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Palin Coverage Focused on Daughter and 'Troopergate'

POSTED: 05:24 PM ET, 09/ 2/2008 by Derek Kravitz

As the GOP national convention rolls on, the coverage of John McCain's choice for running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, continues to revolve around her 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy and the much-discussed investigation in her home state about the firing of the state police chief.

Analysts were quick to weigh the potential political ramifications of the pregnancy of Palin's teenage daughter, Bristol , which the McCain campaign publicly acknowledged over the weekend.

"On the one hand, premarital sex is frowned upon," The Fix's Chris Cillizza wrote. "On the other, the Palins' commitment to keep the baby and Bristol Palin's pledge to marry the father of the child gives social conservatives something to latch on to if they are looking for positives out of this situation."

The Post's Ruth Marcus was less sympathetic.

"My first thought on hearing the news was: What was Sarah Palin thinking?" she wrote. "Assuming, as the campaign says, that she knew about her 17-year-old's pregnancy and informed McCain in advance, how could she expose her daughter to the inevitable spotlight that Palin's vice presidential nomination would bring?"

The Post's media critic, Howard Kurtz, noted that the press coverage of the pregnancy caused several soul-searching journalists to question the extent of the pregnancy coverage.

"The campaign statement served to knock down the far-fetched suggestion on the [Daily] Kos site -- based partly on a perusal of photographs -- that Palin's infant son, Trig, had been secretly delivered by Bristol," Kurtz wrote. "But it also sparked a new round of journalistic self-examination over whether such family matters should be pursued."

Others thought the pregnancy was not much of a story at all. An Alaskan reporter and editor told that the rumor of Bristol Palin's pregnancy had been circulating for months.

Pat Forgey, political reporter for the Juneau Empire, told Politico: "I probably would not have wasted any time" on reporting the pregnancy.

Time's Nathan Thornburgh noted that the girl's pregnancy was an open secret in the governor's hometown of Wasilla, Alaska.

"People in Wasilla are Alaskan tough, so not only does a thing like teen pregnancy not seem like anyone's damn business, but it's also not seen as the calamity so many people in the lower 48 might think it is," Thornburgh wrote.

But several tabloids, including the New York Post, showed substantially more interest in the story, reporting on the baby's alleged father, 17-year-old Levi Johnson, examining his profile and publishing his photo.


Televised interviews with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin show that the newly-minted GOP vice-presidential candidate, in an effort to explain why she fired the state's police commissioner, offered contradictory accounts on why he was canned.

A state ethics probe has been launched into the controversy, dubbed "Troopergate," a bizarre saga that began with several of Palin's family members and staffers questioning why former state police commissioner Walt Monegan hadn't fired Palin's former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, who has been accused by Palin of threatening the governor's family, among other things.

Palin has denied that Monegan's dismissal had anything to do with Wooten.

Just after firing Monegan, in a taped interview July 17 with a television reporter from KTVA-TV in Anchorage, she said that she thought the state's top cop was better suited to be director of the Alcohol Beveral Control Board, a job she offered to him the day he was fired as police chief.

Alaska's KTVA-TV report on Gov. Sarah Palin and "Troopergate":

"I recognize that Walt's interests and strengths certainly could be put to good use as he could concentrate exclusively on a couple of issues that were his interests, that be bootlegging and alcohol problems in rural Alaska," she said.

Monegan told the television station that when Palin's acting Chief of Staff Mike Nizich offered him the alcohol board job, Monegan asked Nizich, "So I guess I'm not the Commissioner of DPS?"

Monegan said Nizich replied, "This is correct."

However, several weeks later, she told reporters at a press conference that Monegan was fired from his job as police chief because she "was concerned also that we were not doing enough on continuing alcohol abuse issues that I wanted to see tackled, including the bootlegging issues out in rural Alaska."

By Derek Kravitz |  September 2, 2008; 5:24 PM ET
Previous: Palin's Embrace of Earmarks | Next: Sen. Grassley Seeks Records from Michelle Obama's Employer


Please email us to report offensive comments.

I am convinced there will be an OCTOBER SURPRISE and some September ones too.

Posted by: latinovoter | September 2, 2008 6:18 PM

It's a family issue, who cares if Palin's daughter made a mistake..

What you won't see in the media is another rally is happening today in Minnesota. Check out to watch the Rally for the Republic live!

Posted by: Malcolm | September 2, 2008 6:21 PM

This is what you get when you recklessly pluck an obscure, local (even if talented) politician out of now where and hand them the job of VP running mate... on a national stage.

The McCain campaign has much more to hide. Stay tuned for more damaging news on Sarah Palin to come out this week.

Posted by: Nic | September 2, 2008 6:22 PM

Latinvoter: I am loving the Palin surprise with all the baggage. I do not watch Jerry Springer real life politics is sooo much better.

McCain has more surprises for us all. The games and drama are on!!!

Posted by: ZenNonna | September 2, 2008 6:23 PM

OMG "Political Ramifications of the pregnancy of Palin's teenage daughter, Bristol!!!!".

9 out of ten Democrats either had or know of someone who had an abortion by 17. What's all the faux indignation. MAkes me really LOL.

Posted by: Dr. Dave | September 2, 2008 6:24 PM

Do John McCain or conservative republicans respect the moral foundations of this country? The U.S. Constitution was designed to protect the people of America from misguided government.

U.S. Constitution: Amendment I - Freedom of Religion
Right now, for the first time ever, your tax dollars are funding religious groups you may not agree with. To add insult to injury, conservative judges have ruled that taxpayers do not have a right to challenge this expenditure.

Amendment IV - Search and seizure
Under the guise of court action against abortion, Conservative republicans had John Ashcroft subpoena all the medical records of literally thousands of women just like you and members of your family. Conservative republicans are invading your privacy every day. Unfortunately for all of us, they don't appear to care about our U.S. constitution, or by extension, the people of our great country.

Amendment X - Powers of the States and People
John McCain and conservative republicans have tried consistently to overturn States Laws. They used your tax dollars to destroy the will of the people of Oregon, and the famous "Death with Dignity" law; they lost, but undoubtedly will try again. Conservative republicans and John McCain do not respect States Rights.

Amendment VIII - Cruel and Unusual punishment
Would you rather die, or support a government which supported and sanctioned torture? The founding fathers would rather have died, and in fact they were proud to fight and die for our government: A government which specifically outlaws cruel and unusual punishment for very important reasons.

John McCain and the conservative republicans have destroyed the moral foundations of our country. I urge you to keep this in mind in the coming election as we rebuild our nation together by voting Democrat.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 6:25 PM

I would question the Troopergate more intensely than her family business. Of course, this didn't stop the GOP from attacking right and left Bill Clinton. I would consider Palin open game for vetting considering if McCain were to win she would be our commander and chief, subject to the media of previous presidents.

Perhaps if Republicans promoted safe sex rather than the senseless absintence programs we wouldn't be having this debate.

Posted by: Adam | September 2, 2008 6:25 PM

Of course if Palin is going to parade her children around and advertise that she has a Downs baby and make abstinence only education part of her "platform" and appeal to the conversatives then YES IT IS FAIR GAME. She can't have it both ways. "Look at my babies and all of my wonderful values and ain't I great?" and then "Don't look, it is impolite and my family needs privacy." She should have thought about her huge ego and how it would affect her family before she began this thrillride.

Posted by: Michelle | September 2, 2008 6:25 PM

This is ridiculous!

Its a young woman, they sometimes get pregnant. SO WHAT?!
"This is what you get when you recklessly pluck an obscure, local (even if talented) politician out of now where and hand them the job of VP running mate... on a national stage."

First it was a wise pick as Palin has probably accomplished more in her 2 years than Obama and Biden put together.

But if you think Palin is where Mccain is most vulnerable, beware, that is just asking for backlash!!

Posted by: Brian | September 2, 2008 6:26 PM

Gov Palin, step down- clearly, your family needs you, and America does not-

Posted by: R Sampson | September 2, 2008 6:26 PM

I really wonder what foreign governments think about this VP selection? Who would Mrs Palin chose a VP in case she has to step in as President?

Posted by: Olle | September 2, 2008 6:26 PM

Troopergate fine. Babygate, What the... I thought families were off limits! Leave the kid alone you blood sucking pariahs!

Posted by: stonepine | September 2, 2008 6:26 PM

I think it is hilarious. If you preach abstinence instead of sex-ed, you have increased teen pregnancy. This only shows how stupid the evangelicals are.

Posted by: nick | September 2, 2008 6:26 PM

The McCain candidacy is so pathetic that it won't really matter much who he picked

Posted by: Rob V | September 2, 2008 6:27 PM

It is also fair game because she claims her journalism degree and sketchy service in podunk nowheres gives her the pluck it takes to be VP. She may have been vetted by the McCain boobs, but she hasn't been properly vetted by the public and the public deserves the right to do so-- or did we lose that one in the Patriot Act as well? She drives me crazy the way she says "also" all of the time. Anyone notice that tick?

Posted by: Michelle | September 2, 2008 6:28 PM

I haven't seen much coverage of Palin's involvement in the Alaska secession movement of the 90s. Apparently she was supportive or a member of a group called Alaska First that wanted to leave the United States or become a part of Canada. If that's true, and I'm not sure if it is, it seems to me that she has no business wanting to be the VP of the US, when she wanted her state to leave the US.

Posted by: connect the dots | September 2, 2008 6:29 PM

There has been more reporting on this nonissue than there has been regarding the people who Obama associates himself with.

Shame on you!!!

Some say the VP doesn't matter so what's the issue with the VP candidates child?

Posted by: warrior | September 2, 2008 6:29 PM

"but it's also not seen as the calamity so many people in the lower 48 might think it is"

It's not a calamity in the inner cities either, but the Democrats desperately need something to latch onto.

Posted by: hg | September 2, 2008 6:29 PM

If someone doesn't have the proper judgment to recognize, that right now, the needs of her family need to be a priority.... She's not the right choice to potentially run our country.

I'm sure she's a capable woman, but right now her family needs her more than America does.

Posted by: Elto | September 2, 2008 6:30 PM

This woman is a time bomb waiting to explode. No one really knew who she was or even cared. Now she is in the spotlight and a ton of skeletons are going to come pouring out. She has burnt a lot of bridges in her political career.

Posted by: TimL | September 2, 2008 6:30 PM

Listen you neocon freaks and listen good. Stop calling us the pariahs and stop acting like this error in judgment is somehow our fault. I wasn't there at conception. Neither was Obama. Sarah Palin and John McCain brought this dishonor on the poor girl. Blame them for their egos getting in the way of family. I agree it isn't the girl's fault. It is that foul-mouthed boyfriend of hers. Have you lovely Republicans read Levi's myspace page? He doesn't want kids. He would rather beat up somebody, shoot the s*&^ or play hockey. He should have been playing pocket hockey instead of imPALIN the Gov's daughter.

Posted by: Michelle | September 2, 2008 6:31 PM

the pattern is that mother and daughter had untimely pregnanacies (over 40, under 18) so obviously neither believes in birth control. Then your brother in law has to pay for what he did to your sister. Folks, this is poor, fanatical hillbilly culture at its white-trash worst.

Posted by: theobserver | September 2, 2008 6:31 PM

BACKLASH!! The big wordie used by repubicons these days! Backlash! oooo thats scary..

Palin = Cheney = Big Oil

McCain = Bush = Another Puppet...

Posted by: McPain | September 2, 2008 6:32 PM

So has Sarah Palin put her career over family values?
If Governor Palin can not handle communication with in her own family, what makes us think she can communicate with the American people?
The bigger picture is that Governor Paulin has no insight what it is to be a good listener, especially to her own children.

Posted by: Alex from Calif. | September 2, 2008 6:32 PM

That family is a mess.

Posted by: MotorCity | September 2, 2008 6:32 PM

Bristol Palin, another abstinence-only sex education success story!

Posted by: Linda Marie | September 2, 2008 6:33 PM

It's a family issue, who cares if Palin's daughter made a mistake..

Posted by: Malcolm | September 2, 2008 6:21 PM


The daughter's mistake is not the point. The point is that McCain really didn't check very carefully. There is a pointed report today suggesting that McCain and his campaign jumped to Palin only after it became apparent that the conservatives were unwilling to go with either Lieberman or Ridge, whom he really wanted, and that the talk about the careful vetting is just that -- talk.
For example, this report suggests that knowledgeable Alaskans were not consulted to see whether there were skeletons in Palin's closet, and that the McCain staff -- or McCain himself -- really may not have known much of what were are hearing now until it was too late.

If that is so, the real issue here are not Palin's family troubles, but McCain's knee-jerk decision making and the danger that as President he is going to be making other equally irresponsible last-minute decisions.

Posted by: McCain's Floozies | September 2, 2008 6:33 PM

Nothing wrong with real people is there? American history wasn't written by Danielle Steele.

Guess what? All the snooping in the world won't reveal the future. Hope that isn't a surprise to anyone.

If Americans want the squeaky clean then let's do away with the two party system and establish a national search board for leadership.

Be serious, why spend a half billion dollars for a $400,000 a year salary?

Posted by: dontbotherasking | September 2, 2008 6:34 PM

I am a non-evangelical Christian and no one in my family or extended family has ever had a child out of wedlock. Nor have any of my friends. What is it with these evangelicals who claim that this is typical behavior for an American family? For them, maybe. Not for those of us who believe in acting responsibly. I was appalled to read that Mrs. Palin was flying while leaking amniotic fluid. Was she trying to lose the baby?

Most definitely these matters belong in the public eye. It reflects on the judgment of two people who could be Commander in Chief, John McCain, and Sarah Palin.

Posted by: threader | September 2, 2008 6:34 PM

What do you mean she can't have a State Trooper fired if the State Trooper is being mean to her sister!!??! Of course she can! She's the Governor, she decides! And if the person she tell's to fire the State trooper won'r do it because it's illegal? Fire his but too. Come on!! The Bush Administration mad it clear. We are not a nation of laws, we're a dictatorship with an all powerful 'Decider'. When you become an employee of the government you serve the leader! The McCain administration would be the same..

Bush/Cheney/McCain. No More Years!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | September 2, 2008 6:34 PM

There appears to be a pattern emerging in which one thing, though bad, is covered up, and then uncovered, to be covered up by something else.

For example, a pregnant daughter covered up by a mother (Bristol was out for 5 months) whose is keeping the child. A mother's cover-up, uncovered, to be covered up by a pregnant daughter who is going to marry the father.

A trooper-gate in which her husband makes more than a dozen calls to the DPS about the head, covered up by a story of alcohol.

A story of being anti-corruption to hide the endorsement of Senator Steven, forming his 527, taking the money from the bridge to nowhere, hiring his consultants to get earmarks, etc., etc.

If you live in a small town or location or even a big place like Chicago (but do not leave the neighborhood) you can get away with cover-ups.

Unfortunately, you cannot get away when all of the dots become connected.

When she has to appear by herself, it will all fall apart. It falls apart when also when the boy’s parents began getting interviewed about the pregnancy.

It is a very common and sad story.

Posted by: Robert A | September 2, 2008 6:34 PM

I really don't think that Bristol being pregnant is anybody elses buisness. It amazes me that the press can find nothing else better to do then cover some stupid story about a pregnant teenager. There are lots of them. Why doesn't the press cover the pregnant teenagers who can't afford to have a kid? Or the ones who the baby's father ran away? Is it not a good enough story to talk about someone who isn't famous but has the same problem? That's what drives me crazy. Us normal people have the same or bigger problems then the famous yet the famous are the ones being talked about. I know that if the press were to shed more light on the unfamous young peoples world this country would be a lot safer place to live in.

Posted by: daddys_princess | September 2, 2008 6:34 PM

What about Bidens son? Where is the WP's story on that?

Posted by: dan | September 2, 2008 6:34 PM

The rest of the world is looking at us and smiling. Only in America, they shake their heads. And then they'll wonder why they ever thought the US was invincible.

Posted by: Jill | September 2, 2008 6:36 PM

Governor Palin looks just like the kind of cynical, amoral, and power hungry person the Republican Party like to have running things.
She'll be a great success.

Posted by: Bob Holderness | September 2, 2008 6:36 PM

Sarah Palin makes me very fearful for our great country!

Political vote flip-flops, troubling use of office allegations, and private, but now public because of her run for VP, family news has all surfaced raising the most serious of questions of judgement.

May Americans come to their senses and vote solely for the welfare of our citizenry and future generations. We cannot afford Sarah Palin in a position of POTUS at the current time.

Posted by: Fearful for our Country | September 2, 2008 6:37 PM

Its amazing to me the liberals are on fire about a teen being pregnant. Is it this worried about the lack of experience of Obama that it has to resort to attacking a 17 year old girl?

The Virgin Mary, gave birth to Jesus before she was 14, and was pregnant before she was married, do they think their attempts at trashing a candidates child is going to create more votes for their party?

Posted by: TB | September 2, 2008 6:39 PM

What's really important about Palin?
A non-scientist, she disagrees with every major scientific organization world-wide about global warming. . . . As beauty queen married to an employee of BP, she cannot be objective on energy policy. . . .
A religious fundamentalist, she wants to push her theology about both reproduction and the age of the planet onto the rest of the country. . . .The presidency is the most powerful job in the world. Putting a scientific illiterate who is arrogant about her views into that office is dangerous to every person around the globe.

Posted by: Maggie | September 2, 2008 6:39 PM

Obama's mother was also pregnant at seventeen...

Bill Clinton, Obama and Palin all had no international experience...

Posted by: Abe L. | September 2, 2008 6:40 PM

This sort of thing is just politics as usual. Our mayor is so afraid of city employees that they never get disciplined unless they actually show up and fall down from being drunk. Getting rid of an employee, however, an elected official is not satisfied with or otherwise unable to direct needs to know that elected official are boss and not someone who's ancestors may have founded Alaska. As for teen pregnancy the issue here is her vote against sex-ed. Maybe now she will change her mind. Kids need to be taught how to abstain, although currently sex-ed only teaches them how to wear a condom.

Posted by: George Hitchcock | September 2, 2008 6:40 PM

Now John McCain can no longer play the "obama has no experience" card!! Sarah Palin is so obviously the wrong person for this job - in all area's!!

Posted by: Carole | September 2, 2008 6:41 PM

This story is just interesting because it shows the failure of a "devoted Christian" upbringing. Palin demonstrate a failure to understand what drives even people very close to her. Failure to coach and support. Failure to inform. Failure of judgment.

But of course that just means she would fit in perfectly with the current administration.

Posted by: psjofors | September 2, 2008 6:41 PM

Darn it, I thought I was getting a young chippy as my veep but instead I'm getting a granny. How's a grandma going to prettify my ugly campaign?

Posted by: John McBush | September 2, 2008 6:41 PM



The mainstream media has been publishing stories about how Sarah Palin is under investigation for firing the commissioner who declined to fire her ex-brother-in-law Wooten, a state trooper. The investigation is whether she had a conflict of interest in the state trooper's firing because an aide had spoken with the commissioner Palin fired, in which the aide talked with the commissioner about Palin's ex-brother-in-law in a custody dispute with her sister. Yet the McCain campaign has vetted her on this issue.

“Of course this issue came up in the vetting, and this is what we discovered,” the source said. “The man who was fired has said on the record that he was never pressured by the governor or the governor’s husband on the issue of firing Trooper Wooten. The governor had a vision for how she wanted that department to be run. The commissioner had a different vision.”

“The reason that members of the Palin family were having discussions with the head of the state police about this state trooper, who was her ex-brother-in-law, was because he had made threats against the family. He threatened to kill the governor's daughter, her father, and her sister. He tasered her 11-year-old stepson. And that is why the Palin family was concerned about this trooper.”

Team McCain Hits Back on Palin, Vetting [Byron York]
(more at:

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 2, 2008 6:42 PM

While I do not like many of the republicans that were being considered by McCain, I would take any of them in a second when compared to Palin. It is not because she is a woman but because she is imcompetent to be vice president.

Imagine getting on a 777 Boeing have having a captain trained on a single engine Cessna.

Why would McCain do this?

Posted by: Abbey | September 2, 2008 6:42 PM

Palin's daughter is hot. I'd do her.

Posted by: Paul | September 2, 2008 6:42 PM

Is Bristol Palin's future being thrown away for the sake of GOP expediency? The callow and obscene Facebook entry of her boyfriend, Levi Johnston, is appalling. What kind of religious mother allows -- or forces -- her 17-year-old to marry such an immature jerk? Clearly John McCain and SARAH Palin will benefit from this promised marriage, regardless of Bristol's fate! But in combination with Troopergate, this example of tawdry parenting makes Gov. Palin look less like a good mother than a self-serving opportunist.

Posted by: freicha | September 2, 2008 6:42 PM

The Dems can't believe their awesome luck and they're somehow afraid this is a snare. Face it folks. We have lost it this goaround. This was a huge mistake on our part. Admit it and stop blaming the Democrats. We have made them swallow the swift boat and us calling into question everything we could about Obama's private life. Take our medicine.

Posted by: dems can't believe | September 2, 2008 6:43 PM

Palin's faith is probably authentic. For years, she was a staunch member of the Wasilla Assemblies of God church, the largest Pentecostal sect in the U.S. I thought they were considered way too holy roller, even for many Evangelicals. Aside from speaking-in-tongues, they get "word-of-knowledge" on a regular basis, which is God telling them something to do, or giving them instructions. But, yes, she lives the rules of her faith, whereas McCain fakes it, to pander to the Evangelical base. She'll be our first VP or president, with real faith since Jimmy Carter. And, if they are anything like the Assemblies of God people I knew, they are all just itching for Armageddon, so they can be snatched up in the Rapture. When the nukes are flying, they'll be singing, because they know it is their time, at last. Is this what America wants?

Posted by: Mark Allcroft | September 2, 2008 6:45 PM

Is it a surprise that Obama supporters would zero in on whatever they could to neutralize the positive potential Sarah Palin's could have on the McCain campaign?
The main people who are providing the hurtful attacks on Sarah and her daughter's pregnancy are the very ones saying how awful it is of Sarah Palin to put her daughter in the eye of criticism. If THEY would lay off her she wouldn't have to be "protected" as they say. Her pregnancy was apparently known in Alaska anyway and, maybe her parents aren't doing the liberal type of parenting job of keeping her from dealing with the natural results of her decisions. As far as the statement that Sarah Palin is therefore unacceptable to help lead the country because her own daughter went against her teaching of right and wrong, maybe God shouldn't be allowed to be in charge of man....after all, he did some training of Adam and Eve and they disobeyed Him. Did that make him a hypocrite? The big point of religion and the Plan of Salvation was supposed to be an individual's freedom of choice. If man as parent is modeled on God, Sarah has done well to emulate Him....she loves and supports her daughter as usual but is letting the natural results of her choices happen....i.e. the pregnancy is known and Bristol has to endure crticism of herself and her parents.

Posted by: Cathy | September 2, 2008 6:46 PM

To the author:
Do you realize that the Post's myspace quotes from this guy are from pages set up by Obama supporters? Geeze. I'm a better journalist than these people, and I play the guitar for a living.

Posted by: William | September 2, 2008 6:48 PM

Most likely, the only thing that I will ever agree with Sen Obama on is that children should be off limits, and I do mean children of all candidates. That being said, I have a different take on the news of Gov Palin's dughter that some that have commented. In every election cycle I listen to politicians who want to make you think that they can relate to the average person. This woman can relate to more people in America than all of Washington put together. Like most of us, she faces problems and deals with them without blaming the government or the other party. Enough with the kids, move on to the issues.

Posted by: Jack Dilbeck | September 2, 2008 6:50 PM

"First it was a wise pick as Palin has probably accomplished more in her 2 years than Obama and Biden put together."

This just gets me. I kept hearing people saying this but none could quote factual evidents of what she's accomplished. What 27million dollar earmark for a small village in Alaska? Bordering with Russia so she's experienced with foreign politic? Commander and chief cause of the national guard? But how about she ran on a platform supporting the Bridge to Nowhere! That's some accomplishment!

None of this make sense! It all comes down showing that republicans are just liars, including McCain, would say and do anything to win vote.

Posted by: Sincity | September 2, 2008 6:50 PM

A huge percentage of 17 year olds make love with their boyfriends, its normal. What isn't normal is having a mother that doesn't give you birth control information to protect you and then forces you to become a mother at 17.

Posted by: L Krakow | September 2, 2008 6:52 PM

Hi Malcolm: is the "rally" you're referring to the 10,000 people in the streets of St. Paul protesting against the GOP? Is it the protesters being dragged to jail for expressing dissent against a bloated and deceitful political party who's shown nothing but incompetence, arrogance and stupidity for the last eight years? Is that your "rally" Malcolm?

Posted by: alex | September 2, 2008 6:54 PM

I don't agreed with the media putting the spot light on her daughter. However, when she brought up her credential of a "hockey mom" with 5 children of which one of them being a special child, she shined the light on her own family. And lets not forget. How could we count on her to run the nation if she couldn't even manage her own house? Being a strong believer of abstinence and ended up not being able to bring up her own kid accordingly speaks a lot about her ability.

Posted by: Sincity | September 2, 2008 6:56 PM

What was John McCain thinking? Did he know anything about Sarah Palin before he chose her to be his VP?

Is he trying to sink the GOP?

Posted by: John | September 2, 2008 6:59 PM

Quote."Obama wants to raise taxes and kill babies, while Palin wants to raise babies and kill taxes." Now which do I want?????

Posted by: Eleanor | September 2, 2008 7:02 PM

Is it me, or does Sarah Palin look and act a lot like Anita Bryant? Pleaaasssseeee, let her survive the convention as his running mate. Every day the American people will be reminded of the selfishness of John McCain "damn the country, I want to win", and Sarah Palin, "my family be damned, I want to win".

Let the incompetence shine like the sun in the Arizona desert, where John McCain belongs.

Posted by: PeteGio | September 2, 2008 7:05 PM

Listen, the photos of Bristol drinking hard liquor and beer, and posing in an sleazy way with another girl trying to tongue Bristol, are appearing at the gossip sites. I've watched them at sites and then have seen them disappear. But just google: bristol photographs drinking.

Obviously, the GOP is doing its best to squash the story that it's more than a one-time "mistake" with Bristol. She's a confirmed underage party girl -- and where was mom?????

And if Bristol is 7 mos. along, when is she due????? Election night? This is absurd.

What was McCain thinking????

Posted by: oh my | September 2, 2008 7:09 PM

Those of us who grew up in the Evangelical community are not surprised at all. Evangelical's tend to be enormous hypocrites. Quick to criticize and slow to take blame. This is the same GOP that somehow thinks they are not responsible for the last 8 years. Talk about wishful thinking.

Posted by: Rick W | September 2, 2008 7:09 PM

I think there will be significant fall-out from the last three days. But I think it will surprise some. The pile on mentality of the media may well backfire. Americans have a sense of fair play and the media has a tendancy to carry things too far. It is one thing to attack a politician. It is another to drag a minor through the mud. And the appearance of sexism in the media is beginning to be discussed around the water cooler. I began hearing it this afternoon. It ceases to be news and appears to be an attempt to destroy the person. Just watch...the tables will turn and support will go the other way. And the price will be felt in votes.

Posted by: lesliec | September 2, 2008 7:09 PM

Cool, Lynn Spears is going to be VP

Posted by: Jen | September 2, 2008 7:10 PM

As a former professor of business, I tried to teach my students to collect information on all sides of an issue before making a decision. In my humble opinion most Americans, and Democratics in particular, believe what ever they hear in 20 second sound bites.

Posted by: Jack | September 2, 2008 7:12 PM

Why would a loving, God-fearing, patriotic, family-loving woman want to be VP rather than stay with her Downs syndrome infant and teen-aged mother daughter? What about the rest of the family? What are Focus on the Family and The Family Research Council's responses to Sarah's choice of VP over family?

Posted by: Sam Wilson | September 2, 2008 7:13 PM

Why is it that Hillary was deemed immoral by keeping her family together after discovering his indiscretion but a pregnant teen who's mother not only never educated her enough about sex to prevent this tragedy is met with such understanding? Is this woman representative of the Evangelical core? I'm not buying it and neither should the Evanglical base who knows good morality when they see it. This isn't it.

Posted by: WTF? | September 2, 2008 7:15 PM

I am a republican and I am ashamed to now be one. Maybe Independant is the vote for me.

Posted by: Republican | September 2, 2008 7:17 PM

Why can't this hockey player boyfriend use a condom? Answer: Because Sarah Palin advocates abstinence only. Contrary to all studies done -- except the ones by FOCUS ON THE FAMILY etc. -- sex ed and instruction on how to use condoms does not make teens go out and do it like bunnies. It prevents unplanned pregnancy, makes kids think intelligently about sex, and it prevents disease.

20% of Alaska's teens get pregnant before marriage.

Also, by his own admission, Levi is a BLANK'n redneck who doesn't want any kids.

And no, I'm sorry readers, THE POST is a major newspaper and goes to great lengths to make sure of the things they are publishing. If it is incorrect, they will publish a retraction or face a multi-million dollar law suit. Period!

Posted by: Mark Allcroft | September 2, 2008 7:20 PM

Hi William: did you know that when someone screws up royally, they don't have to automatically blame others for the troubles and woe that they've brought on themselves? Did you know that Willy? Oh I'm sorry. I was describing an honorable person, and you, of course, are a Republican, so this wouldn't apply to you. By the way what kind of music do you play on your guitar? The blues?

Posted by: Alex | September 2, 2008 7:31 PM

So, selecting Palin is McCain's first presidential-like decision. Ouch.

Posted by: Rob in VA | September 2, 2008 7:40 PM

You know, I really just want what's best for the Country. Call me crazy, but I still believe in this fairy tale where the principals of the great men who founded this Nation still hold ground. All men being equal, a persons right to privacy and so on and so on.

In my opinion, we need someone be it President or VP who will bring us back together. As a Nation, and a people who above all else, will not let our individual beliefs mean more than the common goal.

Seems like everyone now a days says my side is right and $crew what you have to say. When those men were in that hot court house in Philly all those years back, arguing and bickering over whether we should go to war with Britain, they did that so that we could come together, and make our own way. Lets discuss the issues, and focus on an idea, and a plan to fix them.

The little girl messed around doing the dirty, okay. I'm sure that her mom (and her way of thinking goes against everything that I think) raised her as best she could, and did not want this for her daughter.

Lets focus on which one of these two sides is going to be more willing to cross the line, with arms wide open, and say with meaning 'Let us continue the greatest Nation the planet has ever known, regardless of our differences, stand by me.'

America everyone. America.

Posted by: Coleman - Knoxville, TN | September 2, 2008 7:41 PM

Jack Jack Jack... you are a conservative elite. Let me guess... white, over 40, well off enough to sleep at night... you hate the liberals so much you want to blame them for believing a story verified by your own candidate! I don't care if you taught sex ed in your ivory tower, Jack, it doesn't change the facts. I'll bet you were one of those who listened to Hannity about Reverend Wright and went to town with "this raises questions" about Barack Obama. Did you go to Wright's church? Did you verify everything said about Obama? Of course not. When the worm has turned, do be a nice boy with your milfish VP, and shut your pie hole. No one here is buying it.

Posted by: you ain't jack | September 2, 2008 7:42 PM

Palin just might ruin McCain's election
Did she really pass his white glove inspection?
She's got legal woes
while her daughter foregoes
a condom for her boyfriend's erection.

Posted by: Diane W. | September 2, 2008 7:42 PM

The real story yet to be told is what pressures (direct or indirect) have been applied to this 17 year old girl. Did she get to choose to keep the baby, or was this forced upon her? Her mother does not believe in her right to choose, so does that mean that Bristol has the same mindset as her mother, or was her mother's will forced upon her, as her mother's party plans to force upon the nation?
What about the ridiculous assumption (a lot of press are making this one) about her marrying the father would somehow make things better? I was taught that two wrongs don't make a right...
Here is one, single family, going through what millions of families go through in this nation, now paraded out, on-stage, for the entire nation to witness.
The nation is going to see the far-right's ideals, implemented in a family environment, through a microscope.
I personally don't think it will be pretty, but I don't agree that this is not the nation's business, as this pregnancy represents a plank in the platform.

Posted by: BWTM | September 2, 2008 7:50 PM

Boy!, Demos have sure stacked this message board. I am a independent and quite frankly was undecided until the VP Palin announcement ,I will commit to McCain/Palin. The comments I have read here by Demo Bank employee/recruits is indeed distressing. I have voted Demo 85% of the time during my 40 plus years of voting but not this time. Reading this board had definitely solidified my decision. C Murphy

Posted by: C MURPHY | September 2, 2008 7:53 PM

First, the admittedly left wing news focuses on any potentially controversial negative news about Gov. Palin and then they cover the coverage as if that is news i.e. "Palin Coverage Focused on Daughter and 'Troopergate'" Are we supposed to think that the Washington Post is not giving a leftwing approach it’s just reporting on the coverage.
What is the term for that? Nested bias?
When you say things like "A state ethics probe has been launched into the controversy, dubbed "Troopergate," I think it would provide a useful prospective to describe who it was that did the dubbing. Was it leftwing bloggers or those evil neocons?

Posted by: left bias in the news | September 2, 2008 8:35 PM

Face the facts about Sarah Palin:

1. She has more executive experience than either Senator Biden or Senator Obama.
2. She and her husband know what it takes to run a small business.
3. She has stood up to corruption in her own party and has stood for the victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
4. She has worked to get a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 states, thereby increasing the supply of a cleaner, domestic source of energy.

Conclusion: We have a chance to elect a president, John McCain, who knows foreign and military affairs and a vice president, Sarah Palin, who knows energy policy. Given what this nation faces, that's a winning combination

Posted by: Graniteman | September 2, 2008 9:24 PM

It was completely unnecessary for the McCain/Palin campaign to reveal Bristol's current pregnancy. A simple, direct approach to the Bristol-is-Trig's-mom rumor would be: "Here's Todd's DNA, here's Sarah's DNA, here's Trig's DNA, it's a match, you people are disgusting."

But they didn't do that -- which means that the rumor almost surely is true. Now, Bristol may in fact be pregnant (again?), but that is irrelevant to the issue of whether the Palins lied about Trig's parentage. In fact, it's really sad that they used her (and Levi) to try to rehabilitate some fatally flawed decisions. And Ms. Palin's poor choices in this sordid drama directly reflect on her judgment, a quality we all agree is vital in a potential Commander-in-Chief.

Posted by: Scott M. | September 2, 2008 9:45 PM

bad pick McCain!!!!!!!!!!!! lost my vote

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 11:06 PM

republicans are such hypocrites... palin's daughter get's knocked up when she's 16. obviously the daughter has the same real family values...considering sara palin was knocked up when she got married too...

so they call it doing the right thing and being who is raising the "grand-daughter"... mccain's potential veep? they guy is showing signs of alzheimers and is a step away from the you really want to trust the white house in a beauty-queen's hands ...

i don't think so. mccain is losing his mind. it's obvious. time to tell grampa to head for the old-folks home.

Posted by: frank | September 3, 2008 12:03 AM

Doesn't anyone see the rich irony in this? McCain's campaign tried to link Obama to Brittney Spears in voters minds despite the fact that Brittney is infamous for her misconduct and Obama is famous for his accomplishments by just saying Obama is a celebrity. Now McCain picks a VP whose daughter, Bristol, gets knocked up like Brittney Spear's sister Jamie Lynn Spears and linked himself to their infamy in a brilliant stroke of instant karma.

Posted by: R. Wolfe | September 3, 2008 5:04 AM

This is the sort of "vetting" expertise we can expect from the McCain administration.

Oy vey. Let's see when I hire a trainee manager I meet with them three times at least. He signs off on a VP pick after meeting her once.

Posted by: Shrub | September 3, 2008 5:26 AM

This is quickly becoming a joke -

Bring back Romney !

Before it's too late !

Posted by: PulSamsara | September 3, 2008 8:11 AM

The latest buzz is that Mitt Romney has already started preparation for his 2012 bid for the presidency. That level of confidence in the McCain/Palin ticket as a losing ticket is already hurting McCain in the polls. People say introducing Palin on the losing McCain ticket has further reduced the chances of Hillary making another run in 2012. Hillary's hope was that somehow Obama will stumble in the November election, paving her way for the white house bid in 2012. But those prospects have vaporized with the controversial introduction of Palin.

Posted by: Joe Rubber | September 3, 2008 8:23 AM

Bristol's so called boyfriend seems to be pressured into popping his head at the republican convention. His future is already changed since every employer out there will know who he is and what he did to a teenager before they hire him. There is also the question of whether he was forced into accepting to marry Bristol just because her mom wants to boost her career. If he really did not want to marry Bristol, this whole fiasco will be doing a terrible mistake of getting two kids married for the wrong reasons.

Posted by: Kent Fricklas | September 3, 2008 8:35 AM

Bristol's boyfriend is scheduled to appear at the RNC convention today. I would advice parents with teenage daughter's to be extremely cautious today. He is a pedophile who preyed on a teenager and got her impregnated. What does he say to his classmates who say that he really does not want to marry Bristol or have the baby as was allegedly mentioned in his myspace page before it was taken off. Did Sarah Palin use her pressure on him to marry his daugter for her political face saving?

Posted by: Lizzy | September 3, 2008 8:47 AM

Hey, if you make a mistake you take your girlfriend to planned parenthood and fix it. Afterwards, I let her cry on my shoulder for a couple days, doing the "good boyfriend" thing, now i'm a free man.
If her parents found out, I would be stuck for 18 years. Keep abortion legal. It is a choice.

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: Chip | September 3, 2008 8:55 AM

McCain's vetting process diary says the following:

McCain initially considered Britney Spear's mom as his running mate. But then she refused saying that she has to spend time taking care of Jamie Lynn Spears who is a teenager with a baby. Then he considered Paris Hilton's mom. Paris' mom replied to him that her daughter is no longer a teenager and she is not pregnant either. So the remaining choice was Sarah Palin. Sarah responded that since she never spent any time taking care of her teenage children she does not worry about Bristol and her pregnancy. That worked out well for McCain.

Posted by: Mike Souza | September 3, 2008 8:59 AM

to r.wolfe: yes I saw the irony and said the same thing:KARMA

when I first heard mc cain's vp pick I thought:"gimmick"..a trick to lure women's I see more to it..sinister..
the summary is: Bad pick to just get elected..not in the best interests of the country.

In a Washington Post interview, Karl Rove admits that the Sarah Palin pick was "not a governing decision but a campaign decision
remember when McCain smeared obama by saying "He'd rather lose a war so he could win an election"?
Well, Now Rove admits McCain not what was good for the country but what was good for his campaign!!!

and sarah should stay home with her family..they need her

Posted by: dutch163 | September 3, 2008 10:36 AM

The sad thing is journalists read these boards and think the screaming partisans here represent the "mood of the country."

We all know darn well that if Palin was a Democrat, the screaming Internet Democratic partisans here would be defending the teenage pregnancy and the screaming Internet Republican partisans would be slamming it. The "outrage" and "compassion" here is very transparent, and obviously has more to do with "party over all" than any sort of moral or intellectual foundation of beliefs.

Posted by: P | September 3, 2008 10:56 AM

I'm amazed at the fluff about "troopergate" and that nobody seems to be asking some important questions:

Shouldn't a trooper who drives his patrol car drunk, harasses citizens, and tazers a child be fired?

Shouldn't someone in a position of power who knows the facts and details about such a "bad apple" do something to bring it to the attention of his supervisor?

Do we want, instead, a leader who just turns a blind eye to corruption? We Alaskans have had our fill of that kind politician. Sarah Palin has been a breath of fresh air for us as she's cleaned house (and senate). So, instead of dwelling on silly questions about her daughter or her hairdo, how 'bout digging into some more questions:

Why is Sarah Palin, even well into her term, still so astronomically popular with a population of notoriously independent, skeptical, and sometimes cantankerous Alaskans?

What were the real reasons Walt was removed from his position? (This may take some actual journalistic digging, not just quoting the opinionated.)

Alaska is entering a new era as we begin the process of building the natural gas pipeline. People Outside have no idea what a big deal this is! Sarah Palin has shown a lot of shrewd courage in standing up to Big Oil and sticking to her guns for Alaska's best interests. What does this record show about her skills, her character, and her potential as a leader on the national scale?

Posted by: restelle | September 3, 2008 12:14 PM

the whole "republican morals" situation is going to be a huge issue.

people think that it is a problem now.

wait until the pictures that were stolen from levi's photbucket account are leaked to the press.

there are at least a dozen photos that show the second youngest daughter drinking tons of alcohol

seriously tons of alcohol. not beer. HANDLEs (1.75 liters) of rum and vodka, and hard liquor in general seem to be the choice.

seriously a bad VP choice.

I am not saying that this is somehow strange or uncommon, but if you are going to be in a very public position as a republican and you have teenage children, honestly you are screwed.

it would be the same if it was any other politician and they had teenage children.

Posted by: mongo | September 3, 2008 6:50 PM

Sorry McCain you Lost my vote !!

Posted by: MargaretinVa | September 4, 2008 12:33 PM

Oh my I used to be a Republican but now only bad decisions abound in the republican party - this is like a really really bad resume- McCain will lose my Vote

Posted by: JeanneinOhio | September 4, 2008 12:48 PM

this lady for was everything before she was against it and is NO role model for my daughter.

what - you cant use my family but i can put then on TV, including the cleaned up soon to be son in law.

all you religious right - aside from abortion, what message are you sending children in this country??????? get knocked up and we will PRAISE you??????

get off it - this i took the bridge to nowhere money and spent it, leader of ted stevens 527, linked to abramoff through her lobbyist is NOT for this mom

Posted by: repub hypocracy | September 6, 2008 6:24 PM

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