Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Mrs. Duffy goes to Washington, too


Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review interviewed Rachel Campos-Duffy, the wife of congressional candidate Sean Duffy and a former star of MTV-TV’s The Real World, about her book on motherhood. A Hollywood refugee, Campos-Duffy talked about life away from the lights and glitter:

LOPEZ: You were on a totally different track — Los Angeles and glamour. How did you wind up in Wisconsin and Walmart, and when did you realize you were happy with that life?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: I have MTV to thank for that. Only on The Real World would a conservative Latina from Arizona meet an Irish-American lumberjack attorney from rural Wisconsin. We fell in love and married while I was auditioning for The View. The deal we made was if I got the job, we’d move to New York City. If I didn’t, I would move to Hayward, Wisconsin, his hometown. I didn’t get the job, and I moved from Beverly Hills to rural Wisconsin. I have fallen in love with the people of Wisconsin for the same reasons I fell in love with Sean. They are kind, unassuming, good-natured, and honest. In a nutshell — so not L.A. There is truly no better place to raise kids. As for Wal-Mart, well, I’m not above admitting that most of my date nights with Sean end with a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up diapers and anything else I need. Shopping sans kids is a luxury for me these days!

She also talked about staying at home while her husband is out running for Congress:

LOPEZ: Your husband, Sean, is running for Congress. How can that possibly work with six children?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: It’s very tough, and there have been some serious sacrifices. Sean’s a very hands-on dad, and the kids miss him a lot. Sean hits the trail by himself so I can stay home and try to keep things as normal as possible for the kids. In many ways I’m operating like a single mom, and I’ve gained a new respect for at-home moms. . . . Parenting is definitely meant to be a two-person job, and I believe I’m a better parent when he’s around. I hope that as the weather gets warmer, we’ll be able to do more events together as a family. Right now, the kids are looking forward to parade season this summer. I figure they’ll either start to enjoy the campaign more, or they’ll start to hate parades.

And how their time on The Real World has affected the campaign:

LOPEZ: Have you found conservatives reticent to embrace you, your book, your husband, because of the Real World history?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: Conservatives who react negatively to The Real World probably never saw our episodes. Sean and I were cast as the “conservatives” on the show. Sean has taken a few hits for it, but by and large, it’s been a positive. When you are on a reality show, it’s a different kind of celebrity than, say, an actor has. If you were on reality TV, people feel like they really know you, and in some ways, they do. Often, they’ve seen your hometown, your family, and your best and worst moments. It’s very humanizing.

When I was promoting my book, I had no problem getting booked on The View, Dr. Phil, and many mainstream-media outlets. The mommy-blogger world was a different story. My publicist had a hard getting them to review my book because my conservative views apparently offended many of them. A lot of them refused. It really surprised me.

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