Cock-Blocked by John McCain: Talkin' with Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black
Meghan McCain sits in an armchair in the green room of The Castro Theatre. In front of her, sitting cross-legged on the floor and looking at what appears to be a flyer for a circus, is Michael Ian Black.
The two have taken a monthlong tour of the US in a RV together, writing a book along the way titled, America You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom. The idea was a spontaneous one. Black was up late on Twitter, having taken an Ambien and in the process of eating a bag of Tostitos, when he decided to message McCain about the book. She agreed and within six weeks, they were on the road.
They would learn many things about each other and their country, including but not limited to what happens when McCain has had a little too much to drink. Black would later explain onstage to Joan Walsh, during the Inforum event that brought the two to the Castro Theatre, "Some girls make out with other girls when they get drunk. When Meghan gets drunk -- she makes out with America."
But before that, SF Weekly got the chance to sit down and talk with the now road-tested dynamic duo.
McCain: Michael, pay attention!
Black: I am paying attention!
McCain: No, you're reading.
Black: Stop yelling at me.
SFW: So Michael, normally when people are up late on Twitter and decide to message a pretty girl, they don't ask them to go on a monthlong, coast-to-coast road trip in an RV and write a book about it. What gives?
McCain: Aw, thanks for calling me pretty.
Black: I am, first and foremost, an intellectual. Look, sure, Meghan's pretty -- but I don't even see that. I see the inner beauty.
McCain: (laughs) That's what I want all men to think.
Black: I see the inner Republican beauty. It wasn't about, "Oh, this is a pretty girl." It was about, "Here is an intellect I can grapple with ... sort of."
SFW: After spending a month in a RV together, were there any specific areas, politically, where you started to understand each other's viewpoints more than you thought you would before?
McCain: Yeah, I think I convinced Michael of a lot of Republican doctrines, like second amendment rights. And -- what else did I convince you of?
McCain: I showed him culturally where Republicans are coming from.
Black: Crazy town.
McCain: I don't think he had even really been exposed to any -- had you really ever been exposed to Republicans?
Black: I hadn't been like, inundated with Republicans. Inundated with conservatism.
McCain: So I think it was more culturally the influence I had on him.
SFW: Speaking of being brought to crazy town -- we are in San Francisco's Castro District right now. What's it like for you, as a Republican, to experience this culture?
McCain: (laughs) I know. We did some radio interviews this morning and all the questions were, "Romney is the devil, and this is why."
Black: Nobody said Romney is the devil!
McCain: Well, that's not a direct quote. But it was --
Black: The spirit of.
McCain: Yeah, people did not really like Mitt Romney. But San Francisco is part of America, and I love America.
SFW: You think it's a sexy bitch, right?
McCain: Yeah! And it's a gorgeous city. We went and had a really awesome dinner last night with my brother. The food here is unbelievable. It's a beautiful city.
SFW: Meghan, you've said that you love the Republican Party and want to help it reach a newer, younger, and more socially progressive demographic. You are a supporter of gay marriage and marijuana legalization. Do you ever think about just giving up and becoming a Democrat?
McCain: No. Gay marriage is obviously a social issue, and depending on your perspective you can claim marijuana legalization to be many things. But Michael and I actually got in an argument on the way over here about Obama's recent comments about success in America, and what it means to be successful in America. Michael and I have two different takes on what that means and what role government should have. I'm very fiscally conservative. I believe in small government in an almost (laughs) militant way. So no, it's just when it comes to social issues -- I live in the real world. I'm 27, I live in New York City, and I'm single. I grew up in an entirely different culture than my father did, and even my mother did and probably even people who are just a little bit older than me. I just feel like gay marriage specifically is really a constitutional right, and if you truly believe in the foundation this country was built on, why would you be against gay marriage? And saying that one group of people doesn't have the same rights as another? To me, that seems innately un-American.
(McCain looks down and sees that Black is reading the circus flyer again. She kicks it out of his hands.)
McCain: Stop reading!
Black: I'm reading about bears!
McCain: So rude.
Black: It's not! I'm totally listening.
McCain: It is rude! God, It's like having a child!
SFW: So Meghan, your father was really upset when you told him the title of the book, and you guys had an argument over it that left you in tears.
McCain: Yeah, it was terrible.
SFW: Did you ever think about maybe just blaming it on Mr. Liberal Media Elite over here who can't stop reading about bears?
McCain: I blamed it on the publisher, which was not fair.
McCain: It was all three of our choice to do it, but I was like (pretending to cry) "It's the publisher's fault!" And I was such a pansy about it. I made my dad's chief of staff tell him the title originally.
Black: (laughs) I did the same thing with my wife. I had my own chief of staff tell my wife.
McCain: We don't really fight, because I'm a good communicator with my dad other than that. But it was like, a bad fight. I was like, "You need to support me!" and he was like, "All I do is support you, and all you do is test my patience!"
SFW: What's it like having an extremely powerful and intimidating father?