WASHINGTON WATCH: Meghan McCain On The Need For Civil Political Dialogue & New Book

America is often bitterly divided. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and an example of that is my friendship with Meghan McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain and Cindy McCain and also an MSNBC contributor. Now, we may disagree on many things, but we share a desire for civil dialogue.

Meghan McCain joined Roland Martin on Washington Watch to discuss this and her new book, America, You Sexy Bitch.


MR. MARTIN:  We began the program talking about one of the most divisive issues of the last few years, healthcare reform.  This country is now often bitterly divided.  But it doesn’t have to be that way, and an example of that is my friendship with Meghan McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain and Cindy McCain and also an MSNBC contributor.  Now, we may disagree on many things, but we share a desire for civil dialogue.

I recently talked with her from New York about her new book, America, You Sexy Bitch, which she wrote with Michael Ian Black.  I asked her what she discovered researching the book.


MS. MEGHAN MCCAIN:  The one thing I found out when we were on the road last summer is Americans really are a lot more in the middle than the media gives them credit for, and people really seem to be having this extreme thirst for compromise right now because we are so polarized.  And I know I’m someone that’s going to continue trying to compromise with people.  I just wish sort of the rest of the media would try as well.

MR. MARTIN:  It drives me nuts when – there’s this whole sense that somehow we can’t have honest and open dialogue and even agree to disagree, but absolutely play to the extremes out there.  That, to me, makes things worse than better.

MS. MCCAIN:  Oh, I agree with you.  I think it’s making things a lot worse.  I think we live in this really toxic climate, where if you want to get a lot of attention – [in] our book, one of the things that we discussed is this book would probably sell really well if I would write in it that I think Obama is a Muslim that was born in Kenya.  I would probably sell about –

MR. MARTIN:  [Chuckles.]

MS. MCCAIN:  — 10,000 books just saying that, because for whatever reason, people seem to want to read that type of thing – although I – obviously, I don’t believe that.

I don’t know why we’re so extreme, and I don’t know why it sells so well, but you’ve been in the  media a lot longer than I am, so I’m honestly more curious about your take on it.

MR. MARTIN:  We like things, frankly, dumb and dumber, as opposed to actually being thoughtful.

MS. MCCAIN:  It’s sad, but I – I agree – [chuckles] – with you.

MR. MARTIN:  So, let me ask you this question.  So – all right.  So, you traveled around the country.  What was the one thing that you experienced on this crazy road trip that even caused you to say, “Wow.  I thought differently, but now I see it a different way”?

MS. MCCAIN:  I – I am against Obamacare, which – I don’t know if you agree with the term.  I’m – I’m against universal healthcare, but I met a lot of people on the road that really opened up my eyes to just the complications of buying healthcare, how expensive it is.  We met a waiter in Ohio that was talking to us about how he couldn’t afford healthcare, and he – he was having health problems.  And I – I said, “What do you do if your pe-” – “appendix bursts?” and he said, “That’s a really good question.”

And it sounds so naïve, but it’s different talking about it in a, you know, television studio and reading about it.  It’s a quite different experience to talking to people about literally not having healthcare and the repercussions it’s having on their lives.

MR. MARTIN:  Obviously, you come from a political family.  Sen. John McCain is our father.  Your mom Cindy is very involved in a lot of different things all across the world.  And so putting yourself in this public position has been a change of pace – now being on television, giving interviews, now being an author.  And so do you sometimes tell yourself, “Man!  What in the world was I thinking accepting this life?”

MS. MCCAIN:  I have days once in a while when there’s particularly harsh and cruel criticism.  I would go to some of the things Glenn Beck has done and said about me.  I believe in what I’m doing.  I believe in what I’m saying.  I’m trying to change the world, and I take great pride in being a strong role model for a lot of young women out there; because, unfortunately, there just aren’t enough strong, independent women in the media.  And I would like to give young women in America a different person to look to, other than Kim Kardashian.  No disrespect to Kim Kardashian, ’cause –

MR. MARTIN:  [Laughs.]

MS. MCCAIN:  — I actually like her.


MS. MCCAIN:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  — understand; but, look, I’ve see- —

MS. MCCAIN:  But, you know, any – different strokes, Roland.

MR. MARTIN:  — I understand.  I’ve seen those comments, and I’ve always said that, look.  Bottom line:  Glenn Beck – he’s an idiot.  He’s a moron.  And trust me.  I’ll take you over him any day –

MS. MCCAIN:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  — of the week.

MS. MCCAIN:  [Chuckles.]  Thank you, Roland.  And you’re so sweet to me on Twitter.  That’s how we became friends.  I feel like I need to tell your viewers.

We met at the Correspondents’ Dinner years ago.  I loved how you were dressed, and –

MR. MARTIN:  [Chuckles.]

MS. MCCAIN:  — then we became Twitter friend – friends.  And you’re so nice to me every time there is an attack in the media, and I really appreciate it because friends are hard to find in this industry, and you have been a good one to me.


MR. MARTIN:  Megan McCain’s book is, America, You Sexy Bitch, and you can follow her on Twitter at @mccainbloggette and, of course, me, RolandSMartin.