Rebecca Walker
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008
 

The Twelve-Step Mother: Five Questions for Cindy McCain

I do not buy the Cindy McCain story.

I do not think Cindy McCain is a self-directed heiress with a heart of gold. I think she is a muted powerhouse married to a man who despises her, and uses her wealth to pursue his ambitions.

When I look at Cindy McCain, I see a battered wife, of sorts. And when I look at John McCain, I see an old-school kind of husband who thinks his wife and a lot of other "skirts" are idiots.

The kind who would pick Palin because he has so little respect for women, he thinks they'll vote for a woman who wants to send their sons and daughters to war, take away their reproductive freedom, ensure they are paid less than they deserve, and destroy the natural environment in which they live.

In light of the fact that Cindy McCain has been married for twenty years to a man she only sees on weekends, and because HER HUSBAND DIDN'T NOTICE that she was addicted to painkillers and taking ten Vicodin a day, I'm going to ask my questions with restraint.

Because wealth does not protect you from everything, and Cindy McCain, like the rest of us, is a human being. In recovery. From something.

If I ran into Cindy McCain at, say, the Yale Club in New York, I'd ask her a few questions.

1. I am worried about Bridget. You seem to use her as a prop in your stump speech; she's the dark, unwanted, orphan you and John made your own. Have you talked to her about what it's like to be black in your family? Do you have honest and forthright discussions about the issues of transracial adoption? Do you take as much responsibility for the challenges that come with being your adopted Bangladeshi daughter as you take credit for the boon?

2. Vanity Fair estimates that one of the ensembles you wore at the Republican National Convention cost over $300,000 or, the price of one and a half homes for most Americans. I love Prada too, but do you ever think, like most women who buy extremely expensive apparel, you are compensating for low self-esteem? Did you make sure that your $200,000 diamond earrings weren't made from blood diamonds? If he were President, would you encourage your husband to tax the top one percent of earners appropriately so the rest of us can buy our own earrings?

3. How are you feeling about Sarah Palin? If the GOP steals wins this election, she may end up spending more time with your husband than you. I thought I saw a flicker of jealousy on your face when Palin took her place next to your husband. I know no one ever asks if the wives of Presidents are jealous of their male VPs and as far as I know, no one is asking the First Dude if he's jealous of McCain. But still. It's got to be tough. I'd flinch. Especially if my husband called me a trollop.

4. I am truly disturbed by the situation with your half-sister. You inherited one hundred million dollars from your father and she inherited ten thousand? Are you going to give her some of your money? At least enough to have a nice home and put her kids through college? She's not a starving orphan in an impoverished third world country, but she is your sister. If you're unwilling to share your wealth with her, how can the rest of us believe you and your husband will advocate for us? Honestly, between Reagonomics and the Bush tax "reforms," it's possible she pays more taxes than you.

5. And finally, what do you think of divorce? Do you have friends who would support your getting one if you wanted? And did you know Arizona is one of only three states in America that offers a legally recognized "Covenant Marriage" that makes obtaining a divorce extremely difficult for both parties. Would you advise your daughter Meghan to exercise that option, or would you rather she benefit from relatively new divorce laws that allow her to exit a marriage if she desires?

And what if she were to become pregnant, like Sarah Palin's teenage daughter? I know you're officially against abortion, but would you want Meghan to have a baby at this point in her life, now that she's gone to Columbia and started her blog and is positioned for well, all kinds of important things? And what if she were pregnant as a result of rape? Would you welcome that baby into your home?

I've got these questions, but I'm open, too. Cindy, if you want to work together to make sure our children never have to die in an unnecessary, one hundred year war, call me.

Because I want grandchildren, just like you.



 
 
 

8 Comments:

Anonymous nicole said...

preach, Rebecca, PREACH! All I have to say is #1 has been driving me crazy for months now. It's like they have their brown daughter in hiding half the time (when she's not being used as a prop)! I just don't get it. And yes, Cindy McCain is just a hot mess, packaged in expensive clothing. I am so glad somebody finally broke it down.

9/17/2008  
Blogger The Humanity Critic said...

Great post. I completely agree with you, we do we only see Bridget when they absolutely have to have her out there?(i.e the convention) No interviews, no random campaign stops, its like they are ashamed of her - which boggles my mind because I think that having out there is a net positive for McCain's campaign. As for Cindy, wasn't she caught lying about how the adoption of Bridget came about? I'm pretty sure that the story she told about meeting Mother Teresa was, in the words of my elderly neighbor, hogwash. Lastly, when it comes to John McCain and women, not even going into his horrendous politics of not supporting equal pay for equal work and his abysmal record on women's reproductive rights - there are those stories of him calling his wife a "trollop" and the C-Word. Anyway, sorry for the long comment sister. Peace.

9/19/2008  
Blogger LiteraryAquarian said...

I posed a similar question the other day. I wonder if Bridget is written into either of their wills. Will she inherit any of the family wealth? How would she be treated if both Cindy and John died prematurely? I was suspicious of the adoption, feeling like it was something he was against, and something she did to simply make herself feel better about the poverty in Bangladesh.

9/19/2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posters here don't know anything about Bridget or her relationship with her family. If she doesn't campaign, they are "hiding" her; but if she does campaign, they are "using" her. That sounds schitzophrenic. You're projecting your own issues onto this family.

Of McCain's seven children, only one, Meghan, has campaigned for her father.

9/21/2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay okay. Some people will get testy when some things are said but I'm like "if it's true let's examine it that's all". Lighten up.
There was that first family photo of the McCains with the Palins-I think for people magazine- and only
Meghan was present with her mom and dad. I was suspicious about her absence long before then. Since then I have seen her 3 times (in like 3 weeks). I think these are valid observations.

9/22/2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rebecca Walker: You certainly must know that the McCain Campaign pays female staffers more than the males, whereas the Obama Campaign is just the opposite. So, where on earth did you get the information for your assertion that McCain shortchanges his female employees? Or did you just make it up, out of your ideological prejudice?

9/23/2008  
Blogger Rebecca Walker said...

This post has been removed by the author.

9/23/2008  
Blogger Rebecca Walker said...

As you can from the most recent post, I am not an ideologue and I feel comfortable speaking my view no matter what "camp" it fits. But in regards to what john McCain pays his female staffers, if what you say is true, that may or may not be a good thing. My point is his decision not to vote for equal pay for equal work, and his commentary that to do so would burden corporations with discrimination litigation, which, in my view, they would deserve if they trespassed such a law, is deeply problematic and indicative of future McCain policy, as well who he might choose to put on the bench of the Supreme Court. In other words, serious business.

9/23/2008  

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