Wednesday, August 29

Junior McCain

She wanted to know why President Bush hated herIn case you’re wondering, John McCain’s Bangla daughter is second from right in this photo. Obviously.

John and Cindy’s youngest daughter was adopted from an orphanage run by Mother Teresa. Bridget was 10 weeks old when Cindy first met her while doing humanitarian relief work in Bangladesh. [Link]

[John McCain] had recently visited the Carnegie Deli, where, he said, the many Bangladeshi waiters had flocked to have their pictures taken with him. [Link]

Karl Rove the consigliere stole her political innocence:

… a whispering campaign [suggested] that he had fathered an illegitimate child… Just last year, Bridget, who was born in Bangladesh and is now 15, learned about the episode by chance while doing a Google search of her own name, and went to her mother in tears…

She wanted to know why President Bush hated her. And I had to explain to her that it wasn’t the president that hated her, that no one hates her. It was a very maturing process for her. I had to explain to her how nasty campaigns can be… if that were to even bubble its head up again, we’d knock that flat.” [Link]

We’d all like to know why Dubya hates us, Bridget. McCain says his wife adopted her without telling him in advance:

McCain: There were two little baby girls there. One had a heart problem the other a severe cleft palate. Cindy was very concerned about their ability to survive and their need for medical treatment, so she decided to bring them here for medical treatment. She fell in love with both of them. We decided to adopt Bridget. Two close friends of ours, adopted Mickey, the other child.

Dadmag: You knew about your wife’s decision before hand?

McCain: (laughs) No. She arrived and said, “Say hello to your new little daughter.”

Dadmag: A bit of a shock?

McCain: Yes indeed.

Dadmag: And how has it worked out? Are you happy with the decision to adopt Bridget?

McCain: Oh yes! She has enriched our lives. She’s a wonderful child, a complete part of our family and we love her.

Dadmag: Your other children accepted her well?

McCain: Oh yeah sure. She’s the toughest of the four. The youngest always has to be the toughest.

Dadmag: During your campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination Bridget became something of an issue in South Carolina didn’t she?

McCain: Yeah. There were some pretty vile and hurtful things said during the South Carolina primary. It’s a really nasty side of politics. We tried to ignore it and I think we shielded her from it. It’s just unfortunate that that sort of thing still exists As you know she’s Bengali, and very dark skinned. A lot of phone calls were made by people who said we should be very ashamed about her, about the color of her skin. Thousands and thousands of calls from people to voters saying, “You know the McCains have a black baby.” I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like those. [Link]

But a couple of years after that interview, McCain was cozying up to those on the Hell Express:

In other desi connections, elder daughter Meghan McCain penned a flattering Newsweek profile of the accused Mr. Jon.

Related: John McCain’s “black” child



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  1. 1sandhya

    I had no idea that John McCain had an adopted daughter from the Indian subcontinent. Interestingly, the premise of Mitali Perkins’s new book First Daughter i:

    Sixteen-year-old Sameera Righton, nicknamed “Sparrow,” is the adopted Pakistani daughter of the Republican candidate for president and his activist wife. When her father wins the nomination and his campaign begins in earnest, his staff decides to make her over. At first, she is delighted with her fabulous new hair, makeup, and clothes, but then the staffers try to get dark-skinned Sameera to appear more “American” and more appealing to voters. They change her name to “Sammy,” coach her on how to behave in public and answer questions from the press, and, worst of all, manufacture a custom blog for her. Although she sincerely wants to help her father, Sameera does not accept everything unquestioningly. She becomes involved with a group of South Asian Republican students and begins her own blog, which takes on tough political issues and eventually displaces the vapid official blog produced by her father’s staff. The book concludes with Sameera becoming the first South Asian American to live in the White House. Perkins does touch on some of the unpleasant racial issues associated with political campaigns, but the portrayal of the presidential campaign is highly idealized, with no negative ads or smear tactics. However, Sameera is a savvy and appealing character, and while teen girls will love reading about her makeover, they will also come away with a sense of the demands made on those who are constantly in the public eye.—

  2. 2manish

    Thanks, Sandhya. The story sounds like it’s based on Bridget McCain.

  3. 3tamasha

    The book has a trailer.

    I can’t find the interview, but I read one in which Perkins says she had written the book, or at least had the idea, before she head of McCain’s daughter. I bet Pooja can confirm this.

  4. 4crickinmyneck

    That is just heart breaking.

  5. 5ed

    This entry doesn’t even detail the worst part of this story. At the point those rumors were spread, John McCain had just beaten GW Bush big in New Hampshire in a huge upset and was leading in South Carolina. Conventional wisdom was that if McCain carried SC, Bush’s backers would lose faith and pull their donations, and Bush would be forced to concede the 2000 Republican nomination. It would then have been McCain versus Gore and whoever won we wouldn’t have had the war in Iraq or all the neo-con pro-israel war mongering of the past 5 years… there’s a good chance that we’d have kept our forces in Afghanistan and wouldn’t have let Bin Laden escape as the Bush administration did. McCain did confront Bush about the dirty tactics in a debate but Bush basically told him to go screw himself and that he couldn’t prove Bush was involved, and by then Bush had pretty much won the nomination

  6. 6manish

    Wouldn’t it be sweet if McCain won South Carolina this year?