Monday, September 01, 2008

McCain Campaign Dangles 17 Year Old Pregnant Teen as Bait

Assessing the Political Impact of Bristol Palin's Pregnancy:

Democrats must be VERY careful not to take a false step here. Some Republicans have already insisted that the Obama campaign is behind the rumor-mongering about Sarah, Bristol and Trig -- although in our experience the campaign has not pushed the story AT ALL, in fact they have been encouraging reporters to focus on the issues of difference between the two candidates rather than personal stories. Any sense that Democrats are pushing this idea will almost certainly turn both Sarah and Bristol Palin into sympathetic figures -- and that spells trouble for her detractors.

Obama's statement on the matter:

"I have said before and I will repeat again: People's families are off limits," Obama said. "And people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as a governor and/or her potential performance as a vice president. So I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18 and how a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn’t be a topic of our politics."

But, as we can see from the story above, it doesn't matter what Obama said, and it doesn't matter that there's no evidence that the Obama campaign is behind it. The McCainiacs are already blaming his campaign for leaking the story.

You know what? I think the McCain campaign WANTS the kid's pregnancy dragged out and endlessly discussed so they can then get all indignant and blame Obama. And considering their insistence that they already knew about the pregnancy when they picked Palin, they had to have known it would cause the very furor they're now getting so indignant about.

In short they've already moved to use a 17 year old girl as a martyr to the Cause.



Sandra Ruttan said...

I like McCain less every day. Which suggests I once liked him. I think I was once indifferent. Not anymore.

JD Rhoades said...

I've actually written good things about him in the past. But once he basically threw every principle away in hopes of being President, that was over.

Libby Hellmann said...

OK… This is a full of piss and vinegar post.

I’ve just gotten to the point of supporting Obama… but I dont agree with his mandate that discussion of the Palin daughter’s pregnancy is off limits. What if it had been Chelsea Clinton? Or Joe Biden’s kids? The Rove machine would NEVER have let it go.

To me the Democrats are doing it again. Lying down when they have an opportunity… Letting it vaporize and go away. They are experts at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Sorry... I'm angry tonight.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Libby, I think the democrats are in a tough spot. Obama has to be very careful with what he says about this. If you're trying to persuade people a campaign is about the issues and that you don't want to play dirty politics but really want to see change over the present state of things, you've got to walk that talk.

If he slammed Palin he'd face a world of criticism.

To be honest with you, I'm worried about Bristol. I'm worried that her mother's politics and political aspirations have effectively eliminated her right to choose anything. According to one news article on CTV ( it's been reported in Alaska that Palin's office was only asked Saturday if Bristol was pregnant, which suggests they didn't know about the pregnancy before announcing Palin as the vp pick. While that suggests McCain's people are lying when they said he knew, I'm wondering why she was carrying her baby brother - to conceal her condition? If the family was really proud of her and the anticipated new addition, why not introduce the future son-in-law and make a statement about it right away on Friday when Palin introduced everyone else?

My suspicion is that Bristol has been told she will have the baby and marry the father - not that this is necessarily the choice she might have made, given the opportunity to have counseling and consider other alternatives. I mean, what are they waiting for with the wedding? Where was the engagement ring? It could have been there but I didn't see it. Seems to me like this has been politically orchestrated. I doubt the family even considered adoption as an option. I've seen the pressure teenage daughters get from conservative Christian parents and the reality of this girl getting married and having a baby so young is really sad. Marriage is tough enough, but teenagers just don't know themselves well enough, never mind the stress of finances and raising a child. Just ask someone who was the product of a shotgun wedding - me. Man, I used to dream my parents would get divorced.

In all likelihood, this child will be subjected to an unhappy environment with two parents who quickly realize they shouldn't have gotten married but were under pressure to "do the right thing" and there will be long-lasting damage when the parents do divorce, or because of the unhappy home environment.

I fail to see how Palin can effectively raise her own baby (never mind her other children) and be fully supportive of her eldest daughter and the grandchild.

None of which addresses her own statement where she asks what the VP does all day. That's reason enough not to vote for her right there.

I think the McCain-Palin ticket is going to self-destruct. And I also think there's a possibility of a boxing strategy at play, that Obama is sitting back while McCain jabs, jabs, jabs, but Obama will deliver the knock-out punch once McCain has completely worn himself out.

Libby Hellmann said...

Good points, all, Sandra....

L.J. Sellers said...

I would like to empathize with Palin, but when you advocate abstinence-only sex education, you end up with pregnant teenagers. I do feel bad for the daughter; someone should have encouraged her to use birth control. Overall, Palin seems unqualified for the job, except for her fundamentalist beliefs. Which is how Bush picked all his appointees. But yes, Democrats do have to be careful how they handle this.

becky hutchison said...

Sandra, very well said! It's so sad that Bristol has become the topic of the whole world. How mortifying for a 17 year old. Palin choose this path knowing that the pregnancy issue would be raised. How could she allow her daughter to be the brunt of attacks for politic's sake? How could she do that to someone she loved? From her actions, it appears Palin is so driven or selfish that sacrificing her family is a small price to pay to attain her own goals.

Charlie Stella said...

JD wrote: But once he basically threw every principle away, ...

Come on JD ... do any of these clowns stick to their principles?

Becky ... for answers to those questions, see the following: JFK (except the press waited until he was gone before they discussed his 3-sums in the whitehouse pool ... Bill Clinton (he sure was concerned about his loved ones) ...

Not picking on you ... just making it real ... they're all ambitious and/or opportunists and would do anything (ANYTHING) for the power/history those offices bring.

Look at it this way:

So what she'll ban my books ... so what she'll toss sex education out the window (worked for her daughter, huh) ... so what she'll issue M16's with working papers ... so what she'll have kids saying prayers in public schools ... she's hot.

Gayle Carline said...

McCain is starting to scare me on so many levels. This whole idea of a 'maverick', selecting a 'maverick' Veep... does this mean that he won't accept anyone's council except his own? Will he even have advisors? Is he hoping to get the women's vote by going with Palin, then planning on spending 4 years doing things without her, while she runs around asking, "Just what is my job description around here?"

If he truly wanted a woman with experience, did Condoleezza Rice turn him down? If he wanted a woman who would be popular with other women, was Betty Crocker unavailable?

Are any of them perfect? No. Am I ready for a change? You bet. Obama for me.

Charlie Stella said...

Gayle: He used to be a maverick. He's completely sold out to the right (which doesn't necessarily mean it's "all" bad). This move (Palin) was absolute desperation (contary to many pundits' belief he was catching up before the Dem convention, I don't think he had a prayer) ... and it (Palin) just might work. Depends on how she handles press conferences/the debate with Biden, etc. (not the scripted stuff we'll get tonight--although we already know she handles that about 1000% better than McCain himself--at least her articulation and the fact she doesn't have to stare at her notes).

You want stability in your change, stay with the Dems (as they've done since 2006, they'll probably do nothing). You want change you might have to duck from, vote McCain.

You want real change, Ralph Nader's your man ... but there's no woman on his ticket (I don't think).

Gerard said...

Give the "what does a VP do all day?" comment some slack. The VP's lack of duties have always been fodder for jokes. No one knows what Cheney does. Besides, when you try to ask they refuse to tell anyone anyway.

Letterman had a good comment last night about the whole "family is off-limits" rule. His question was whether or not Palin had the simple and necessary discussion on birth control with her teenager. You cannot plug Palin's governing abilities based on her raising several kids and then not question those parenting tactics and views.