Candidates for National Office and Their Children

Even though I can think of lots of comments about the fact that Republican VP candidate Gov. Sarah Palin has a teenage daughter who is expecting a baby, and maybe we could all come up with our own little snarky comments, I really really hate to think of a seventeen year old girl who probably is already stressed about, you know, being pregnant, and then all of a sudden not only do her classmates have to know about it and she has to face the judgemental looks of friends and family, and face all the emotions that come with being unexpectedly pregnant and having a baby, but the whole freaking country knows about it and is having their say and judging you. That would just suck. And it is not fair to her. I wish everyone, especially Democrats, would do the right thing and say, “Regardless of the extent to which her mother may or may not be a candidate/woman I like, or the extent to which her mom and others use family life to make political points, we are going to take the high road and spare this young woman more stress and attention and not use her to make some sort of political point.” I don’t think that this will happen, but it at least makes me feel better to say that I wish it would be so.

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8 Responses to Candidates for National Office and Their Children

  1. rev. ricky says:

    the other option would have been for Sarah Palin to have said (at least to herself) “you know this is a really difficult time for my family right now. My husband and I have a new special needs baby, and my daughter Bristol is pregnant, unmarried, still in high school. I’m willing to put myself through all the trials of making my case to be Vice-President of the United States, but I can’t drag my family through that. Thanks, Mr. McCain but now’s not the right time.”

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Except I think many people wouldn’t expect that from a male candidate. Maybe they should. But I hate to hold her to a different standard. But really, come to think of it, maybe we should just work harder to hold male candidates to the same standard. Like not running for president when your wife is dying of cancer, for instance. Who knows. But I still feel a need to stand up for her daughter and tell people to back off. Even if he didn’t mean it (who knows if he did) I liked that Obama said something similar – for people to back off this storyline. It isn’t as if her wild lack of experience and qualifications isn’t plenty. Sigh. Politics is sort of depressing. But thanks for the comment, none the less.

  3. rev. ricky says:

    I totally agree that the story here is not about Bristol. But her daughter’s pregnancy when coupled with Sarah Palin’s stance on abstinence only sex education, and the needs of her family when coupled with other questions about her preparedness for the VP job, is a legitimate concern. I have great sympathy for Bristol, and I’m not suggesting that the only solution to the needs of the family is for Gov. Palin to stay home. But to ask the question is reasonable. Gov. Palin should expect that people will ask, just as people asked John Edwards about his decision to run while Elizabeth battled cancer. In a campaign private family business will be made public in an effort to give the public the information they need to know about a candidates qualifications and preparedness. Remember that it was the McCain campaign that publicized Trig’s Down’s syndrome as a mean’s of high-lighting Palin’s anti-abortion stance.

  4. Joan says:

    I agree, Elizabeth.

    Of course, if the table were turned and it were a democrat who had a pregnant teen then I suspect that the Republicans would not be so supportive. Just a hunch.

    I was pleased with Obama’s response. It was graceful and appropriate.

  5. Patrick McLaughlin says:

    … we are going to take the high road and spare this young woman more stress and attention and not use her to make some sort of political point

    Why is this something everyone else should do–when Sarah Palin didn’t? Sarah could have chosen to not make this a full-blown nation (hell, international) humiliation for Bristol. All she’d have had to do was say “It’s really not a good time for my family, and I’m going to say no. I hope that in four or eight years, after I have more than 18 months of experience as governor, I’ll be the kind of candidate that really can be VP. But not now…”.

    Palin objects to sex ed. And… her daughter is evidence of just how well that worked out. (AK permits it, and also permits parents to not have thir kids exposed to sex ed)

    I’m terribly sympathetic to Bristol–who I am NOT slamming in any manner. But the situation points to Palin’s judgment and character. Leaps at high office (one she only recently had no clue about the responsibilities of…) when it comes at the cost of maximizing the public humiliation of her daughter. Ah, there’s a character sketch.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Well, I think it is something that everyone else should do because it is the right thing to do – just because it seems like Gov. Palin and her husband made what I would call a poor choice by putting their daughter in the national spotlight during a difficult time for her, I don’t think that that makes it okay for others to do. I wish too she would have said what you said above, Patrick, but she didn’t and I hate to think of a seventeen year old girl suffering from it. I wish people would just drop it no matter how terribly tempting it is to make political points. But, like I said in the post, I understand the temptation and don’t consider it likely to happen……

  7. Debbie says:

    I have yet to hear a Democrat bring up Bristol’s pregnancy. Maybe I’m not traveling in the right circles. Tonight on the Sean Hannity show, he and Elizabeth Hasselbeck were dissing liberals who kept bringing it up. But again, the only people I’ve heard bring it up are Republicans (both in a good and bad way).

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Check out UUpdates or the Daily Kos nd you can find PLENTY of Democrats blogging about Bristol’s pregnancy and how it indicates the failure of abstinence only education and/or Sarah Palin’s parenting skills.

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