all wrong, and that she drew heavy flak for it. It appears that the pearls of wisdom that she sheds is only for others, and does not apply to the special “daughter-of”.

With the full benefit of hindsight, she declares an instant unease when Sarah Palin was inducted as a running mate, and writes as if her father had no hand at all in that selection. Yeah, right.

She cannot understand why she is an embarrassment to the campaign staff, but her own descriptions tell you why. You feel sorry for the McCains. If the biggest fan of John McCain was like this…..

No word about the clash of ideologies between Sarah and McCain; she has time to  only write about about the wardrobe and the pregnancy of Bristol Palin.

Complains about a dinky private jet, takes Xanax without a doctor’s say so, and has not even read her father’s memoirs because ‘it is too painful’.  Need I say more? Great research for an author of the book about the campaign.

It is, at its core, a rambling account of how she was part of it and how everyone reacted to her and about her friends, how her parents gave her “all the freedom” and told her to be “her own person”. Can it get any more cliché and trite?

Even when she has some points, she ruins it by repetition. It looks like a patient person talking to you like you are a mentally challenged person, repeating sentences many times for your dim wits to catch up.

Overall, it reads like reading the diary of a girl who happened to be in the centre of limelight because her dad was trying to be the President. I was not expecting a personal account of her wardrobe and her “impressions” of everything and am not into it. If you are, you may get a lot more out of this book than I did. If not, it does not give you anything more about the McCain-Obama battle of 2012 than you already know.

You want a seven page description of what she did after the election loss? You are treated to a non ending repetition of eat, sleep and video games. If this is your thing, go for it!

From where I stand, I can give it at most a 1/10

  • – Krishna

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