Meghan McCain roils GOP waters with Christine O'Donnell 'nutjob' slam

One wonders what original 'maverick' John McCain is saying after hearing what his outspoken daughter Meghan McCain said about Christine O'Donnell. Then there's her row with Sarah Palin.

By , Staff writer

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    Meghan McCain signs copies of her book 'Dirty Sexy Politics' at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz. McCain's book is a recounting of her life on the campaign trail during the 2008 election, when her father, John McCain, was the Republican candidate for president.
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Kids! You gotta love ‘em.

One wonders if that’s what John McCain is saying today after hearing the latest from his outspoken daughter.

On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, Meghan McCain was asked about GOP Senate candidate and tea party favorite Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.

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"Well, I speak as a 26-year-old woman and my problem is that, no matter what, Christine O'Donnell is making a mockery of running for public office," McCain told anchor Christiane Amanpour. "She has no real history, no real success in any kind of business."

“What that sends to my generation is: one day you can just wake and run for Senate, no matter how [much of] a lack of experience you have,” Ms. McCain said. “And it scares me for a lot of reasons."

Then came the zinger: "I just know, in my group of friends, it turns people off because she's seen as a nutjob.”

McCain also said that the tea party movement is “losing young voters at a rapid rate.”

Well, maybe. Tea party gatherings do seem to be mainly middle-aged (and older) people. But only the morning after Election Day will tell for sure how young people vote … if they vote at all.

But back to Ms. McCain (who’s a lot more fun to write about than boring polls, chin-stroking political analysts, and campaign stump speeches ).

What she said about O’Donnell is not that much different than Karl Rove’s pronouncement (before the GOP jerked him back into line) or what Delaware GOP chairman Tom Ross was saying when O’Donnell was challenging moderate Republican US Rep. Mike Castle for the nomination.

But this long after O’Donnell’s GOP primary win and barely two weeks before the general election is different. McCain’s comments come as O’Donnell lags behind Democrat Chris Coons by wide poll margins and voters still get constant reminders of her offbeat comments and – how to put this delicately – her “interesting” background. (Take our Christine O'Donnell quiz here.)

As Senator McCain is (or at least used to be before he had to run for reelection), Meghan McCain is a maverick, and she’s certainly as outspoken as her father.

For one thing, she seems constantly to be wrangling with Republican celebrity Sarah Palin, John McCain’s vice presidential running mate in 2008.

In her recent Daily Beast column titled “My Palin Problem,” McCain writes that “Sarah Palin made it known to me, via an email to a third party, that she was not pleased with me or what I wrote in my book.”

She was referring to “Dirty, Sexy Politics,” her memoir of the 2008 presidential campaign.

“It seems that the only thing that gets any kind of major media attention when it comes to women in politics is either Sarah Palin or her numerous impersonators,” she wrote in her column. “Must we, as Republican women, clone ourselves in every way as Sarahbot’s to have a serious chance of running for office? And if so, what kind of dangerous message is this sending young women?”

Ooo. Republican cub nips Mama Grizzly!

Meghan McCain’s firebrand remarks since 2008 may be part of a calculated scheme to advance her brand. Or she may really speak for a lot of young Republicans not all that happy with their party’s tea party trend (or the domination by social conservatives before that). Probably both.

She certainly veers from the party line on things like same-sex marriage, immigration, global warming, and abortion.

Maybe she should ask for the keys to the “Straight Talk Express,” her dad’s campaign bus back when he first ran for president in 2000. But she has the tattoo, so she seems more like the motorcycle type.

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