Your book is a cross-country travelogue, written with lefty comedian Michael Ian Black (of The State and Stella fame). How do you think you’ll be received in liberal Portland? I’ve had so many opportunities to write serious meaty policy books. I’m interested in converting people not interested in politics, who feel disillusioned with the process. What’s the fun in preaching to the choir or talking to people who already believe what I believe?
How did you and Black hook up? I was a guest on his talk show. He was making fun of me, and I gave it right back to him. Sometimes you just have chemistry with a person. He messaged me on Twitter and asked me if wanted to write a book together. I had just gone through a bad breakup and an unsuccessful book deal, and I said, “Hell, yeah! Let’s go on the road!”
The book recounts that you two smoked weed in New Orleans. Did you leave out any scurrilous details? No, nothing. It was quite the discussion—with my mother, the publisher, and Michael—about whether we would keep the fact that we got high in New Orleans in the book. I’m pretty conservative. But now, I just don’t understand why we don’t legalize marijuana and just tax the hell out of it. I hope people understand that, even though my father is this big famous man, I still live in reality. Yeah, what I did was technically illegal, but I think it’s opening up a broader discussion.
Pretty maverick-y, as your dad might say. Were you fated for politics? I have an amazing platform. I come from this crazy, very public family, so I might as well speak out for what I believe in. I have to go to sleep at night. I’m a woman of faith, and I believe in morality. At the same time, my worldview is always evolving. My life is a work in progress, and as I learn new things my views can change, too.
You and Black are still on speaking terms. Is there hope for bipartisanship, then? Depends on what day you ask me. He’s like the liberal brother I never had: I get along great with my real brothers, but if I had a brother I fought with, it would be Michael.
Meghan McCain appears with Michael Ian Black at the Bagdad Theater, July 20