Exclusive: Meghan McCain Writes that Palin Brought 'Drama, Stress ... Panic' to Campaign

Sen. John McCain's daughter says she's "so unlike" the former VP candidate.

June 4, 2010, 1:13 PM

Aug. 31, 2010— -- For the first time since the end of her father's 2008 presidential bid, Meghan McCain, Sen. John McCain's daughter, spoke out about Sarah Palin, writing in a new book that Palin brought "drama, stress, complications, panic and loads of uncertainty" to the losing campaign.

Although McCain wrote that during the campaign she wondered whether the loss "was Sarah Palin's fault," McCain told "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview today that Palin was not the reason the campaign failed.

"I do clearly state at the end that we did not lose because of her, and I'm speaking out now because I do have conflicting feelings about her," McCain told "GMA's" George Stephanopoulos. "She brought so much momentum and enthusiasm to the campaign."

CLICK HERE to read an excerpt of Meghan McCain's book "Dirty Sexy Politics."

Before Palin came onboard, McCain said she knew drama was brewing.

"I had learned a few things on the campaign already, and knew that change always brought complications and chaos and sometimes a little entertainment. Drama was inevitable on a campaign and created almost out of thin air. Tempers were always flying, and feelings were always being hurt. There was no question that a running mate would add to the confusion and upset. There would be less time for fun," she writes. "But I couldn't have predicted just how serious it was going to get."

McCain admitted that during the campaign she stumbled when asked in an interview whether she had doubts about Palin's presence on the ticket and in the book said that Joe Lieberman was her favorite pick.

After the interview, however, McCain described the first time she realized her father might lose, and "if we did, I wondered if it was Sarah Palin's fault."

In the book, McCain refers to Palin as "the Time Bomb," and calls her selection the very definition of the "line between genius and insanity."

One area where McCain does not stumble is her take on Sarah Palin's "disastrous" interview with CBS News' Katie Couric before the vice presidential debate, when Palin couldn't even state what newspapers she read.

"Katie Couric's interview with her before the vice presidential debate had been disastrous. Unhappy with her performance, Palin seemed to blame the interview on the campaign. And she continued to blame other poor interviews and snafus on the campaign too," McCain writes. "Sarah Palin. She was turning out to be somebody who leaves a wake of confusion and chaos -- to the point of dizziness -- wherever she went."

At first, the chaos was overwhelming, McCain said.

"She was not just an overnight success or even a political Cinderella story. She was a sudden, freakishly huge, full-fledged phenomenon. It seemed too much. And it seemed too easy," McCain writes.

Now, McCain said she respects Palin as "a Republican feminist." But she stopped short of saying she would vote for Palin should the former Alaska governor end up on the 2012 presidential ticket.

"I really don't like these hypothetical questions. ... It depends on the situation," McCain said. "Anything can happen in the primaries. ... It's going to be a very interesting election, no matter what happens."

"It's no secret that I'm so unlike her," she told "Good Morning America."

Meghan McCain: 'I Wasn't Fired' From Dad's Campaign

McCain also addresses in the book the incident in which she became the first child of a presidential candidate to be dismissed from a campaign.

"I feel like I should clarify. I wasn't fired," she said. "I was asked to leave and not come back, or go on my own bus tour. So I elected to go on my own bus tour in Ohio."

She said she never called her father to ask about the dismissal, which was linked to the growing controversy over her blog.

"I was obviously upset because I had clearly done something to make people angry or irritated, so then I went on my own tour and it really ended up being amazing," she said.

The book goes on to discuss the odd social nature of a candidate's child on the campaign trail, sometimes dipping into the scandalous, including references to the "crazy-sex" that the campaign trail can bring on, but that MsCain said she never had.

"Which is why, after writing a draft of this book, I took a step back and considered whether I had been too honest. Maybe I was making a mistake to share so many of the intimate details as I watched my dad run for president," she wrote. "Suddenly, it seemed scary to open the windows and let everybody see a snapshot of my life at a time when I was young, impressionable, and feeling a bit frantic. But the children of politicians have a surreal life, and it was time somebody started talking about it."

As for the Republican Party, McCain said it had wandered away from its "bedrock" ideals.

"Honesty. Individualism. Freedom. Back in the day, these concepts were the bedrock of the Republican Party. It wasn't that long ago, either," she writes.

The party was also beginning to show what McCain said was a lack of tolerance for "moderates like me" -- a trend she said she saw before Palin was tapped as the vice presidential candidate over independent Joe Leiberman.

"Being a Republican was sometimes difficult," she writes, "if you had any wayward ideas or attitudes, or if your lifestyle wasn't conventional -- even though what was 'conventional' had eroded to the point of being unrecognizable, or didn't exist anymore."

CLICK HERE to read an excerpt of Meghan McCain's book "Dirty Sexy Politics."

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