PHOENIX (AP) — John McCain's daughter says in a new book released Tuesday that Sarah Palin brought drama, stress and uncertainty to her father's failed bid for the presidency in 2008, but she doesn't blame the vice presidential nominee for losing the race.
In "Dirty Sexy Politics," Meghan McCain portrays conflicted feelings about her father's surprise choice for a running mate. She reveals that she called Palin "the Time Bomb."
"I was waiting for her to explode," McCain wrote. "There was a fine line between genius and insanity, they say, and choosing her as the running mate was starting to seem like the definition of that line."
But McCain also praises the Palins as "nice and down-to-Earth" and says she was impressed with Palin's ability to captivate and inspire women.
In the end, she writes, her father lost because "Obama was unbeatable" — the electorate and the news media were too enamored with a fresh new face who represented a monumental change from then-President George W. Bush.
McCain, 25, lives in Phoenix and is the oldest of John and Cindy McCain's four adult children. John McCain also has three children from his first marriage.
In her book, released by Hyperion, Meghan McCain shows an itch to adopt her father's persona as a "maverick" delivering "straight talk."
She calls religious conservatives the "intolerant far right," evoking her father's famous remark a decade ago that GOP religious leaders were "agents of intolerance." The elder McCain has since backed off from those statements.
Meghan McCain chronicles her struggle to fit in with the Republican Party, and she challenges the party to focus on promoting individual liberties while being more inclusive.
"Being Republican is not a lifestyle choice," she writes. "And it doesn't mean you can't be young, or gay, or black, or anything else."
John McCain said he was proud of his daughter and enjoyed the book.
"Reality is that we don't agree on every issue, but that makes it even more interesting conversation around the dinner table," he told The Associated Press on Tuesday.