At the SXSW conference over the weekend, McCainBlogette mastermind Meghan McCain spoke with Forbes' Meghan Casserly about politics, life in the blogosphere, speaking one's mind, and dealing with intense media scrutiny. The Dirty Sexy Politics author also provided some insight into the repercussions of notoriously posting a revealing Twitter photo of herself in 2009. McCain revealed:
"Now I'm very sensitive to any pictures taken of myself at photoshoots and whatever because the internet has this very weird… especially people in politics… this very weird reaction to my body because I'm not super skinny, I have large breasts, I know, they're real, I can't do anything about it, and the internet just has this really weird reaction to my body… I've seen a therapist about it."
As an occasional CNN talking head and contributor to MSNBC, McCain is far from an anonymous blogger, and as a result, she's been the target of personal-appearance criticism from conservative commenters such as Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham. She's also been called "dumb," "a clown," and a "noted idiot." At SXSW, she addressed the question of why she hasn't appeased her critics and lost more weight:
"I think people don't understand why I haven't lost a bunch of weight right now, because 'all women in the media should lose a bunch of weight if they want to go on television to talk about anything.' I don't really need people in politics or people [who are] a little bit older to understand or like me because there's enough college students out there that seem to like me and that's all I really care about."
Putting on her political cap, McCain suggested that when it comes to utilizing social media, some pols are sorely lacking. McCain:
"Take the current [Republican presidential] campaign. Everybody in the race is online doing it… but not everyone's doing it well. Romney's campaign isn't using social media in the best possible way — it can't just be press releases. It's like ugh."