I’ve found it interesting that so many commentators use Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy as a “McCain should have vetted her better” talking point. As far as I can see, it’s actually a major plus for the campaign in a lot of ways.

They needed someone to counterbalance McCain’s perceived softness on reproductive issues – and Palin is that. The country can point all the fingers they want at the failure of the “abstinence only” sex education program and be right – but the flip side is that the Republicans can point right back and say, “And this is what responsible families do when that happens”. Bristol’s pregnancy and her decision to carry the baby to term is the definitive answer to ‘what if it were one of her daughters?’

I’d question how well McCain’s advisers had done their jobs if we’d learned instead that Bristol had had an abortion, or even that she had a prescription for birth control. But the fact that she’s pregnant and is going to marry and raise her baby? And that her family stands behind her, and is proud that she has made the choice that she did? The Democrats would have to fight a lot dirtier than they have (or want to) to turn that into a negative.


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