For nearly four years, former Fox News contributor and famed political offspring Meghan McCain has served as a polarizing pillar of conservativism on ABC's morning show The View, often trading headline-making barbs with equally polarizing co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg. And while she's talked non-specifically about potentially exiting the high-rated chat show one day, it appears she's been contemplating that decision pretty heavily as of late, as McCain announced at the top of this morning's episode that she'll be leaving The View in the near future.

It appears that Meghan McCain's home life, which was obviously affected by the COVID pandemic, is now taking more of a prioritized front seat, and she wants to continue raising her and husband Ben Domenech's young daughter via their current living conditions in Washington D.C., rather than moving back to New York City to keep taping The View in-studio. Here's how McCain explained things:

So I'm just going to rip the Band-Aid off. I'm here to tell all of you, my wonderful co-hosts and the viewers at home, that this is going to be my last season here at The View, I will be here through the end of July to finish out the season with all of you, which I am grateful for. This was not an easy decision. It took a lot of thought and counsel and prayer and talking to my family and my close friends. Look, COVID has changed the world for all of us, and it changed the way - at least for me - the way I am looking at life, the way I'm living my life, the way I want my life to look like. When I said goodbye to all of you in the studio over a year and a half ago, I had just found out I was pregnant. I left the city very quickly because my OB GYN wanted me to leave, because he wasn't sure about how COVID could possibly impact pregnant women. I came to the DC area which is where my husband and I split time, and it's where I grew up splitting time. And we have this incredible life here. We're surrounded by my family, by his family by friends, by this incredible support unit. And I think as any new mom knows, when I think about where I want to have her first steps and her first words, I just have this really wonderful life here that, ultimately, I felt like I didn't want to leave.

While news of Meghan McCain's exit is no doubt highly shocking to many viewers and fans, considering heavy rumors only started circulating in the hours ahead of her big announcement, at least everyone can take comfort in knowing she'll still be there for another month to rattle Whoopi Goldberg's nerves and speak her mind on any big moments happening in America (and around the world). While she didn't give an exact date for her final episode, it can be assumed that she'll say farewell at some point during the final week of July.

Of course, Meghan McCain also took the time to reflect on her time at The View, donning some rose-colored glasses in looking back at four years opposite her co-hosts, and gave more props to her father John McCain for convincing her to take the gig. In her words:

On a professional note, this show is one of the hands-down greatest the most exhilarating, wonderful privileges of my entire life. I have had so many amazing experiences in my life and this is definitely one of the top. It is a privilege to work alongside such strong brilliant intelligent and credible broadcasters, like the four of you. You are the most talented women on all the television, hands down, and it has been so incredible to be able to do this with you. Before I came on to the show, I didn't want to join the show, as I think I've talked about in the past. It was my dad who encouraged me to do it. He said that I could never give up an opportunity to work on such an iconic show and to work with Whoopi Goldberg, and he was right. It was one of the last things he told me to do before he died. Since we've been here the last four years together, we have won an Emmy, we've gone to number one, we've been parodied on Saturday Night Live, we were on the cover of - my personal favorite - the New York Times Magazine as the most important political show in America. We have all interviewed every presidential candidate. This is the show in America and it is not easy to leave, but I feel like this is just the right decision for me at this moment and I just want to thank all of you.

Meghan McCain also took the time to thank each of her co-hosts individually, and also gave a shout-out to her friend and former View co-host Abby Huntsman. Things also took an enjoyably odd turn when McCain revealed that her father John McCain may have had a puppy-love crush on Sunny Hostin, which amused everyone in the group. She also joked about having another month to fight with anyone else who wanted to get into it. It should be quite interesting to see just how things shake out in the next month, as far as whether McCain & Co. will be more cordial with one another, or if the knowledge of her imminent exit means that things will become even more testy. Either way, audiences are here for it.

Fans can probably expect to see a lot of speculation about who will end up replacing Meghan McCain after she officially exits. There is no shortage of guest hosts from over the years who could fill the seat, as well as a decent number of former co-hosts whose exits weren't caused by firings. And it's not certain whether or not they'll first find a permanent host, or if they'll have a revolving door of guests to stop by until something more official is decided.

The View airs weekday mornings on ABC. While waiting to hear more about Meghan McCain's exit plan, be sure to keep up with all the big shows heading to the 2021 Summer TV schedule.

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