The bathroom is traditionally a place of privacy, but for Meghan McCain, daughter of former presidential candidate and current Arizona Sen. John McCain, it is a place where people ask about political ideals and personal matters.
“People are really angry at me all the time,” McCain said. “They come up yelling at me in ladies rooms. There are issues in this country.”
At Wednesday night’s University Lecture Series (ULS) event, McCain, author of “Dirty Sexy Politcs” talked about her struggles growing up in a political environment and how her views, looks and actions are consistently scrutinized.
“I took Zanex the day of the election and passed out,” McCain said. “People have misconstrued this (and said) that I went to rehab … and all of a sudden I’m like Lindsay Lohan.”
Though her father wasn’t elected president, McCain has remained active in politics through her blogging and writing for the online newspaper The Daily Beast. She said she believes her father’s loss was a “blessing in disguise.”
“I honestly try to picture this bizarre world where my father’s the president and Sarah (Palin) is the vice president,” she said. “And what would it be like living in the White House with Bristol and Levi. I just don’t know how that stuff would have gone down.”
For a young woman who loves to play blackjack and takes pleasure in calling both Christine O’Donnell and Glenn Beck “nut jobs,” McCain still manages to keep the public at her heels, with lecture attendees following her every word.
“I really loved what Meghan had to say,” said ULS programming director Catlin Layton. “She had such a fresh view of the GOP, and she is only 26 years old. She didn’t say these politician answers, where they beat around the bush. She was … to the point,
answering the questions how she really felt about it, and I really appreciate that because we don’t get that a lot anymore.”
ULS members hung more than 100 posters on campus, handed out more than 600 flyers and advertised the lecture in the Tampa Bay Times. Even so, Layton said the turnout was still low.
Layton said about 200 students attended the event, which was held in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom — about half of the projected attendance numbers. McCain was paid $7,500 in student-paid Activity and Service fees for her appearance.
“I have always been a moderate Republican. I identify with her a lot,” said Mario Morano, a senior majoring in psychology. “I think she speaks to a whole new generation of Republican youth who are well educated and think for themselves. I was surprised at how eloquently she answered the questions. She didn’t Obama the answers by just restating the question and adding a couple nice things. She seems like she really put thought into it.”
Andrea Jackson, a sophomore majoring in pre-architecture and an intern for the Rick Scott campaign, said she originally came to ULS to clarify McCain’s use of the term “progressive Republican.”
“She answered the questions I came to get answers to,” Jackson said. “She is moving along with the times … being open with a younger crowd and getting involved. Lecturing is exactly what we need with the younger people. This (lecture) was a great way to kick off the political week we will be having at USF.”