Each presidential race has its controversies. While the past two were marred by questions of voting accessibility and vote counting, however, this race is plagued with gossip about everything from Democratic nominee Barack Obama's religion to John McCain's alleged marital infidelities. In a presidential race, hardly anything is sacred.
Since John McCain announced Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate last week, the gossip mill has been focused on Palin, rather, it has focused on Palin's daughter Bristol, 17, who is five months pregnant.
Following that announcement, everyone from Lindsay Lohan to former teenage mothers have weighed in on the issue of whether or not Bristol Palin's pregnancy should be made a campaign issue. The Middle East and North African blogospheres are no exception.
…Itâ€™s obvious sheâ€™s been selected more for her life story than for her meager domestic credentials. For Godâ€™s sake, her state has fewer people than Brooklyn. As for her foreign policy knowledge, Iâ€™d like to see someone ask her about the nuclear non-proliferation treaties or the difference between a Sunni and a Shia or where the Green Line falls or how she plans to handle relations with Pakistan. But I wonâ€™t bet on it. I suspect weâ€™ll keep hearing about the pregnant girl and the hockey player boyfriend instead.
KABOBfest‘s Will feels that Bristol Palin's pregnancy should be off the political table, but still ponders its impact on McCain/Palin's campaign:
I'm just speculating about what the reaction would be if it was Obama who had a 17 year old who was impregnated out of wedlock. I think the controversy would be much different. For one thing, Republican spin would be 180 degrees different. (Obama would be saying the same thing: it should not be considered. What the Democrats’ spin team is doing, I am not sure about.)
I would rather not speculate. The Republican record towards unwed, teenage Moms stands on its own.
Still, even a little speculation strikes some as too much. In the blog's comment section, Kalash responds:
This is very sad. Seriously, this girl needs to be left alone… but alas her mother ensured the current spotlight on Bristol by accepting the nomination under the circumstances. She knew that this would be in the media (and I'm convinced she knew it would work to her advantage). So while Sarah Palin may indeed be a reprehensible person for using her family to advance her political career, the spotlight should be on her and not her daughter.
Enough with the pictures and all that other shit… why feed into the frenzy? Everytime I see a picture of this girl I cringe. I agree that this it's worth discussing in context of Republicans’ stated values and the facts of life, I also agree that it's a good opportunity to examine Sarah Palin a little more closely… but all of that can be done without focusing on the girl.
I don't believe the Republicans want to keep this out of the public eye. Surely they knew it would work to their advantage one way or another. Don't sleep! Despite the hypocrisy and the smell of BS, the ‘average American’ label suits Palin more than it does Biden, McCain, or Obama.
Yet one must only take a cursory glance at the blog of Moroccan Lady Zee, who posted a photo of John McCain greeting Bristol Palin's soon-to-be-husband under the category “humour,” to know that this is a subject that isn't going to die out anytime soon.