11/20/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

McCain's Missed Opportunity: His Daughter

Back in March I wrote about Meghan McCain, predicting that she'd be her father's "saucy secret weapon" as a fresh, young, likable face of the McCain campaign. Here was my rationale:

"Not only does she soften him with her kooky you-go-girl persona, but she is a great mouthpiece, proclaiming him dead serious about global warming [and] matter-of-factly supporting the war (on her blog, she mentions her brother, serving overseas, as well, which McCain does not often do). Also, looking forward to the general, she's extremely appealing to liberals: Doesn't like Rush Limbaugh or "Hannity & Colmes." Voted for Kerry in '04. Defines herself as "socially liberal, economically conservative." She's also amazing at humanizing her parents on the campaign trail, catching them both in natural, unguarded moments and making them seem more accessible and natural, even though they are flying on a private plane on the campaign to be President....[she] is also a great role model as First Daughter, having recently written a post shrugging off criticism about her looks and weight [which] got an outpouring of supportive emails, many of which she posted. Then she went back to being super-fun."

Well, I still think all of that — except now it's October, and there's no looking ahead to the general. This is the general, and the McCain campaign has not, in fact, utilized Meghan McCain's amazing appeal,. The most singular thing she has done for her father's campaign, apart from her very appealing (but underpromoted!) blog, has been her children's book about her father — "My Dad, John McCain" — which got some brief buzz in late Aug/early September but does not a movement make.

This video below, published last Sunday, is a great example of the kind of potential Megs had to morph into an unbelievable surrogate for her father. I call her Megs because she seems like a Megs — super-cute, super-fun, and like the friend you just know you'd have a blast palling around with ('cause who doesn't love palling around?). Megan and her group of fresh-faced, hip, appealing friends seem like a great, fun-loving bunch and exactly the type of people a certain "Yes We Can"-loving demo would want to see more of during the campaign — this video looks like it could be the pilot for a hilarious ongoing web series/reality show about the life of this offshoot gang on their adjunct campaign train.

Note how in the video Megan says that the campaign only just started sending her out on her own. Bad, bad call. Watch the video below and see if you agree: