HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Jumping on her backyard trampoline is where 16-year-old Madeleine McAulay often finds inspiration for her political blog, www.FaithHopeandPolitics.com. She started it about a year ago. The teen describes herself as a Christian conservative. She's blogged about student loan debt, socialism, her political endorsements and most recently, Amendment One. That post was viewed nearly 2,000 times and met with both support and unmitigated attacks. McAulay says, "Every time I get something, my skin grows a little thicker."
Her inspiration, she says, is Sarah Palin. And recently, the political rock star showed some mutual admiration by following the teen on Twitter. "All of a sudden it popped up in my news feed that she followed me and that was very exciting," she says.
"I think she really was inspired by Sarah and her run," says the teen's father, Beard McAulay. Neither he nor his wife Pam are as politically active as their daughter. Mom monitors the teen's social media accounts. Dad encourages her competitive spirit. He says, "I don't really care to talk politics with anyone, especially if I disagree with them, so I'm proud of her for being able to say what she thinks."
She does say what she thinks, even regularly tweeting with FOX News Channel's Sean Hannity. The teen says, "Whenever he's done a show and I watch, I always give him my thoughts on it."
It's easy to forget the articulate teen is just that, a teen. But when she needs to disconnect from the weighty issues in the world of politics, she's always got that trampoline. And when the time comes, she'll jump at the chance to head to the polls. She says, "I can't wait to finally cast my first vote!"
McAulay says she goes back and forth on one day running for office. You can follow her on Twitter at @m_mcaulay.