Democracy Soup

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Meghan McCain proves there are new young faces for the GOP, but the new ideas aren’t there

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Originally published on on Thu, 03/12/2009 – 11:11am

While the old people in the Republican Party fight over who is their leader, there is a secret youth movement in the party.

Who is the new young face of the Republican Party? For once, there are several choices. There is the 13-year-old “sensation” Jonathan Krohn, who spoke at CPAC. Krohn fit in quite well at the gathering, even if he can’t run for president for another 22 years.

The New York Times hired a 29-year-old conservative to replace William Kristol. Ross G. Douthat is currently a writer and editor at The Atlantic. If Douthat can be more factually accurate than Kristol, his hiring would be an improvement. But despite Douthat’s age, he will likely be more of a pundit than party leader, unless he emulates Rush Limbaugh.

Like it or not, Bristol Palin is a face of the Republican Party. Family values means different things, depending on the point of view. For the Palin family, it felt like there was a gigantic push to marry off Bristol with her baby daddy, Levi Johnston. There was a reason Johnston was flown to St. Paul in September, and it has nothing to do with impending marriage. We were told, “of course, they will get married. They were talking marriage before Palin was picked as the VP nominee.”

Few outside the Palin/Johnston household thought that would happen, and sure enough, it’s true. Bristol Palin was smart enough to say, in her own way, that two people shouldn’t get married if they don’t want to. That’s a shift in view from the socially conservative wing of the party. And Bristol said, “Everyone should be abstinent . . . but it’s not realistic at all.” While that is a realistic statement, it goes against the social conservatives.

However, the person who really wants to be the new face of the Republican Party is Meghan McCain, daughter of presidential nominee John McCain. Meghan has been writing for The Daily Beast in addition to her blogging throughout the campaign. Meghan even went after Ann Coulter in a recent piece. And she was Rachel Maddow’s guest last night on her MSNBC show.

McCain is 24, and while McCain has several children, Meghan is the only one who has stepped into the forefront. McCain’s children from his first marriage were virtually ignored, except for a brief appearance during the Republican National Convention. We didn’t hear much about the fact that his daughter from the first marriage lives in (gasp) Canada.

It does help Meghan that she is from the current marriage, she looks like her mother, and that she is young and blonde.

McCain told Maddow that she wants to convince young people, moderates and independents, to give the Republican Party a chance. McCain acknowledges that young people have been drawn to the Democrats.

The Rachel Maddow Show is a distinct forum for McCain to tell young people why the Republican Party is for them. This was her chance to say “why” to an audience that skews young, and likely didn’t vote for her father in November.

Variations of “poster-child” came up, with McCain saying Coulter is the poster-woman of the most extreme elements of the Republican Party, and that she can be the poster-woman for the more moderate faction.

She also noted that because she isn’t running for office and never will, she can be candid about her thoughts. But what she said about Coulter is only controversial among Republicans. Among independents and Democrats and those young people McCain said Republicans should go after, her remarks about Coulter was spot-on.

We know Meghan is onboard to the GOP, but what do you do if you are young, and let’s say your father hasn’t run for president. What is it that the GOP supposedly offers that would actually appeal to young people?

McCain told Maddow that “it starts with message.” Proves she is a Republican because it’s about the ideas behind the message.

When Maddow asked McCain about the economic package, she said she didn’t completely understand the economic situation, having not even taking an econ class.

Spending freeze? You know, econ — economic things, I said this last night on Hannity, I said is my — I didn’t even take econ in college. I don’t completely understand it so I’d hate to make a comment one way or the other. That’s – truly of all the things – I keep reading and I just don’t understand it.

McCain has said the party shouldn’t be as extreme as it has been, but what does she stand for?

Meghan McCain was an art history major in college; she has written about politics and the campaign for the last couple of years. Like her father, she doesn’t know anything about economics. When given a chance to say what she believes, she doesn’t know. But if she wants to be the poster-woman for why young people should be a part of the GOP, there have to be some ideas.


Written by democracysoup

March 12, 2009 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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