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Meghan McCain takes aim at Republican divas Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham [Updated]

March 16, 2009 |  1:24 pm

Meghan McCain There is something rather brave and, yes, even poignant about the attempts by Sen. John McCain's daughter, 24-year-old Meghan McCain, to call out the middle-aged Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham for their snarky and -- to Ms. McCain, at least -- gratuitously nasty ways of doing business
-- including, in Ingraham's case, making fun of McCain's weight.

McCain, who graduated from Columbia University in 2007, became a fixture on the campaign trail last year, traveling frequently with her father on the Straight Talk Express.

She and her girlfriends filed numerous reports at McCainBlogette.com about their adventures on the campaign trail.

True, McCain often focused on music, fun and fashion, but there was at the blog's heart a young, if privileged, woman's sincere attempt to convey her awakening conservative political sensibility and to....

attract younger voters to her septuagenarian father, who had trouble connecting to young voters.

McCain's blog went dark for awhile, and she resurfaced recently as a contributor to Tina Brown's new venture, the Daily Beast. How surprising, given the array of talent corralled by Brown, that McCain has emerged as the newsmaker of the operation. She wrote a column bemoaning the difficulty of finding a date once your dad's run for president. 

Ann Coulter The other day, she took on Ann Coulter:

"I consider myself a progressive Republican, but here is what I don’t get about Coulter: Is she for real or not? Are some of her statements just gimmicks to gain publicity for her books, or does she actually believe the things she says?

Does she really believe all Jewish people should be “perfected” and become Christians? And what was she thinking when she said Hillary Clinton was more conservative than my father during the last election?

If you truly have the GOP’s best interests at heart, how can you possibly justify telling an audience of millions that a Democrat would be a better leader than the Republican presidential candidate?

"More so than my ideological differences with Ann Coulter, I don’t like her demeanor. I have never been a person who was attracted to hate or negativity. ... Everything about her is extreme: her voice, her interview tactics, and especially the public statements she makes about liberals. Maybe her popularity stems from the fact that watching her is sometimes like watching a train wreck."

Laura Ingraham Coulter has so far ignored the provocation, but Laura Ingraham struck back, mocking McCain as “just another Valley Girl gone awry.”

Ingraham joked that McCain didn't get a role on a TV reality show because “they don’t like plus-sized models.” On Friday, McCain went after Laura Ingraham for that.

"I have been teased about my weight and body figure since I was in middle school, and I decided a very long time ago to embrace what God gave me and live my life positively, attempting to set an example for other girls who may suffer from body image issues.

I have nothing to hide: I am a size 8 and fluctuated up to a size 10 during the campaign. ...

"At this point, I have more respect for Ann Coulter than I do for Laura Ingraham because at least Coulter didn’t come back at me with heartless, substance-less attacks about my weight."

How far this goes is anyone's guess.

It is refreshing, though, to hear the call for a more civilized discourse coming from a youngster like McCain.

Update, 3:20 p.m.: Did we speak too soon? Today on "The View" Meghan McCain quoted Tyra Banks, who once wore a bathing suit on her talk show after gaining a few pounds and announced that her critics could "Kiss my fat ass." Well, McCain told the ladies of "The View," "That's what I feel like right now: Kiss my fat ass!"  So much for civilized discourse.

--Robin Abcarian

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Photos: Meghan McCain from mccainblogette.com; Ann Coulter by Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times; Laura Ingraham by Anthony Loew.

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