Home > Issues, observations > Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter, UPDATE

Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter, UPDATE

September 1, 2008

Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, and everybody’s making a big deal about it.  Barack Obama came out and said “leave the Palin’s family alone, especially the daughter” and he’s right.  And you know what?  I have not heard anyone attacking the daughter, even before Obama’s statement,  because this kind of stuff happens and people turn out fine if they have a good support structure.

But it does form a teachable moment about ‘abstinence-only’ sex education, doesn’t it?  Palin is on record opposing comprehensive sex education; she just wants kids to hear “don’t do it”.  If that’s all she told her daughters, and if she shielded them from real information, she sent them into young adulthood unprepared.  How to reduce teen pregnancies?  With comprehensive sex education.


  • Maureen Johnson’s blog has a wonderful, very constructive take on poor Bristol’s predicament: Free Bristol Palin.  I will do a separate post on it later.

  • The Intersection has comparitive statistics on teen sex and pregnancy, but it isn’t exactly new data.
  • ABC News on the latest.
Categories: Issues, observations
  1. September 1, 2008 at 21:20 | #1

    I agree 100%! We should leave family matters out of politics. Which is my response to this too. But if she is lying to the public, things could go from bad to worse for McCain.

  2. Lucas
    September 1, 2008 at 21:44 | #2

    I wonder what the reaction on the right would be if Obama had a pregnant unmarried teenage daughter.  I’m sure Fox News et al would be suitably deferential to a troubling time in their family life.  After all, they’ve been nothing but respectful in describing his seemingly perfect little family in the past.

    I agree that this isn’t a big scandal (and I’m sure this is very hard on Palin’s daughter), but it does put the socially conservative views of Palin in a bad light.

  3. September 2, 2008 at 04:25 | #3

    I agree Palin’s family is off-limits.  Yet, at the same time, her public support for abstinence only sex education reflects poorly on her judgment.

  4. September 3, 2008 at 11:12 | #4

    Yes, Bristol is off limits, but Sarah is not.  She’s been picked at least partly because of her “family values” stance, right?

    “Mom, I’m a bit confused and scared; can we talk about babies, marriage, college ‘n stuff?”

    “Not now, honey; Mommy’s running for VP on Family Values and it’s taking all my time.”

    Where is the judgment in her decision to accept McCain’s offer?  What are the priorities?  Lieberman talks about being American before being a party member.  Family?  Hmmm.

  5. September 3, 2008 at 13:29 | #5

    I think Senator Obama has two small children. Is he going to be too busy for them? Or is that only a question we ask women?

  6. September 3, 2008 at 13:37 | #6

    It isn’t a matter of ‘too busy’ but of unwillingness.  The ‘family values’ types want to restrict the information about sex given to adolescents.  Without making reference to any candidate’s kids, this has turned out to be poor strategy.

  7. September 3, 2008 at 13:58 | #7

    That’s a much better line of argument than Sally Quinn‘s. Maybe we can get you on CNN:-) You’d keep the discussion on policy, and avoid the double standards and ad feminem attacks. Unfortunately that might depress ratings…

  8. September 3, 2008 at 19:08 | #8

    Marcel—My comment is not sexist in any way, though I understand how it can be interpreted that way.

    The Republican (far) right has always railed against women who work out of the home and don’t take care of the children.  My comment would apply to anyone, man or woman, who makes a choice that prioritizes something over a young child in crisis when their publicly stated values would indicate the opposite.  The selection of Ms. Palin (the most UNqualified VP candidate we have had since Quayle, and Agnew before him) is disappointing on many levels.

    Obama has young children who are not in crisis.  His decision to run, according to all that I have read, was after a lot of family discussion and an agreement on his path.  I am not saying that Mrs. Palin did not do similarly.  But the sequence and timing of events doesn’t seem to be very conclusive to me in that regard.

    If Obama were in the same situation, I would criticize him as well.

    Finally, my sarcasm is a form of political commentary which.  In the US, this form of commentary is not appreciated as much as in some other countries.  But to me it’s a matter free press and democracy.

  9. September 3, 2008 at 19:33 | #9

    WeeDram, I’m sure you didn’t mean anything sexist, and I know from experience that sarcasm is hard type:-) But are you suggesting that somehow Governor Palin’s position is that women should stay home and mind the children? No doubt there are some on the lunatic fringe who do think that, but I doubt if any of them are working to elect either McCain or Obama. Finally, if you think Governor Palin is unqualified, I can only wonder what you must think of Senator Obama. Though from my point of view, a short career in Illinois politics is a better qualification than a long one.

  10. September 3, 2008 at 21:03 | #10

    Marcel:  Obama is smart.  McCain isn’t.  He’s a mean-tempered hot head who finished very near the bottom of his class in the Naval Academy.

    Palin has far less experience than Obama, and I find her positions on all sorts of things offensive to me.  Anti Free Choice.  For drilling in ANWR and for big oil.  Against sex education in public schools.  The list goes on.

    And I probably know more about Illinois politics than you suspect I do.

  11. September 4, 2008 at 08:33 | #11

    WeeDram, I’m sure we both know more about Illinois politics than we would like. Certainly policy is a sound basis for a vote, and if you support the Democratic platform you should vote for the Democrat. The oil companies might be surprised to hear that Governor Palin is ‘for big oil.’ I don’t think that was their experience with her. Senator Obama is certainly a smart and decent guy, but I disagree with your characterization of Senator McCain. I’ll look into the question of Governor Palin’s and Senator Obama’s relative experience. George, thanks for hosting the dialog.

  12. September 4, 2008 at 08:56 | #12

    Andrew Olmstead at Obsidian Wings has a 2-part analysis that is relevant to the experience topic:
    - Executive Experience
    - More on executive experience

    Pretty much covers what I’ve been thinking about it.

  13. September 4, 2008 at 17:47 | #13

    Palin on Oil:

    “I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can’t drill our way out of our problem,”


    McCain temper & discourtesy:


    (and there is more … and worse)

    This is not about Democrat or Republican.  This country is in a very fragile and vulnerable position, and we cannot afford another four years of ideologues who make decisions based on fantasies, fanaticism and lead with fear and lies.

    Oh, and real hockey moms don’t even WEAR lipstick! ;)

  14. September 4, 2008 at 20:40 | #14
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