Cindy McCain at Full Throttle

Cindy McCain: Her husband John McCain’s race for the White House may be losing steam, but she’s not. The presidential candidate’s wife speaks her mind.

By Paul Alexander
But I’m trying to bring a sense of health to the bus, so I’m insisting on other things besides the garbage lying out on the counters there."When, during the course of our conversation, I happen to refer to Cindy McCain as a feminist, she is quick to correct me. "Oh, I’m not a feminist," she asserts. "I am an independent Western woman!" Western women, she says, learn to fend for themselves, and they understand full well that "you never know where life is going to take you." Off and on, a dry desert breeze blows in, catching her hair when it does. Finally, as we look across the way from the terrace, onto Squaw Peak, whose trails helped her grow strong and surefooted again, I end the interview with the obvious question. "Do you want to be first lady?"She stops, as if surprised. She takes a long time to answer. "I don’t know," she says at last. "I’m not trying to dodge the question." Another pause. "I don’t know." she stops again. Then she seems to resolve something in her mind. "If given the opportunity, I would do my absolute very best to do the best job I could." Yet another pause. "I don’t know." One last beat. "You know, I’ve never gotten close to that question, because I don’t want to jinx it."Originally published in MORE magazine, September 2007.

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