I am really excited about this week’s interview because it combines my two passions: conservative politics and reality TV. Sean Duffy and Rachel Campos-Duffy are both MTV’s “Real World” alums, but more importantly, committed conservatives.
“Real World: San Francisco” (1994) was memorable to fans for several reasons (namely, Pedro and Puck), but I remember it because it was the first time I saw a young Republican woman stick up for her beliefs on MTV (or any pop culture show for that matter). Rachel Campos was cool, conservative, open-minded and liked “bad boys.” She was the role model I had been waiting for.
Sean Duffy was part of the “Real World: Boston” (1997) cast. He was also billed as “the conservative” though the Boston season was less drama-ridden than San Francisco.
A year later, both Rachel and Sean participated in “Road Rules: All-Stars” (1998), which brought together past “Real World” cast members for a Winnebago trip through New Zealand. Sean and Rachel fell in love.
In 1999, they married and moved to his home state of Wisconsin. Rather than become serial MTV cast members, they chose to raise six beautiful children and work for causes they believe in. Rachel is a stay-at-home mother, television host, blogger, columnist for ParentDish.com and author of Stay Home, Stay Happy: 10 Secrets to Loving At-Home Motherhood. She writes that the key to success is being a “resourceful mom” not a “martyr.” As I have often said, today’s women owe more to tech gurus than radical feminists. Thanks to the versatility of telecommuting, women no longer have to choose between being a stay-at-home mom and earning an income.
In 2002, Sean was appointed district attorney in Ashland County and elected again in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008. In 2009, he announced that he would be challenging retiring Rep. Dave Obey in Wisconsin’s 7th District. Given that Obey’s American Conservative Union rating is a dismal four out of 100, Wisconsin voters now have an opportunity to send a message to Congress and the Obama Administration that Americans will no longer tolerate representatives who ignore them.
In November, conservative Sean Duffy is poised to win in a district that has been held by a Democrat for nearly 40 years. Welcome to the real world, liberals!
1. If there were a television channel that only showed one movie over and over, what movie should it be?
SEAN: Old School [Note: Rachel says it’s really Dirty Dancing.]
2. What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?
RACHEL: “You’re a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie. What would you be doing if you weren’t out making yourself a better citizen?”—Breakfast Club
SEAN: “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”—Dirty Dancing
3. In A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell is strapped in with his eyes propped open and forced to watch images until he was “cured.” If you could give President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Harry Reid the “Clockwork Orange treatment,” what movie would you make them watch?
RACHEL: The Passion of the Christ
SEAN: Young Guns
4. What pop culture souvenir do you own that people would be surprised to learn that you cherish?
RACHEL: A signed, framed headshot from Brady Bunch mom, Florence Henderson, to my six kids. She signed it “To the Duffy Bunch”. (Florence and I worked together on a show for Lifetime Television)
SEAN: None, but I hear Ted Nugent is coming to Northern Wisconsin this summer for a couple shows and I’d really like to get a picture with him.
5. What’s your current “guilty pleasure” non-news television show?
RACHEL: Oh, that’s a no-brainer. Bravo’s “The Real Housewives”—especially those awful New Jersey wives.
SEAN: Until it ended, “24.” Now it’s “Forensic Files.”
6. Which movie, television or rock star would cause you to lose your ability to speak if you ever met?
RACHEL: Jon Bon Jovi
SEAN: Penelope Cruz
7. What was the first rock concert you ever attended and where did you sit and who went with you?
RACHEL: U2. Sun Devil Stadium. We didn’t have good seats, but I was in high school and got to go with my college-aged brothers and their friends and I thought I was sooooo cool hanging out with college guys and walking around ASU campus.
SEAN: Poison. The DECC Arena in Duluth, Minn. Stood on the floor and went with my high school buddies.
8. Many have said that Washington, D.C., is like Hollywood for ugly people. How do you think D.C. is like Hollywood? How is it different?
RACHEL: In exchange for money and power, there’s no shortage of women willing to sleep with old, balding, fat guys. How is it different? More and bigger breast implants.
SEAN: Everyone wants to be on TV. How is it different? D.C. has a few conservatives.
9. What books were on your summer reading list?
RACHEL: Stay Home, Stay Happy: 10 Secrets to Loving At-Home Motherhood (by Rachel Campos Duffy).
SEAN: The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes.
10. What’s the coolest thing you’ve been able to do because of your role in the political arena?
RACHEL: Meet President Bush at the White House and attend Pope Benedict’s Welcoming Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House.
SEAN: Meet Bill Bennett
11. What question do you wish reporters would ask you? What’s your answer to that question?
RACHEL: Q. Can you tell me about your kids? A. How much time do you have? (all six of them are the funniest, most interesting people I know).
SEAN: Q. How did you land such an awesome wife? A. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena.
RACHEL: My sister and I graduated from Arizona State University where she was president and I was secretary of the College Republicans.
SEAN: When Rep. Dave Obey and the Democrats in Congress passed the nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill.