Let me say at the outset of this article that attacks on one’s family are a manifestly unfair tactic unfit for a campaign for President of the United States. Whomsoever would use such attacks – assuming such attacks ever occur – rightly deserves our scorn. In fact, I’ll even go so far as to say that undue media attention to such matters is also out of line. Barack Obama has been quite clear in his objection to personal, familial attacks in this campaign, having suffered his share thus far. No legitimate news agencies have yet run with the rumors that Sarah Palin is not the mother of her 4-month-old though the season is, in truth, still young.
And I really think it is an unfortunate, unfair and awful thing that a girl going through a (as rumors have it, second) pregnancy should also have to deal with an entire nation’s worth of scrutiny at the same time. Life is more than hard enough as a teenager; life is hard enough as a pregnant woman, the extra media attention is not necessary at all.
Ok, happy? Now let’s drop the “shoulda-woulda-coulda” talk and discuss the hard realities of campaigning.
When Thomas Jefferson ran for president, his dalliances with his slaves and rumors of illegitimate children – all later proven to be true, but entirely unproven during the campaign – all became fodder for both the press and his opponents over the course of the campaign. Such fascinations predate even his race for the President’s job, and thus cannot be blamed on Phil Donohue, Inside Edition, Jerry Springer or any of the other modern scapegoats for the “coursening” of our culture. However unfortunate it may be, it is hardly an unanticipated consequence of running for one of the highest offices in the land. In fact, it’s like gravity: however unfair it may seem, it just happens.
So, when the McCain Campaign screams like they’ve had bamboo stuck under their fingernails over the “unfair” investigation of their here-to-fore unvetted Vice Presidential candidate, let’s keep in mind who brought this on themselves and the poor girl in this case. After all, vetting of a candidate is all about avoiding exactly this kind of scrutiny. Sarah Palin accepted the nomination to the Vice Presidential slot knowing her daughter was pregnant, along with a goodly number of other issues she must have known might present a problem. Her ambition outwieghed her maternal duty to protect her kid, it seems.