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McCain will serve as the show’s primary conservative voice, replacing Jedediah Bila, who abruptly departed on Sept. 18. Elisabeth Hasselbeck also once filled the role that McCain is taking on. (The exact chain of events that led to Bila’s departure and McCain’s hiring is still largely unclear.)
“It’s such an iconic show, and it’s so iconic specifically sitting in this chair that Elisabeth made so great,” McCain said upon joining the set. “To be the conservative on this show is something that I take very seriously, and I’m excited to bring a different perspective to the show.” Speaking to co-host Joy Behar, McCain said, “I don’t think we’re going to agree on anything, Joy, but I’m really excited.”
McCain has appeared before on the show, including an appearance when she was only 23 — she’s now 33. She complimented her new colleague Whoopi Goldberg and called her “the mentor and the First Lady of ‘The View.'” McCain said that Goldberg has reached out to her in the past, and that she spoke with Goldberg off-the-record before agreeing to take on the job.
McCain is the daughter of Arizona Sen. John McCain, and has had a fairly high profile in media since her father unsuccessfully ran for president back in the late 2000s. She’s also had a few stints as a television host and resigned her position as a Fox News contributor to take on the new job at ABC.
McCain said her parents encouraged her to take the job. “Watching @MeghanMcCain’s first day on @TheView @ABC – we are very proud!” Sen. McCain wrote on Twitter.
Speaking to McCain’s parents, Goldberg said, “We got her. … She’s in good hands here.”
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