9. Political Proppin’ Ain’t Easy
Before the end of the first chapter of Dirty Sexy Politics, it’s clear that Meghan joined her dad’s campaign at her own insistence, even dipping into her inheritance to pay her way:
When I finished college, I told my parents that I didn’t want to go to graduate school, or open a clothing boutique, as previously discussed. I wanted to join the campaign. They said that I could come along if I paid my own way. The campaign was a sinking ship, or at least financially sunk, when I joined in July 2007. There was no money for extras, and no money for me, or my blog, or the people I’d need to help me produce it….
To bankroll myself and the blog, I used the money that my grandfather had left me, even if, by the end, I had spent every dime.
In fact, it’s painfully clear that her dad’s campaign team saw her as a liability and didn’t want her around at all. Eventually Meghan was “banished to the heartland” on a multi-week bus tour.
And yet, she complains constantly about the accommodations, how she’s treated by campaign staffers (who didn’t want her there in the first place), and her “onstage role as cardboard political prop.”
Being a political prop isn’t easy and it can mess with your mind. There are cameras on you, all the time. The entire traveling press corps stands right in front of you, staring and gawking and judging. You can’t scratch your face or rub your nose. You can’t yawn in boredom, or sit down when your feet start swelling.
Meghan admits she wasn’t asked to be a political prop; she wasn’t even particularly welcome on the campaign trail. And yet, she describes the experience as being like “prison life, where the only things I was in control of, for the most part, were my clothes, my hair, and the blog.”
The campaign tour that no one wanted her to join, that she forced her way onto, was like prison life. Gosh, hopefully she didn’t have to shank anyone with a shiv improvised out of glass shards embedded in a toothbrush handle. That would have been embarrassing for the campaign.