Political commentator Meghan McCain has gone from the daughter actively involved in father’s presidential campaign to a brooding co-host of “The View” easily offended and quick to blame others.
A Washington Post Lifestyle piece Sunday explained that the daughter of the famous “maverick” senator is the greatest source of conflict on the daily talk show “The View. At times it can be unclear if it’s genuine disagreement or manufactured drama for the sake of television, but the ongoing feud between McCain and comedian Joy Behar earned another mocking sketch on “Saturday Night Live.”
The first came about in the early 2000s with Fred Armisen proclaiming the familiar phrase “Who cares? So what?” But after a bizarre panel discussion with anti-vaxer Jenny McCarthy, SNL took another shot at the show.
“Love or hate her, she is the conservative equivalent of an Instagram filter: Sometimes she makes Republicans look good, and sometimes, well, she doesn’t,” the Post wrote in the Sunday column. “Either way, Meghan McCain is always there, willing to give it a shot despite the hits she takes.”
McCain spent most of her youth registered as a Democrat and supporting more left policies like LGBT equality and women’s rights, but after a stint on Fox News, McCain’s conservatism grew with the poof of her coif. She has now moved to a kind of hybrid conservatism, and her look has lightened to harness a trendy youthfulness.
Still, her greatest struggle seems to surface when she walks out of the Republican bubble to discuss issues. McCain can convey the Republican talking points that haven’t been tested outside of the Fox News echo chamber and gets frequently shot down by the empathy of Whoopi Goldberg, the humor of Joy Behar and legal expertise of Sunny Hostin. “The View” has quickly become the perfect example of a focus group playing out live on network television.
WaPo maintains that McCain is gaining steam because she’s one of few conservatives that has managed to find a place in pop-culture. The Disney-owned network hasn’t shied away from controversy, and the reboot of Roseanne brought millions eager to lament a right-leaning, working-class world with their favorite family. When Roseanne turned toward racism, however, it went too far for the infamous “Mouse network.”
McCain has managed to sustain conservative political values without being a homophobic racist apologizing for President Donald Trump. In that way, she’s found a way to connect with a greater community of Americans than the mainstream Republican Party. The Post piece compared McCain to a “daytime antidote to Tomi Lahren and Ann Coulter,” who seem to be playing up absurd right-wing policies that are both impractical and far out on the fringes.
While McCain isn’t the biggest fan of Trump, she conceded in a 2016 interview she likely owes her career to him.
McCain once confessed that without Trump, she likely wouldn’t have a job.
“If Trump wasn’t president, I don’t think I would be successful here,” she said in the book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View.’ “For that reason, I guess I’m grateful that Trump is president.”
Being parodied on SNL was “a huge pop culture honor,” McCain announced after the first parody on SNL.
Can’t believe I got parodied on SNL last night – is this the first time this has happened to a former Lorne Michaels intern?! Also fun fact, @aidybryant and I went to the same high school in Phoenix.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) May 20, 2018
“She defies stereotypes about what it means to be a conservative and what young women are supposed to think,” the Post quoted Karin Agness Lips, of the conservative group, Network of Enlightened Women.
While McCain can sometimes leave “The View” set red-faced or in tears over a debate, she keeps coming back for more, unafraid to be called out as a fool. In the end, she may have the last laugh.