The senator's daughter on living in NYC and her new show
Many people who can will leave the city for the summer. Not Meghan McCain. She spent the season in a loft in the heart of Little Italy filming her new docu-talk series, Raising McCain, which premieres on September 14th. The twenty-eight-year-old, who is used to living under scrutiny, brings cameras into her life as she tackles relevant issues like bullying, gay marriage, and feminism. And on the final episode, she even sits down to interview her father, Senator John McCain, for the very first time. When asked if he approves of a show where his daughter talks candidly about her personal life, and even curses and drinks, she responded, "He saw the first episode and he really likes it. Thank God! Because I was so worried he might not."
Your show's headquarters are in Little Italy, right?
Yes. It was an artists' apartment and they were gone for the summer in Europe. We didn't have real air conditioning and it was like a sweltering sauna the entire summer.
Which neighborhood do you live in?
I live in the West Village. I moved downtown in '08. It's very quiet and quaint and I love the old brick buildings, the cobblestone streets. I lived uptown for years because I was going to Columbia, but I prefer downtown. I'm thinking of moving to Tribeca because the West Village is getting a little touristy.
You consider yourself a liberal Republican. What's it like taking that position in New York City?
I find New Yorkers, for the most part, to be really cool about politics. I actually think New York is a lot more open-minded than LA is. I lived in LA really briefly two years ago and I felt a lot more anti-Republican sentiment there than I ever did in New York. I think there are a lot more Republicans in New York City than people realize.
I read that the day after the recent presidential election, you got into an argument with your friends at an East Village restaurant.
Yeah, an interviewer asked me about a time where I ever freaked out about politics and that's the last time I can remember doing it. We were having dinner, talking about the election, and it was just really emotional. And they were talking about how they were happy they voted for Obama and happy he won. And I was like, "Do you understand who you're talking to? Explain to me exactly why you voted for Obama and why he represents you," and I was screaming. And then I said, "I voted for Mitt Romney! And I'm proud to have voted for Mitt Romney!" I was yelling it at this restaurant in the East Village. People were just looking at me.
When this article goes to print, the mayoral primary will be over. Do you have opinions on the candidates?
I think Anthony Weiner is a scumbag and he needs to get therapy and go away. I have no idea why he decided to run again. I love his wife; I've always been a big fan of hers, and I just think what he's doing to her is horrible.
You interview your dad on the final episode of Raising McCain.
I interview my dad for first time ever! We go home with the camera crew to our cabin in Sedona. [Arizona] I was really nervous beforehand. It's such a heavy thing to try and interview my dad - he's only been interviewed about a million times before. I wanted to make it an interesting interview that I could show not only the world, but my future kids. It ended up being great. I asked him all the questions I had been too scared to ask him in the past. Stuff about my parents' marriage, his time as a POW, having me, running for Congress the first time. It was very candid and he took it very seriously, which was nice.
Your brother Jimmy is on the show too.
My little brother who led a pretty private life - he was in the Marines for a long time - plays a really big part on the show. He's basically my sidekick. So my dad's happy that two of his kids are having such a good time in New York.
The first episode deals with privacy and how easy it is to get information on people. What did you learn after filming that?
Do not even take a picture on your phone that you wouldn't want the entire world seeing. Because there's iCloud and ways for people to hack into your phone and get pictures and information off of it. At the end of the episode, I think that we live in a crazy, insane, sci-fi city where people are watching us at all times. Anything you are putting in an email, text message, phone - anything that's in tech whatsoever - can be found. There are people who, if they dislike you enough, can find it easily. It definitely made me curb my behavior, from the texts I'm sending to the passwords on my social media accounts.
The second episode focuses on feminism. You talk about your interview with Playboy and how people reacted.
It was an interview; I didn't pose. I did 20 questions and it totally exploded everywhere. I don't regret doing it. I'm sick of living in a time when women aren't allowed to be three-dimensional human beings and have a variety of interests. When you're talking about politics, you're not allowed to talk about sex or relationships or basically anything else.
You've gotten backlash on social media from people who disagree with your politics and want your show to fail. What do you say to them?
As cliché as it is, haters are gonna hate. People who have criticized me in my life so much, I say, at least I'm out here trying to make a difference. I'm bringing this new kind of show to young people and I'm taking risks. I think a lot of people who criticize me are angry in their own lives or feel I threaten some part of them. I'm pushing thirty at this point, and have really learned at this age to block it out as much as possible.
Tell people about the new network your show is airing on, Pivot, and how they can watch.
It's mostly on Dish and Satellite, but you'll be able to get it online as well. Pivot is like what MTV was in the '80s, directed towards entertaining and educating millennials. But that doesn't mean that if you aren't a millennial, you can't watch, because my dad is 77 years old and he loves it.
To learn more about Meghan's show, visit www.pivot.tv/shows/raising-mccain
Follow her on Twitter: @MeghanMcCain