As the host of the newly-revived public affairs program Firing Line, Margaret Hoover is bringing a fresh spin to American political debate. Following in the footsteps of Firing Line‘s first host, legendary conservative thinker William F. Buckley, is a daunting task for almost anyone. But in the words of her recent guest Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Hoover “brings her own self and style, yet is true to Buckley’s legacy of rigorous exploration of political thought.”
One reason why Hoover is a perfect person to carry on Buckley’s legacy is her ability to engage intellectually but respectfully with those she does not agree with. This ability is nothing new – she has been engaging with (and even getting engaged to) people with different political beliefs for many years.
As a member of one of America’s great political families (she is the great-granddaughter of the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover), Margaret Hoover grew up immersed in Republican Party values. When she met and fell in love with fellow-journalist John Avlon, who held some very different political values to her own, spending time with a Democrat took some getting used to.
“In the Hoover house, Democrat was a bad word,” she told Oprah.com. “When something broke, my mom would say ‘It went Democrat on us.’ So at first, whenever John said anything that wasn’t pro–Republican Party, I took it as an attack on me and all that the Hoovers stood for.”
She went on to explain that during the 2008 election, particularly when it came to discussing Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, they had many heated debates. Ultimately, the couple found a way through the impasse. “I couldn’t let his choice of candidate cheat me out of marrying the love of my life,” she said. “When we got married, I designated our bedroom a demilitarized zone, where cuddling would always trump politics.”
Besides marrying a Democrat, Hoover also defies the conventional conservative stereotype through her vocal support for gay and lesbian rights. She serves as the head of the American Unity Fund, a group that advances #LGBTQ issues within the conservative movement. And in January 2011, she testified before the Maryland State Senate in favor of gay marriage and was described by Advocate magazine as “exactly the brand of straight ally we need right now”.
Add to that a glowing testimonial from Cynthia Nixon, one-time Sex and the City star and current Democratic gubernatorial candidate in New York. Nixon said that Hoover “appeals to the pragmatism of the millennial generation, she believes constitutionally guaranteed rights ought to transcend left versus right, and Democrat versus Republican, and she does so with savvy, skill and style.”
Roaring recognition indeed. As Hoover continues to challenge beliefs and encourage debate, we can’t help but notice her elegant style prowess as well. Here are some of our favorites:
One is the new face of modern conservative political commentary, the other the new face of progressive politics. Hoover captioned this picture thanking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her “honesty, authenticity, & willingness to engage in a respectful exchange of ideas” as a guest on her show. And what a fine pairing they make. Ocasio-Cortez is sleek and professional in a navy blue shift dress while Hoover dons a form-fitting V-necked style in dark cyan.
Tables turned on Margaret Hoover
You’d be forgiven for mistaking Margaret Hoover for a Hollywood style maker in this on-trend ensemble. The usually demure TV host swapped her normal shift dresses for a textured pants suit adorned in delicate white appliqué. The occasion more than warranted it though – an appearance as a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Hoover poses here with Meghan McCain, her “political soul sister” as Hoover calls her. The pair forms a stylish couple – McCain in a skintight turquoise wrap dress and Hoover dressed in elegant bright red lace.
Hoover pulls a cheeky pose alongside her husband with the pair of them looking every bit the fashionable duo. In a dark suit and red patterned tie, husband John Avlon matches perfectly with Margaret Hoover’s long-sleeved red and black floral mini dress.
As the member of a political dynasty, Hoover knows the importance of making friends and influencing people in Iowa! Here she is with Iowa TV anchor Ron Steele. Her outfit choice for the event has a cheerful note to it – a beautifully structured floral dress of pale blue and green.