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Bristol Palin's Pregnancy - From TIME to Obama, It's 'Off-Limits,' But What's Your Opinion?

By September 2, 2008

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TIME magazine reporter Nathan Thornburgh, sent to Wasilla this past weekend to report on Sarah Palin's selection as VP, apparently has been sitting on one of the biggest stories of the 2008 campaign. Yet he had the decency to say nothing until Team McCain broke the story late yesterday.

Sarah's Palin's 17-year-old daughter Bristol, a high school senior, is pregnant.

In his online article, "In Wasilla, Pregnancy Was No Secret," Thornburgh writes of being charmed by the friendliness, honesty and integrity of the folks of Palin's hometown...and of their trust that he would treat Bristol's circumstances with sensitivity and respect:

It was, more or less, an open secret. And everyone was saying the same thing: the governor's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, the father is her boyfriend, and it's really nobody's business beyond that.

I happen to agree....

All weekend they had the decency not to pretend that they didn't know the governor's eldest daughter was pregnant. But they also expected decency in return, that I wouldn't be the kind of person to make sport out of a young girl's slip.

And he wasn't. He didn't run the story until after the announcement was made.

Barack Obama didn't need to be in Wasilla to come to the same conclusion as Thornburgh. According to CNN, he essentially feels the same way - that it's nobody's business:

"Let me be as clear as possible," Obama said. "I think people's families are off-limits, and people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as governor or her potential performance as a vice president."
Do you agree it should be off-limits? Or is it of legitimate concern? Take the poll below and see how your answer compares to others:

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September 2, 2008 at 10:49 am
(1) Eric says:

What makes discussion of this pregnancy fair game to me is not the pregnancy itself, but the Republicans’ hypocritical response to it. The McCain campaign’s response to it is “life happens.” And that’s exactly the point. The whole reason that Sarah Palin’s abstinence only sex education is a problem is because it doesn’t account for the fact that even in a conservative Christian household like hers, teens are going to have sex from time to time and they need comprehensive information to help them cope for when “life happens.” I for one, seriously doubt that the Republicans would be so generous if Obama or Biden had a pregnant teenage daughter – we’d be hearing about how that would be indicative of their complete lack of moral rectitude. It’s like how the Republicans say that same sex couples having children would be a blight on civilization, but it becomes a private family affair when Dick Cheney’s daughter does it. Life does indeed happen, but the Republicans take much more enlightened views on social issues when life happens to them.

Another thing that bugs me about this is the way that it was revealed. The McCain campaign said that the only reason they even brought this up was to deflect rumors that Trig was Bristol’s son. Did they honestly expect the truth about something like this to stay secret? It makes you wonder about McCain’s judgment.

The final thing about this that bothers me is Palin’s willingness to put her daughter in a position of having her pregnancy revealed to the whole nation. It’s not like she didn’t know about this before she accepted the VP nomination. No one could reasonably expect the 24 hour cable news media to ignore this, even if the Obama campaign has taken the high road on it. I wonder if Bristol was even consulted before her mother made a decision that would embarrass her in front of the whole nation.

September 3, 2008 at 7:30 am
(2) Sallie says:

It’s obvious to me that her daughter is going to have to deal wth her entire pregnancy in front of an entire nation..how cruel is that? Gov. Palin decision to accept the nomination tells me that she really isn’t concerned about her daughter’s feelings and quite possible anguish in being a main topic.

September 3, 2008 at 5:28 pm
(3) Anna says:

I’m living this with my own teen daughter, and she now realizes what a hard life she’s got ahead of her. I think people should mind their own business, the Palin girls’ pregnancy has nothing to do with her mother’s career. If the liberals didn’t insist on forcing their hypocritical double standards on everyone else, this wouldn’t even be an issue.

September 4, 2008 at 5:46 am
(4) Whiteknyght says:

But Anna, you didn’t enter the public spotlight – specifically packaged for TV ops and everything with your family and an example of not only a leader, but an upstanding symbol. Politicians set themselves up for scrutiny like this by using their children and family as props in their ads and leaflets.

As long as American politics plays this game… the conservatives who bashed Clinton for his pecadillos and how Hilary could actually stay with him… and the litany of other sins and occurrences in family life that every other politician has had played ot in the press… then welcome to the club Sarah…

You knew what you were getting your family into when you circulated that first nominating petition for Mayor. That’s how the game is played… she should buck up and take it like a man.

September 17, 2008 at 4:05 pm
(5) B. Castle says:

“I wonder if Bristol was even consulted before her mother made a decision that would embarrass her in front of the whole nation.”


Sarah has said that when she was asked to be MCain’s running mate, she “did not blink”. Pity. Any parent who knowingly puts their loved ones in such an exposed position for any reason (be it ambition or patriotism) NEEDS to blink, think clearly and consult those whose lives will be affected. Bristol is a human being, not a possession or a political football. Did she sign up to be the poster-teen for untimely pregancy? Will Palin protect the country in the same way?

December 28, 2008 at 8:14 pm
(6) Rebecca old says:

NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO JUDGE!!!!!!Bristol Palin and her boyfriend had a “MOMENT” LIKE SO MANY OTHER TEENS they got caught up in the sweetness of holding and kissing and a baby was made….She is not alone. Being a Christian does not exempt us from doing what we should not do, but it happens weather rich or poor> Our kids need to be EDUCATED and supported when these things happen…Sometimes no matter how a child is raised mistakes are made…It is hard being a parent,but our kids need love and support, no matter WHO THEY ARE!!!!!!!!

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