How ‘The View’ Became the Most Important Political TV Show in America

How ‘The View’ Became the Most Important Political TV Show in America


On a weekday in March, less than two months before his three-year sentence in federal prison was set to begin, Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, decided to spend one of his final afternoons of freedom having lunch with Joy Behar, the veteran co-host of ABC’s “The View.” The show had approached Cohen about giving her an exclusive TV interview before going to prison, and Cohen had suggested that they meet at Freds, the tony restaurant on the top floor of Barneys, where some of Manhattan’s wealthiest wives have standing reservations.

“All the people were coming up to him saying, ‘Michael, keep strong, blah blah blah,’ ” Behar recalls. “It was like he was the pope.” She had heard that at least two other media personalities, Don Lemon and Donny Deutsch, were also trying to woo Cohen, and she made her pitch for why the daytime all-women panel show invented by Barbara Walters 22 years ago was the best place for him to go. “I said to him, ‘You’ve made this complete role reversal — you’re very apologetic,’ ” Behar told me. She added that she saw an opportunity for him to be seen as a sympathetic character, and “that going on a women’s show, like ours, would help fortify that.”

Cohen quickly told her that if he made a TV appearance, it would be on “The View,” and they ended up staying for almost three hours, spending the remaining 2 hours and 55 minutes just chatting. “He bad-mouthed Trump pretty badly, and I enjoyed that,” Behar recalls. He also went on about Diet Coke, how it was poison, taking her to task for her drink order. “Now I can’t drink Diet Coke because Michael Cohen told me not to,” she says.

In the weeks after their lunch, Cohen texted with Behar regularly. “We had this one conversation, and he was talking and talking and talking, and finally I said, ‘Michael, I have to go to lunch.’ ” Then, on May 1, the day before Cohen’s potential appearance — and five days before he would report to a federal correctional facility in the Hudson Valley — he declined Behar’s invitation. Cohen’s representative says he wanted to spend his remaining time with family; Behar theorized to me that Cohen’s wife talked him out of it, telling him that he had to save “all the juicy stuff” for a book. “I don’t see that he is going to have any money, so he is going to need to make some money, and that’s the one way to do it.”

Whatever the reasons, the snubbing was a surprise. Behar has become the ideal interlocutor for someone like Cohen. “I used to walk around with bookies all over the place,” she told me. “I’m not used to murderers, but I’m used to people who have committed some misdemeanors.” She has landed interviews with people like Michael Avenatti and Anthony Scaramucci. “In Italian, they’d say paisan; from the same shtetl,” she says, adding, “Somehow these kinds of people see me as someone they can talk to.” Scaramucci told me that the day he was fired from his 11-day stint as the White House communications director, he received a call from an unknown number. “That’s usually my mom,” he said. Instead, it was Behar. “She was literally the first person that I spoke to, other than John Kelly, after I got fired.”

Behar, who is 76, grew up in a tenement in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the daughter of a Teamster truck driver and a seamstress, and she still speaks with an outer-borough accent peppered with Yiddish (though she’s Italian-American). When we met in her dressing room at the studios of “The View” on the Upper West Side, it was filled with on-brand tchotchkes: a congressional-hearing-style name plate with “Nasty Woman” emblazoned on it, a Bernie Sanders rag doll replete with white yarn hair. In her two decades on “The View,” Behar, a stand-up comedian who was relatively unknown before the show, has become so recognizable as a liberal voice that it can seem as if barely a week goes by when she’s not the basis for a segment on Fox News’s “Hannity.”

[Read about Rupert Murdoch and Fox News.]

As the only host who has seen the show through almost its entire run, Behar recognizes, perhaps better than anyone, how the perception of the “The View” has changed, particularly among politicians. That even Republicans subject themselves to the panelists’ questioning suggests how central the “The View” has become to the national political conversation. “They thought we were a bunch of ladies who lunch,” Behar says. “Now they come on because we’re influential.”

The same month that Behar had lunch with Cohen, Beto O’Rourke announced that he was running for president and fielded questions from a crowd at a sandwich shop in Fort Madison, Iowa. “Now that you’re running, have you considered being on that talk show, ‘The View’?” a woman asked him. “Is that something you watch?” O’Rourke asked. “Oh, yes,” the woman responded, without hesitation, “because those women, they get down to the questions, and everyone knows what’s going on after they’re on.”

During one of my first visits to the set of “The View” in February, I was navigating a maze of office cubicles and stairwells when I stumbled upon a scrum of people, their iPhones hoisted high in the air. After a few seconds of straining, I was able make out the source of all the fuss: Senator Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat who announced he was running for president that morning and had wrapped an appearance on the show 30 minutes earlier, his first TV interview since declaring. That week, the show had already hosted the former Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., who would return for a second appearance two months later. “It’s raining candidates here on ‘The View,’ ” the show’s moderator, Whoopi Goldberg, told the audience shortly before introducing Booker.

By the time I made it to the show’s offices, a handful of staff members were gathered in the doorway of one of the hosts’ dressing rooms, crowing over the fact that CNN had already run a clip of the Booker interview. The host Meghan McCain, referring to a “Saturday Night Live” parody that depicted Booker feigning outrage for the cameras at the confirmation hearing for Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, pointedly asked him: “How do you convince people, especially on the left, that you’re authentic and that you’re not a phony?” One of the producers joined the huddle from a room next door: “Meghan was just in the other room like, ‘I don’t know — was I O.K.?’ ”

“The View” has hosted politicians almost since its start, but until recently it was not taken seriously by them. When Barack Obama went on the show in 2010, making history as the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show, Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, blasted the decision by saying there “should be a little bit of dignity to the presidency.” In the past few years, however, “The View” has become a place where Democrats and Republicans alike go to introduce themselves to a national audience, an essential campaign stop. Twelve of the 26 people who have announced that they are running for president in 2020 have already been on the show, with one more, Senator Elizabeth Warren, already scheduled. Although ratings for “The View” are up — last season’s were its highest in four years, and it now averages a respectable three million viewers an episode — the numbers aren’t high enough to explain why politicians consider the show an essential stop.

“The View” has become an influential political talk show because it isn’t one. The panelists — Goldberg; Behar; McCain; Sunny Hostin, an analyst and the senior legal correspondent for ABC; and Abby Huntsman, daughter of the ambassador to Russia and former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr.; along with the former Republican political strategist Ana Navarro, who appears at least once a week — are invited into viewers’ homes every day for an hour, and in between interviewing candidates about the distinction between socialism and democratic socialism, they share intimate details of their lives: how many times a week they step on a scale, how long it was until they slept with someone else after their divorces.

The show also has an off-the-cuff-ness that the panelists and producers take seriously — part of what they know viewers tune in to see. Each episode begins with the “hot topics” segment, during which the panelists discuss everything from the Green New Deal to a breaking news event to whether it’s tacky to have a cash bar at a wedding. This is the part of the show where some of the most heated arguments can occur. Hosts arrive every day at the studio at 8:30 a.m. to whittle a list of up to 60 hot topics down to five or so. One of the chief rules, a holdover from Walters’s days, is that they assess a given topic only superficially and save their reactions for the show.

“The View” isn’t the only show on TV that fuses entertainment with news and thrives off its ability to be unrehearsed. There’s MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” which could be described as what you might imagine “Meet the Press” is like during commercial breaks, and HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” which has an after-hours feel befitting its Friday at 10 p.m. time slot. But what sets “The View” apart is this fascination with the hosts that audiences don’t have with, say, Mika Brzezinski. Viewers notice each eye roll from McCain while Behar speaks, each time Hostin clenches her jaw. Now that reality TV has become comedically scripted, “The View” remains one of the few places on TV where audiences can watch authentic human drama.

Lis Smith, the campaign manager for Buttigieg, whose January appearance on the show Smith credited with helping make him a top-tier presidential candidate, explained that the show’s format “serves as a sort of focus group, with the hosts coming from different professional backgrounds. When Pete was able to win them all over, it helped demonstrate his broad appeal with voters — even those that may disagree with him.”

“If you’re confident in your personality, you can go on there and have good banter with them,” says Chris Christie, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, whose January appearance to hawk his new book was the highest-rated episode of the season so far. “You can be both serious and funny.” He continued, “Now, also, they don’t pull many punches, so if you’re not good on your feet in terms of being able to respond and react quickly and appropriately, it’s a dangerous place to be, because you can be made a fool of pretty quickly, too.”

Hillary Clinton was on the show only once during the last presidential campaign — “a mistake,” Behar told me. Regular appearances, Behar thinks, would have helped voters see a more human side of Clinton. “Her people who kept her away from this show should have been fired,” Behar says. During her interview in April 2016, Clinton discussed her email scandal, Trump and how decades in the public eye forced her to develop a thick skin. (“Anybody who’s interested, I have great creams for it,” she deadpanned.) It wasn’t a goofy interview, like the cringe-worthy clip of her dabbing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” but it showed a relaxed side of a candidate who was often criticized for being too stiff. On “The View,” Behar says, “Americans saw the lovely person I know — the laughing, happy, gregarious grandma that she is, in addition to being so smart. They didn’t see it on other shows.”

[Read more about Ellen DeGeneres.]

Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, a Democrat who announced that he was running for president on the show, told me that he chose “The View,” in part, because he wanted to reach “Republican women who maybe aren’t enamored with Trump but are still conservative.” He added: “I think if we’re going to win this election, we’ve got to be able to appeal to a lot of the electorate, and you’ve got to be in the room, having those conversations and taking those questions from the Meghan McCains of the world” — a reference to the show’s most vocal conservative host. Christie told me: “It’s a pretty persuadable audience.”

The actual breakdown of the show’s audience suggests that it’s liberal. According to the consumer-intelligence company MRI-Simmons, almost 65 percent of its viewers who are registered to vote are Democrats, and only 12.6 percent are Republicans. But “The View” is removed from the increasingly partisan fray of cable news, which attracts viewers who are political junkies; it offers the tantalizing promise of reaching the unconverted. Julián Castro, who served as secretary of housing and urban development under Obama, appeared on the show shortly after announcing his candidacy for president because he wanted to reach “people that maybe don’t necessarily always follow politics,” noting that “political news channels are one segment only.”

In the past, when a male politician went on the show, he would often make a joke about being there because his wife watched. (When Obama made his appearance in 2010, he said he did so because he wanted to go on a show that “Michelle actually watched.”) Their comments may have been textbook benevolent sexism, but they were also noting an important factor: 72 percent of its audience is female. (Michelle Obama was, in fact, a huge fan.) It’s a women’s show that, since its debut, women have been invested in, with hosts viewers identify with. When Tim Ryan described the people he was trying to reach as the “Meghan McCains of the world,” he seemed to be picking up on that very element of the show.

In late April, former Vice President Joe Biden visited “The View” for his first interview since announcing that he was running for president the previous day. It was his seventh appearance on the show, but his performance suggested that he still underestimated the panelists — and demonstrated the uncanny ability of “The View” to reveal truths about its guests. He had two issues — his treatment of Anita Hill during the confirmation hearing for Justice Clarence Thomas and the claims of inappropriate touching of women — that he had to address with women. Yet when asked about Hill, he seemed unprepared to adequately respond to the concerns. “I’m sorry she was treated the way she was treated,” he said. “I wish we could have figured out a better way to get this thing done.” Behar gave him the opening for a do-over: “I think what she wants you to say is, ‘I’m sorry for the way I treated you,’ not ‘for the way you were treated.’ ” But with Behar all but feeding him the answer many viewers would have found satisfying, Biden still resisted. “Well, but I’m sorry for the way she got treated,” he said. “I don’t think I treated her badly.”

“The View” premiered in 1997, the brainchild of Barbara Walters and her producing partner, Bill Geddie. “I’ve always wanted to do a show with women of different generations, backgrounds and views,” Walters explained in the opening credits. “This is that show.” While talking to her daughter, Jackie, Walters was struck by how differently they saw the world. “The View” would be a place where women could hash out those differences, which Walters believed were generational. In the debut episode, panelists discussed whether the name John Kennedy made them think of the president or his son.

The cast was a group of relative unknowns, assembled to type. The recent N.Y.U. graduate Debbie Matenopoulos represented Gen X; Meredith Vieira, the show’s moderator, was the working mother in her 40s. And while it was practically unheard-of for someone with Walters’s journalistic gravitas to lower herself to daytime TV, Walters didn’t want the result to be pedantic. The show’s shabby-chic set could have been the living room of a seventh Friend, and guests included experts peddling advice on “the three things you need to know to get a man’s attention” in front of a live audience. But the fact that the show featured any substantive discourse at all was enough to make it revolutionary. A review in The New York Times observed that the show “dares to assume that women, even those watching at home in the morning, have minds of their own.”

The show changed when the comedian Rosie O’Donnell replaced Vieira as moderator in 2006. On O’Donnell’s watch, the set was replaced with a sleek frosted-glass table and stools — more solicitous of serious debate — and the scope of the show’s topics broadened. That season, the war in Iraq was the basis for frequent head-butting, none more memorable than a fight between O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck — a 29-year-old devout Christian and conservative and the wife of the NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, who joined the show in 2003.

The dispute was raw and personal, like being a fly on the wall at someone’s Thanksgiving table. It combined the voyeuristic appeal of reality TV with pressing political discourse. “Do not call me a coward, Rosie,” Hasselbeck seethed at one point, with betrayal in her voice. It became so bitter that producers resorted to a split-screen camera device. Unlike, say, Wolf Blitzer, these women were characters whom viewers were invested in, whose emotions on the subject mirrored their own. By the end of the segment, it was clear that there was a more urgent divide in the country than the generational one: conservative versus liberal, and “The View,” however accidentally, was perfectly designed to explore it. O’Donnell quit after that episode wrapped and didn’t finish the season. But the show thrived as the 2008 election drew closer, with Sarah Palin providing no shortage of hot-topics material.

But during the Obama years, when liberals had less to complain about and Palin’s red-state populism seemed less concerning, the show lost its footing. By early 2015, it was a mess. Walters had retired, Geddie had left and the panel, which for years featured mostly the same people, underwent a string of changes that left notoriously change-averse daytime audiences disoriented. Behar, the last original panelist, was let go in 2013. “The View” once thrived on its mix of seriousness and fluff but now seemed encumbered by it. CBS’s “The Talk,” an imitation so shameless that it even copied its rival’s table, began to beat “The View” in the ratings.

That year, during the summer hiatus for “The View,” ABC News executives, who folded the show into its department in 2014, brought in as a consultant Hilary Estey McLoughlin, whose work on “Judge Judy” and “Ellen” had earned her a reputation within the industry for having a Midas touch with daytime TV. With less than five weeks until the start of a new season, the show hired the executive producers Brian Teta of “The Late Show With David Letterman” and Candi Carter of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and rehired Behar. It was a counterintuitive choice in an industry so focused on the new, but Estey McLoughlin was certain Behar would help the show find its way back into the zeitgeist.

During the first week of the 2015 season, in September, Donald Trump called in from the campaign trail. A close friend of Walters’s, he had appeared on the show 18 times before his latest foray into politics. But now he was a contender for the Republican nomination, and the hosts seemed unsure about how to approach him. As they discussed his promises of a hard-line immigration policy, the panelists waffled between ribbing — what would he do about supermodels illegally in the country? — and anger. “Not all Mexican immigrants are murderers and rapists — I just want to straighten that out,” Goldberg shouted. (Trump has since refused to return to the show.)

Ratings immediately shot up. Veteran members of the staff — nine have been there since the very first episode — were skeptical that the momentum would last. “They would kind of tap me on the shoulder: ‘This always happens in an election year,’ ” Teta recalls. “ ‘Don’t think it’s not going to dip down.’ ” But the ratings stayed high, thanks to subsequent political bookings and hot topics about the Republican presidential primaries and Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour congressional testimony about the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.

In some ways, producers continue to feel their way through the show’s identity. There are still cooking segments and interviews with actresses. But politics now makes up about 60 percent of the show’s airtime. “It’s a little bit of a left turn for people,” Estey McLoughlin told me. “It’s not something that’s really been part of the fabric of daytime.”

The show’s position in ABC’s news division, meanwhile, has given the panelists, in particular McCain, greater exposure through appearances on sister-network news shows like “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” In February, Huntsman sat down with Ivanka Trump in an exclusive interview for ABC News, notable for the first daughter’s untrue claim that she didn’t get any preferential treatment when obtaining security clearances for herself and her husband, Jared Kushner.

Estey McLoughlin got the confirmation she needed that they were on the right track when a “very senior official” in the White House emailed them during the broadcast. Sometimes, she said, senior officials bypass the producers altogether, texting hosts directly during commercial breaks. (Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s top aides, said White House officials are not watching in real time — “It’s on at an odd time,” she said of its 11 a.m. airing.)

The former White House communications aide Cliff Sims, who went on the show in January to promote “Team of Vipers,” his tell-all memoir of his time in the Trump administration, told me: “When you work in the White House, there are TVs playing all day on CNN, Fox, MSNBC and Fox Business. At other points, maybe CNBC gets looped in there, if there’s something going on with the markets. You have this monotonous loop of cable television just going all day, and that loop would be broken when someone political was going on ‘The View.’ ”

Elisabeth Hasselbeck left “The View” for Fox News in 2013. The show hadn’t had a conservative panelist before her; now producers knew it could not remain relevant without one. Replacements cycled in and out quickly, none making a lasting impression. Part of the problem was that, as the biggest stars on the show, Goldberg and Behar could also easily overpower other panelists, and a strong personality was needed. Candace Cameron Bure, a soft-spoken creationist, was so extreme that debate was fruitless. Nicolle Wallace, the former Bush administration communications chief, resisted arguing with her co-hosts.

Meghan McCain, with her blunt delivery and marquee name, had been on the producers’ radar for a while. After working on her father’s 2008 presidential campaign, she began to develop a public profile of her own as a young face of the Republican Party. She was against abortion and supported the Second Amendment and smaller government. But she also hated Trump, mostly out of loyalty to her father (it’s difficult to like a man who calls your father a “dummy” on Twitter). After such an acrimonious election, it was hard to imagine Behar sitting across from a Trump enthusiast without every episode devolving into a screaming match, but McCain was one of the few conservatives who could speak to Trump voters without actually being one herself.

Estey McLoughlin and her predecessors had discussions with McCain about becoming a panelist more than once, but when the show approached her in the summer of 2017, its popularity was rising and the offer was finally appealing. She joined “The View” that October, having decamped from her gig at Fox News, where she was a host on “Outnumbered,” a daytime talk show featuring four conservative women and “one lucky guy.”

I first met McCain, who is 34, in her dressing room, a tiny space decorated with a rustic wooden American flag and a framed picture of a shirtless Paul Ryan (her pick for Sexiest Man Alive), a gift from Behar. She had changed out of her on-air outfit, a red power pantsuit and stilettos, into something black and stretchy with sneakers, and I was struck by just how small she is: a little over five feet. McCain accepted the offer from “The View” for several reasons, she told me. Her father, who was friends with Goldberg, thought the opportunity to appeal to a broader audience than Fox was too good an offer to pass up. And the show’s increasing political coverage was also a draw. “The Trump years make everything more heated and more intense,” McCain said. “I am not here to do cooking segments.”

There’s no question that McCain has played a large part in the show’s recent relevance. From the start, her sparring with Behar at the hot-topics table trended on social media. Her questions during interviews — she’s often the most combative questioner — are regularly picked up on cable news. This January, just a few days before the 2019 Women’s March, McCain pressed the march’s co-president Tamika Mallory on praising Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam, who has a history of making anti-Semitic statements. Their exchange went viral, and less than 24 hours after the credits rolled, the Democratic National Committee was abruptly removed from the list of sponsors on the march’s website.

Teta, who lives in a fairly conservative town on Long Island, said he has “heard from a lot of people there that they watch the show now, and they didn’t before, because Meghan’s there.” There are also the hate-watchers: Just as Behar has a knack for making pronouncements that seem perfectly engineered to make Tucker Carlson want to tear his hair out, McCain presses buttons for a certain kind of liberal who finds her views the apotheosis of white privilege — as does her tendency to lose her composure or name-drop her father. On YouTube, there are pages and pages of videos with titles like “Meghan McCain MELTS DOWN Over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez”; “Meghan McCain Breaks Down ‘Crying’ After Getting Smacked Down”; “Meghan McCain Being a Brat on ‘The View’ (Part 1).” It’s a role she seems to relish. “I think some people feel the pressure, not just here but on TV in general, when they’re Republicans in front of a liberal audience, to not be the big bad Republican,” she told me. “And I don’t care. I should care more, but it’s more important to me to be true to myself.”

Last month, on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” McCain discussed the synagogue attack in Poway, Calif., in which a white nationalist shot several congregants. “When we’re having conversations about anti-Semitism, we should be looking at the most extreme on both sides,” she said, and then went on to cite Representative Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israel as an example. Less than two weeks later, even as death threats against Omar were mounting, McCain appeared on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and told him, “I stand by every single thing I’ve said, and if that makes me unpopular in this room or in front of you, so be it.”

But McCain has also acquired unlikely fans. Stormy Daniels, whose appearance on “The View” in April 2018 — in which she revealed a sketch of the man she believes threatened her on behalf of Trump — drew 3.3 million viewers, told me in a statement: “She probably earned more respect from me than any other person that interviewed me.” McCain, she explained, made points that producers had asked the host not to bring up but that Daniels thought were “completely valid.” (“It seems like a publicity stunt on some level,” McCain told Daniels. “It does seem like you’re benefiting a lot. I mean, you’ve gone on your Make America Horny Again tour. I’m sure you’re making a lot of money.”) McCain, Daniels said, “allowed me the opportunity to answer, and she listened — open-minded, openhearted — and really understood what I was saying.”

In December, during a segment about the death of President George Bush, Behar praised him for his work on environmental issues. “This president that we have now is trying to unravel everything that he did and Obama did,” Behar began. McCain cut her off — she was sick of talking about Trump. “Excuse me a second,” Behar shot back. “I’m talking.” Goldberg immediately went to commercial, but not before the camera picked up Behar shouting, “Dammit, my God!” as she threw her cards on the table.

Until this point, McCain and Behar had disagreed, fervently, passionately at times — but this was new territory: vintage “View” fighting. It hasn’t stopped since: When McCain told Behar, “Part of your job is to listen to me” and then dramatically flipped her hair, “Saturday Night Live” turned it into a sketch. A few weeks later, when the panel was interviewing Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, and Behar began opining about Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, McCain sharply interrupted: “If you don’t mind, I’m more interested in what Senator Lee has to say on this.” Audio picked up Behar, then off camera, snickering.

The onscreen confrontations and salacious rumors about offscreen intrigue — panelists screaming and crying backstage, hosts and producers needing to be physically separated — have always been central to the show’s appeal. At times, the drama between hosts eclipsed interest in what was happening on air. A few years after an original panelist, Star Jones, announced her departure live on air, she published “Satan’s Sisters,” a thinly veiled roman à clef about “The Lunch Club,” “the venerable daytime talk show where back-stabbing and bridge-burning are as common as cheating celebrity husbands and botched Botox.” This spring, “Ladies Who Punch,” a tell-all about the show’s infighting by Ramin Setoodeh, became a best seller; in less than two months, it is already on its third printing.

The political interviews have always meant to be a respite from all this, but they work so well — are more riveting than elsewhere on TV — in part because there’s always the chance that the tension among the hosts will bleed into them. Christie told me that politicians like the combativeness among the panelists; the fights lead to more interest from viewers, and “people want to go to places where they are going to be seen when they are running for president.”

Amid ridicule for the Vanity Fair cover profile in which he announced his presidential candidacy, Beto O’Rourke needed people to see him as a different sort of candidate, one not so out of touch. Two months after the woman asked him about “The View” in the Iowa sandwich shop, he finally went on the show in May. “B., we haven’t always agreed with some of the aspects of your campaign,” Goldberg said as he arrived onstage. As the women frowned at him, O’Rourke stared into his lap, looking like a kid who had been called into the principal’s office. He expressed contrition for a comment he made that suggested he left his wife with a majority of the child rearing while he was on the campaign trail. “I have a lot to learn, and still am,” he said. And, as if to make amends, “I cannot tell you how many times I was asked to find a way to get on ‘The View.’ ”

Amanda FitzSimons is a writer based in Brooklyn. She is a former editor at Elle magazine and has written for New York magazine, Glamour and Teen Vogue. This is her first article for the magazine.

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