Calvin Freiburger

Earth Doesn’t Revolve Around Meghan McCain. Film at Eleven.

Posted on October 7 2010 4:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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Poor Meghan McCain. She writes a stupid book about her campaign experiences and outlook on politics—all by herself!—and the only parts of her journey that people seem interested in are the ones that happen to intersect with Sarah Palin. Like, what’s up with that?

What I didn’t expect, however, was that instead of the media concentrating on my admission of almost overdosing on Xanax the day before the election, or my goal for a new “big tent” direction for the Republican Party, or any of the other racier confessions in my book, they only focused on Sarah Palin. In every interview and review it was all Sarah all the time.

Let me try to explain this to you, Meghan. “Raciness” in politics tends only to grab the media’s attention when the people involved—who are usually public officials, not unelected wannabe starlets in their mid-twenties—don’t want it to. That’s kind of the whole point of a scandal. You, on the other hand, named a book Dirty Sexy Politics. You  flaunt yourself on Twitter. You inject “dirty sexiness” into the conversation all on your own. In your case, raciness is a shtick rather than a scandal—and not a particularly interesting one at that.

Now, I will give you that there is the obvious curiosity about my father’s running mate. And yes, I was there when she was picked, which is documented clearly in my book. But I was on the road for 18 months as opposed to Sarah Palin’s 60 days, which is why more than three quarters of my book is about the part of the campaign before she joined. Only a small portion of the time dealt with Sarah Palin, mainly because I thought that story had already been told and what I added was the small portion of my perspective, which I had been asked about repeatedly over the past year. But none of this seemed to matter, and it surprised me because by all accounts the recent election was one of the most historic in recent memory.

Sure, Election 2008 was historic. Do you know why? It sure wasn’t because of John McCain; old white guys run for president all the time. It was historic because it was going to yield either the first black president or the first female vice president. Reporters ask Meghan about Sarah Palin because she was the only “historic” element of the McCain campaign. The occasional political junkie might care about the exploits of politicians’ kids (like when they blow off events to party in Vegas), but as far as useful information that might be interesting to general audiences goes, Meghan’s interactions with Palin (who, unlike Meggie Mac, is an actual politician with real influence and a major future on the national stage) is pretty much it.

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