May 14, 2009— -- After months on one of the most grueling presidential campaign trails in U.S. history, Cindy McCain said life after her husband's presidential bid has been "wonderful."
"I was more than happy to get back to my normal life," she told "Good Morning America" in her first interview since John McCain lost the election to President Obama.
But Cindy McCain said she's been busy with charity work, most notably in Congo.
The trip to the impoverished African nation is only the most recent of her post-campaign humanitarian trips that have taken her to three continents. It also prompted an op-ed piece on the area's dire situation that ran in The Wall Street Journal today.
"These people are just barely surviving," she said.
McCain said 250,000 people have been forced out of their homes in Congo because of militant groups.
"It's dreadful," she said of conditions there. "Women are being raped, mutilated. Children are being kidnapped and turned into child soldiers."
While the United States faces its own problems with hunger and recession woes, there are entire countries in Africa that can't feed its residents, she said.
"Where there's hunger, there's no peace," she said.
McCain touted her new endeavor, the Web site a Cause Greater that will give her seal of approval -- "not that it means much" -- she joked -- for organizations that people interested in charity work can contact to give their time or money.
McCain Family Part of Changing GOP?
While McCain's work has taken place largely out of the public's eye, her family members have taken a different approach to their post-election life.
Aside from John McCain's mother appearing on Leno, Meghan McCain, 24, has been getting noticed for her efforts to put a face on young Republicans who often clash with the ideals of the Bush administration.
"I think they represent a part of the party that's wonderful," Cindy McCain said of both women.
Last month, Meghan McCain was the keynote speaker at an event for the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative gay rights group. While the GOP has long been a vocal opponent of gay marriage, Meghan McCain, among others, has been at the forefront of a turning tide.
"I think government is best when it stays out of people's lives and business as much as possible," she said at the Log Cabin Republicans event. "I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican."
Meghan McCain also made headlines in March for lashing back at conservative radio commentator Laura Ingraham who called her "plus-sized."