General Question

lefteh's avatar

Should Bristol Palin's pregnancy be a matter of public interest?

Asked by lefteh (9429points) September 1st, 2008

The biggest story of the day behind Gustav was the pregnancy of the daughter of Sarah Palin, McCain’s VP choice. Obama said the following: “I have said before and I will repeat again, 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 Governor Palin’s performance as governor, or her potential performance as a VP. And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories.”

I want to know what Fluther thinks. Is this a private matter, or an important test of character for someone who could be a heartbeat away from the presidency? Should we care?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

80 Answers

cak's avatar

No, not at all. I’m not voting for Bristol. This young woman has enough on her shoulders, already. She’s not running – her mother is. Everyone, leave her alone.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

It shouldn’t be part of why someone would or would not vote for them.

But as an extreme right Christian, Palin has set herself up for this….and makes no difference if it ‘should’ be a matter of public interest. It is. We have to deal with what is.

jrpowell's avatar

It shows that her policies are flawed. She is staunchly for abstinence-only education and that didn’t work out so well in her own house.

I’m bothered more by the fact that she was a Mayor of a town of 8K and a Governor of a state that has 600K people. She is one of the least qualified people he could have chosen.

torisecret's avatar

I think peoples families are off limits. Every one has skeletons in their closet. No ones family is perfect. People shouldnt be judge by their family but as an individual.

dalepetrie's avatar

I agree with Obama in spirit that families are off limits. Now there are a couple arguments. One is the measure of character. To be honest, I see a lot of hypocrisy going on here. Republicans would like people to say, “look at her character…she walked the walk on her beliefs and kept the Down’s baby…it shows who she is.” But then when someone says “what does it say about her character that her 17 year old is 5 months pregnant,” suddenly it’s OFF LIMITS. Bottom line, some people are going to judge a person’s character by how they conduct their family business. If someone has a son or daughter in Iraq, it speaks to the candidate’s character that they don’t use their status to keep their kids out of harm’s way, and it shows that they raised their kid with a respect for national service. But if their kid gets arrested for drunk driving, well their kid isn’t the candidate, you can’t control what your kids do, they’re individuals.

To me it illustrates an amazing hypocrisy that I’m amazed more people don’t see through. When it was revealed that Obama’s pastor (not even a person he had any responsibility for raising, mind you) said things that didn’t jive with Obama’s message, suddenly Obama was painted as a dangerous ideologue, and you can bet your last dime that many of these same people who demonized Obama for his pastor are saying, “well, you can’t judge Sarah for what her daughter did.” Consistency, that is what I have a problem with….partisans are rarely objective and it seems like the Republicans this year have a HUGE problem with consistency. It reveals itself when for months we’ve heard that Obama doesn’t have enough experience to be the President. We can’t trust him to be President even though he’s got nearly 4 years of national legislative experience and what was it 8, 10 years of state legislative experience (in a state whose largest city has several times as many people as the entire state of Alaska), even when he is backed up by someone with over 35 years of legislative experience at the national level, including heavy foreign policy experience. Yet McCain who is 72 and has had cancer 4 times and could very well die in office picks someone with 1.5 years of experience as governor of a state with a smaller population than 40% of the counties in the United States (meaning your typical county commissioner manages a bigger budget), suddenly she is a “quick study” who can pick up foreign policy just like that, and has more executive experience than anyone else on either ticket, and is the commander in chief of the Alaskan National Guard.

Now, I know I’m rambling, but I do have a point. Does it matter what her family does? Does it matter for example that her husband has a DUI on his record…or should it? It really doesn’t….or shouldn’t. But should it matter that Obama briefly worked with a guy who had ties to a terrorist organization 40 years ago? Here’s where I draw the line….does it have anything to do with the way the person will govern?

Here’s my litmus test. This woman believes that we should force schools to teach only abstinence based sex education. I believe, and there is no question in my mind that this leaves teens undereducated and underprotected from the dangers of unprotected sex, namely unintended pregnancy and disease. I personally believe comprehensive sex education should be offered in schools…Sarah Palin does not agree. And Sarah Palin has a 17 year old daughter who is 5 months pregnant. Now if you listen to the Republican noise machine which is in overdrive on this, it’s OK to use this to praise her, to show that her values have produced a daughter who is taking the appropriate responsibility, keeping the baby and marrying the father. But it’s NOT OK to point out that it’s exactly the mentality that 17 year olds should not know how to keep themselves from getting themselves pregnant, SHOULD they choose to have sex in spite of their parents’ admonitions not to, that Palin pushes which resulted in this very situation!

What I hope is that this helps independents see the disconnect between what Republicans say when guilt by association affects a Democrat, and what they say when it affects a Republican. Therefore, it’s very wise to do as Obama says and not try to push the guilt by association the way Republicans do, because if we do that, we stoop to their level, we look like hypocrites and we don’t walk the walk. Now anyone who seriously wants to see the difference between the candidates has some pretty good apples to apples comparisons to make.

tinyfaery's avatar

Ultimately the public decides what is of interest; this obviously is. Do I personally give a shit? I agree with dale. The hypocrisy is what makes this story of interest.

kevbo's avatar

a) there is barely such a thing as privacy for joe citizen, so a national political figure shouldn’t expect it, especially in this age of celebrity.

b) Palin is never going to be more than a national joke. I don’t doubt that she’s a competent person, but she has already been boxed and labeled as McCain’s Hail Mary, a token female candidate, the mother of a teenage whore, someone who isn’t above using her office to carry out personal hits on her enemies, someone who is quickly overtaking Chuck Norris’ notoriety for her little known facts, and a blog churn that will probably get “GILF” and “VPILF” into next year’s Webster’s. Her candidacy was already a circus side show, and her daughter getting knocked up has only solidified further what was already happening.

Obama’s taking the high road only because it keeps his nose clean and because he doesn’t have to lift a finger to keep this Republican snowball from tumbling down the mountain.

dalepetrie's avatar

The other issue it brings up is, was she vetted at all? McCain says she was, but it seems strange that the first thing we hear about her is that she’s under investigation for illegal firing, and the second thing we hear is that her 17 year old daughter is 5 months pregnant. And let’s say that all these rumors that this same daughter is actually the mother of her Down’s baby are just plain rumors, it seems a good vetting process would have turned up the possibility that these rumors could pop up. I can’t imagine they were crafted out of whole cloth…they MUST have existed at the local level. And look at pictures of her pregnant with her other kids…she was clearly pregnant…yet pictures of her at 7 months pregnant with this baby…not even a bump. Yet pictures of her then 16 year old daughter show a clear bump. Now I’m wiling to say that maybe she showed with her other kids but not this one, and maybe her daughter just has a paunch and this is all hostile and moronic rumor-mongering, but it seems like a search committee worth their salt would have had all three of these things at the top of their concerns list and McCain should have had a well thought out answer to all of them ASAP.

But it raises questions of whether she was vetted at all, and indeed now some are reporting that they’ve called people who worked with her, dozens of people who would be in the no, and not a single one of them talked to anyone. They talk about how McCain first met with her ostensibly the day before. It smacks of a last minute desperate decision, and when you look at the way she pandered to Hillary supporters the first time she said anything to the world at large, it just seems like, wow, OK even if I’m being cynical by thinking that McCain simply thinks anything with a vagina is interchangeable with anything else with a vagina, doesn’t it at LEAST seem like a logical step that this accusation would be made?

This is just one more example, one more log on the fire…it’s logical to realize that there are going to be both fair and unfair attacks on a candidate and his/her entire family, and that you aren’t doing your job if you don’t think about that before you pick someone. Just logic, and seems to me McCain didn’t figure that one out, so it speaks to me on that level as well. Fair or not.

wildflower's avatar

I get sick of hearing about my friends’ pregnancies – I really don’t need to hear about that of someone I don’t even know!

JackAdams's avatar

It’s a non-issue.

If she was a serial killer, it wouldn’t matter to me, either.

The Governor of California is a Republican, and his wife being a Democrat had no effect on him getting elected.

I agree with others who say that relatives of candidates should be off-limits.

September 2, 2008, 5:03 AM EDT

cheebdragon's avatar

Yes! It’s true!.........Sarah Palin is actually the grandmother of little baby Trig!
Bristol is his real mother! Elvis is the real father! “The King” is back…the aliens have returned him! Everything was confirmed by the Easter Bunny and Superman!!!

lefteh's avatar

@cheeb: This isn’t about Trig Palin…Bristol has a confirmed pregnancy of her own.

SuperMouse's avatar

By announcing the pregnancy, Sarah Palin made it a matter of public interest. By advocating for abstinence only education in public schools, she put herself and her own parenting choices square in the spotlight.

I’m guessing the counter argument goes something like “if Palin hadn’t made the announcement those scumbags at would have dug it up and thrown it at her, she was just controlling the way the news was disseminated.” That is an excellent argument, but this situation could have been dealt with by the entire campaign, as one refusing to talk about Palin’s daughter and her current situation. Stand up, refuse to discuss the situation, continue with the refusal, continue, continue and continue. If the kid is off limits, keep her off limits.

The fact of the matter is, when she decided to run for public office Palin put herself and her entire family in the spotlight and it is up to her to deal with the consequences of that and protect her family. In case anyone is wondering, I believe that truth applies to liberal as well as conservative politicians.

breedmitch's avatar

Could McCain still change his mind?

cheebdragon's avatar

@Lefteh- Dale brought it up

cak's avatar

@breedmitch – they can come to an understanding that this might not be the best path, right now, for Palin – but it’s not one of those moves that McCain or anyone else in that position would want to make. They want to show that they are confident, sure of their decisions and a strong leader. To announce someone, then turn around and “fire” or mutually part – not a good image. What’s the public to think if that happens? Can we trust him? He made a decision and then changed his mind a week later? Nope…not a good move!

breedmitch's avatar

I’m hoping he does change his mind so I can get out my flip flops. :)

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Palin is agianst ‘birth control,’ ...and sex education…and this is the result. Chickens come home to roost, my grandma used to say….

marinelife's avatar

What I think is disturbing about the media for one and people’s interest for another is why anyone cares about that when there are some serious issues that give me pause about Sarah Palin as a political leader including the fact that she was a member of a an Alaska secessionist organization and the fact that as governor of the state she pressured to the point of firing the head of the Alaska State Troopers because he would not fire her sister’s former husband, an Alaska State Trooper.

Now, those things scare me a lot more than the fact that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, which I hardly think we can lay at Sarah’s doorstep anyway.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

I agree there are serious issues. yet Palin set herself up for all of this by endorsing no birth control and no sex ed. It’s the hypocrisy that tangles. The situation with her daughter is sad.

Bri_L's avatar

My belief is that children were off limits.

But she brought it up.

Kinda like when Hillary brought Chealsy along to campaign for her but got offended if anyone talked to her.

In the end, imagine what would happen to Washington if we aimed that same eyepiece at that city. They’d scatter like cockroaches with the lights on.

Politicians use it and denounce it as a matter of convenience.

vectorul's avatar

Her daughter being pregnant will show that her family is normal and faces the same everyday hurdles that a lot of families in this country face. I believe that this will make her even more in touch with the people of this country.

dalepetrie's avatar

Re Cheeb’s sarcastic answer, to be fair, I DID bring it up, but I also made it quite clear that I was taking no position on these rumors either way, because my point has nothing to do with whether the rumors are true or false, my point is that given certain photographic evidence, they seem to have an air of plausibility which to some who are less critical in their analysis (if they indeed do any at all) might be “all they need”. My point ultimately is that even if this rumors seem to eminate from loony left field to the partisan Republicans, it’s the people who HAVEN’T made up their minds who really matter in the election…your partisans are going to vote however they are going to vote. And politics, by its very nature is not fair and often who wins or loses comes down to something that really shouldn’t matter.

For example, as we all know many people voted for Bush simply becuase they liked him more than Gore (it was the who would you rather have a beer with contingent). In Minnesota, a very strong Democratic candidate for Governor was brought down because days before the election he flew off the handle with a reporter who was treating him rather unfairly. It’s politics, and the little things, even though they shouldn’t matter, just plain do. So having a pregnant 17 year old daughter really “shouldn’t” matter, but it does…but it’s a matter of whether the public sees that by and large as lemons or lemonade.

But the whole point I was making was, if you are running for office, and you are picking the person who will be the most closely associated with your campaign from the time you pick them until the time the election is held, it behooves you to not only worry about the facts, to not only look at what can fairly be ascribed to this person based on actual past actions…for example if the illegal firing investigation came up in vetting and McCain felt after reviewing the facts that this was a non-issue (and could be portrayed as such to the fence sitters), then great….but to also look at what could unfairly be ascribed to the person and how likely it would be for these allegations to stick.

So, re the daughter actually being the mother of her youngest son, given some of the photos that are floating around, even 100% assuming that it’s not true and is completely political, wrong and unfair to even speculate about this, it seems next to impossible to believe that these rumors were created and widely distributed in the first 24 to 48 hours after her candidacy was announced. It seems to me that a rumor of this nature probably did exist prior to the announcement, but no one cared on a national level because no one knew her on a national level, and it seems to me that any proper vetting process would have uncovered this rumor so as not to leave the campaign blindsided by it. Same with the pregancy which we KNOW is real.

The golden rule of VP picks is that they generally don’t matter, but the most important thing is to do no harm. Conservatives who will vote for McCain no matter whom he picked as his #2 can delude themselves and turn the rumors into a shame on you and can turn the pregnancy into proof of her moral fiber (because she’s keeping it and marrying the father), and they can turn her inexperience into “Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard” and that will make them feel better about it, and it might bring some right leaning fence sitters off the fence, but these things are NOT going to sit as wholly positive to the unwashed masses whether they be fair (like pointing out she’s only been a governor for 1.5 years of a state with almost no people in it) or unfair (like suggesting that maybe her daughter is the mother of her youngest son and she faked her pregnancy). It’s politics, it’s how the game is played and it’s why we don’t get truly great leaders anymore. And its really not about whether a family matter of the VP candidate “should” be a matter of public interest, because whether it is a matter of interest or even a matter of importance is a decision each of us have to make. I don’t think the carrying on of Paris, Lindsay and Britney should be matters of public interest, but they are nonetheless. In this case, I’m personally interested in what it says about her favored policies when it serves as visceral proof that her policies are failures. In that, it’s fair. It’s up to everyone else to decide what facts and what rumors are indeed important, fair or of interest.

So, to make it clear to Cheeb or anyone who might be critical of the rumor I referenced, you’re entitled to your opinion…I personally have no proof of anything and it wouldn’t affect my opinion even if I did. But I think it is what it is, and mocking the rumor won’t make it go away.

jrpowell's avatar


It shows her policies won’t even work at her own house. Good luck with them working across the nation.

Let us be honest here. She got picked because she has boobs. That is all. They wanted the will vote for a women crowd. The pissed off Hillary supporters. It was calculated and and probably won’t work. They didn’t even properly check her background.

vectorul's avatar

@johnpowell- did your parents tell you not to have sex? probably… and did you care? Their teen is like every teenager in the world.. rebellious….. It shows her family is just like everyother family that has to deal with children….....

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

That is not the point. Teens equipped with knowledge and tools are much better prepared NOT to get pregnant. Being against Birth Control and Sex Ed, and being busy busy polical woman——makes for an ignorance that puts the kid AT RISK.

lefteh's avatar

@vectorul: I agree with you. Kids are going to have sex. So why shouldn’t we educate them about birth control and contraception so that things like Bristol Palin’s pregnancy do not happen?

@cheeb: Whoops. Apologies to you.

scamp's avatar

Take a look at this. It doesn’t paint a very pretty picture.

My thoughts on this subject: If she is up for vice president, her life is no longer private. If she is pregnant, I don’t think she could effectively run the country should McCain die while her hormones are running rampant.

scamp's avatar

Ooops! never mind. I shouldn’t post from work. I just re-read and saw that her daughter is pregnant. Duh! I am so out of the loop!!

allengreen's avatar

The call running for public office, because those running become part of the public domain, and so do their families.

The question should be: What kind of mother joins a VP ticket knowing her teenage daughter is pregnant?

galileogirl's avatar

Just two comments:

1) Knowing that her daughter’s pregnancy would become such a widely discussed topic (of course she did!) why would Sarah Palin accept Senator McCain’s nomination. Bristol Palin will always be referred to as “the unwed teenage mother” no matter what she accomplishes in her life. Gov Palin put her own ambition ahead of her daughter’s future.

2) When Senator Geraldine Ferreiro ran as the VP candidate her 21 yo son was arrested for possession of drugs. The Republican chorus was that she was a bad mother who should have stayed home with her children and that’s why her son who lived away from home had drugs.

So what is the Republican pov-a mother is or isn’t responsible for the mistakes her child makes?

winblowzxp's avatar

She of course made the decision to do the dirty, and her parents couldn’t do anything about it, since the age of consent is 16 in AK. It’s really a non-issue, and I doubt that ‘education’ would have changed the outcome.

dalepetrie's avatar

winblowzxp, I agree it’s a non issue, she consented, it was her right to do, only qualm is that she went to school where they teach abstinence and don’t teach about birth control…there’s no guarantee that if she’d known about various birth control methods she’d have used one, but when your mother is the candidate and she is for abstinence only sex ed, it raises the question if her policies reflect sound judgment.

breedmitch's avatar

I think dalepetrie and I were separated at birth. He’s beat me to the punch on every thread today. Lurve, lurve, lurve!

dalepetrie's avatar

thanks breedmitch

winblowzxp's avatar

I don’t really think that it’s the school’s job to teach ‘sex ed’. Period. That’s a parent/child discussion. I think that that South Park episode told it exactly as I see it.

lefteh's avatar


Then Sarah Palin should have whipped out a banana and a Trojan when Bristol’s first period started.

There’s no excuse for teenagers to not be taught about contraceptives by SOMEBODY.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar


allengreen's avatar

I’ve never seen such a brutal collision between the fantasies of ideologues – “Sarah Palin is the future of the GOP” – and reality than this Palin pick. Well, actually I can: the Iraq war. Same neocon fantasists behind it, same absolute fixation on ideology and political tactics, same contempt for good governance, same unhinged arrogance, same ignorance of the actual facts and then pathological attempt to cover them up.

allengreen's avatar

In classic “compassionate” Conservative fashion, Palin opposes programs that teach girls how not to get pregnant, lobbies against their right to decide whether to have a child, then kills social programs that exist to cushion the impact of those policies. She then has the gall to trot out her own pregnant daughter as a symbol for “family values.”

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Allengreen, thank you…

jrpowell's avatar

I wasn’t actually raised by my parents. By the time my interest switched from Zelda to boobs I was living with my sister. My sister handed me a bag of condoms and told me what they were and how to use them. I am 30 and haven’t gotten anything pregnant. Well, maybe an ottoman.

jca's avatar

you have to feel bad for baby daddy because now he’s in the public spotlight, and this was not what he bargained for when he couldn’t keep it in his pants. only 18 years old and now he has to marry her whether he wants to or not because the whole country is watching.

Bri_L's avatar

No offense to you jca, but I don’t feel bad for baby daddy at all. He decided to play grownup and now it’s time for him to act like one.

There are plenty of people out there who did what he did. Plenty of people here who’s parents did stood up, grew up and made good by the results. Plenty of people who were smart enough to use protection in the first place.

I don’t have one ounce of sympathy for that meathead. The only one I feel bad for is the baby. I hope he/she is ok.

galileogirl's avatar

Ok, two more things:
1. In the run up to the convention, Michelle Obama was under constant attack for interviews that were basically non-political ‘stand by your man’ wife stuff.
2. John Stewart said it best-Sarah Palin wants her daughter’s pregnancy to stay a private family matter so that she can be elected and make every other woman’s pregnancy subject to government policy.

And why does every Republican male talk about how hot she is? Hot for a Republican maybe but more like a librarian when you return a book that has been marked with a hiliter, only with less humor.

jca's avatar

Hey Bri: i guess it’s more because of the scrutiny that the baby daddy probably didn’t bargain for (due to the potential grandmother not being up for VP at the time of the sex). that’s the part i feel bad for him about.

Bri_L's avatar

Hey jca: I guess I see your point. we all have lapses of judgement. But he knew she was a governor didn’t he?

jca's avatar

hello, doctor. yes he did know she was gov, i guess he never expected she’d get to where the whole country was watching.

galileogirl's avatar

How many 16–17 yos are thinking beyond the moment when they are having sex, or even thinking above the shoulders. If any thought actually reaches a neuron it will be “Nothing happened last time so….ooh that is nice…..”

Bri_L's avatar

@ jca: Damn right doctor ;-)

also @ gallieogirl

the point is I am wrong. You are right.

What happened happened. And now they have to get through the hardest thing in their lives under public scrutiny. I will extend my sympathy to the daughter as well.

Point well taken

jca's avatar

doctor: you’re so rough.

allengreen's avatar

Palin, cannot even manage her family, and now she will be our President when McCain tips over.

sndfreQ's avatar

No-it’s a private matter; I will add to allengreen’s observation that this weekend I watched the CNN exposés on the candidate, and was amused by Palin’s interview by Greta Van Sustern, by the part where they’re in Palin’s kitchen with Sara interviewing her youngest daughter.

She asks her on camera: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. To which her daughter replies “A Babysitter.”.
To which Sara replied: “What does mommy do all day?”.
To which her daughter replies “Sit at your computer.”

Way to put those journalism skills to work…you couldn’t write that kind of comedy!! I was laughing on the outside and crying on the inside.

And how contrived was that sight of McCain’s wife holding baby Trig during McCain’s speech? What a pathetic dog and pony show…

breedmitch's avatar

Deep breaths sndfreQ, deeeep breaths.

sundayBastard's avatar

Sure, drag the little slut in the game too. Why not? Plus I heard Palin’s son, the one in the military has a crush on Biden’s son…OMG! hee hee heee…let’s get this circus going!

dalepetrie's avatar

I have to wonder, if she (Sarah) won’t do a press conference, they want to postpone her debate (if not cancel it), she won’t answer questions from the press, she won’t let recording equipment into her meetings with heads of state, she won’t clarify her positions on a single issue and refuses to go out in public without a script, what is ANYONE supposed to talk about other than what little we know (she likes Mooseburgers, her teenage daughter is pregnant, and she can see Russia from her house)? Of course, if you do ask any questions of her, about her or what not, you are a sexist.

galileogirl's avatar

Actually the interview with Katie Couric this morning was direct and a little uncomfortable. Governor Palin’s answers were so obviously ‘canned’. Normally Couric lets interviewees off when they don’t respond but this time she kept asking about Senator McCain’s legislative record on deregulation. Gov Palin finally said in a perky litle girl voice, “I’ll find and get right back to ya!” She was so out of her depth it was hard to watch.

dalepetrie's avatar

It should be telling to ANYONE that here we are, 28 days after she’s been named the nominee and she has not done a SINGLE press conference, she has not had a SINGLE conversation with her opponent (much less a debate…not to mention that they’re actively trying to get her debate postponed), she has not fielded a single question from a reporter in a live or unscripted setting, and in the 3 scripted interviews she’s done, she’s managed to not be able to answer the question in two of them (the only exception being her softball interview with right wing mouthpiece Sean Hannity, which qualifies more as a campaign ad than an interview). We’re 40 days from the election, this person is one heartbeat away from being the President if her ticket wins…one 72 year old heartbeat belonging to a man who has had cancer 4 times, and she has not laid out her positions. She has not been scrutinized for anything other than her personal issues. And in this 4 weeks, she’s been the subject of one political and three personal scandals. And before she was named to the ticket, the McCain campaign had NOT EVEN REQUESTED the archives from her hometown newpaper! Even if I were inclined to give her a chance to win my vote, how could I even consider her if she won’t subject herself to the scrutiny that every other Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate in history has been expected to undergo? How can ANYONE not be concerned by that?

tinyfaery's avatar

Katie Couric can be hard-core. She once ripped Ann Coulter a new asshole.

dalepetrie's avatar

I assume she ripped that asshole right in Coulter’s face, because every time I hear her talk, it sounds like she’s talking out of her asshole.

tinyfaery's avatar

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….!!!! Lurve for making me laugh—a lot.

dalepetrie's avatar

And re what I said earlier, I get emails from a group called They’re dedicated to issues impacting women with small children. Now I’m not a woman with small children, but I’m married to a woman who is the mother of my 7 year old son, and therefore I’m interested in what this organization has to say. As I said, Palin has been incredibly closed lipped about what her positions are. Here’s an email I got from MomsRising just today talking about this very issue:

Dear Member,

Yesterday, members tried to deliver our letter—signed by over 21,000 people—to Governor Sarah Palin’s office in Washington, D.C. The letter simply asked, “Where do you stand?” on key issues of importance to moms and families.

But, we were turned away at the door.

When pressed, Palin’s staff told the group to drop the letter in the mail, refusing to acknowledge the crowd of moms (and adorable baby) who were in the office to hand deliver it.

Snail mail can take a while, and we want to make sure that this election covers more than moose burgers and body surfing. All candidates—male, female, Democrat, Republican, and other—should speak to these issues. Some are, and others aren’t (1). So, we’re bringing our questions to the next level: getting our questions front and center in the Vice Presidential Debate on October 2nd.

Email PBS Senior Correspondent Gwen Ifill, who will be moderating the debate, to tell her you want these important questions asked:

The team has written five questions we’d like to see posed to both Palin and Biden in that debate (see the questions below (2)). Let’s get these questions to the debate moderator so the American public gets a chance to hear both candidates, side-by-side, answering the same questions.

When you click the link above, you’ll send a message to Gwen Ifill and cc both of the presidential campaigns to let them know that over 21,000 voters want to hear them talk about these issues (which impact millions of Americans) at the debate.

Tell your friends to email Gwen Ifill, too! She needs to know how deeply important these issues are for millions of Americans—and that we demand they be addressed now!

Thank you!

—Kristin, Joan, Mary, Katie, Laura, Roz, Ashley, and the entire Team

1. MomsRising members are tracking all of the candidates’ speeches, tallying any mention of issues that impact moms. See their tallies at If you plan to watch the presidential debate tomorrow, September 26th, you can tally the issues, too! Get your scorecard at—and keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved as the campaigns continue!

2. Our questions:

* Right now, the birth of a child is the number one cause of a “poverty spell” in America, and 1/4 of families with young children are living in poverty. Do you support a policy to provide paid family and medical leave to parents following birth or adoption of a new child?

* Nearly 1/2 of all full-time, private sector workers in the U.S. have no paid sick days. Do you support a policy to provide paid sick days for workers to use when they or their children get sick?

* In most American families, both parents work outside the home. Please tell us what your administration would do to help parents secure excellent, affordable childcare?

* Studies show that moms are paid 73 cents and single moms are paid about 60 cents to the dollar for doing the exact same job as men. Do you support the Fair Pay Restoration Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?

* A child is born every 41 seconds without healthcare. What kind of Health Care Policy could Americans expect in your administration?

Seems imminently fair to me that she should be expected to answer these questions, you know, since she’s running for Vice President of the United States?

cheebdragon's avatar

“Want, want, need, need….”

sndfreQ's avatar

@Cheeb: que que?

dalepetrie's avatar

Right cheeb, how DARE any voter actually ask a candidate to state her position. We shouldn’t want that if we know she can field dress a moose, what’s wrong with us? And why would anyone whine about needing paid medial leave, sick pay, childcare, healthcare and equal pay for equal work. Whiny bastards.

cheebdragon's avatar

@SndfreQ- What about Bob?

@Dale- I think palin should be answering questions, you have a right to know where she stands.
But some of those questions are just so disturbing, its rediculous.

dalepetrie's avatar

Yes, and the biggest problem in my mind is the questions that they SHOULD be asking, when they actually get a chance, her answers are FAR more disturbing than any personality based questions which agreed, she shouldn’t have to answer.–2008sep26,0,3542588.story

My thought however is, if you’re going to outright refuse to meet the press or tell the American public anything about you other than stuff about yoru personal life, well then, what kinds of questions are you GOING to be getting. Bingo, Skippy, questions about your personal life. That’s ALL she’s opened up about so far, and as you can see, now that she’s finally opened up about something more substantive, she gives an answer akin to that the burnout would give in 10th grade history class when called upon by the teacher out of the blue.

galileogirl's avatar

Ah for the good old days when Bristol was the only thing we knew about Sarah Palin! (sigh)

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Bristol Palin’s pregnancy, faked or real, is not as much a matter of natural interest as why her mother, the child of a teacher, is content to not have her matriculate in school for 5 months of last school year, and the first part of this year. She will miss at least a year of school, and her parents aren’t doing anything about it.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

this is a bit late but i definitely think it’s private. i really really really dislike palin (to put it light [;), but her family life has nothing to do with her ability (or inability, in this case) to help run a country. it’s virtually impossible to control your daughter’s sex life, regardless of how much political power you have. unless you want to resort to like, keeping her in the basement or something. or chastity belts. but you know.

galileogirl's avatar

I am tired of hearing you can’t control a teenager’s sex life. Since most of us get through our teen years without motherhood, a LOT of parents are teaching their daughters’ self control(and girls are listening).

tiffyandthewall's avatar

@galileogirl, i’m not saying that a mother can’t influence, but if a girl has her mind set on having sex with a guy, unless her mother has got her under an incredible watch, it’s pretty difficult to prevent that. palin may have done a horrible job at influencing her daughter, i’m not doubting that either, but there are good parents who’s children don’t necessarily do as they should. my mother has taught me a whole lot about self control, and i’m listening too. but i know girls who have had their mothers teach them just as well and who have not listened too.

dalepetrie's avatar

tiffyandthewall – don’t you think it DOES matter though if your mother is in a position to set policy in regards to how sex ed is taught in your state, and your mother’s belief is that no one should be taught about birth control. I mean this seems to me that it’s a complete rejection of the efficacy of her policy on a very important issue, and her daughter is proof positive that her way of lawmaking DOES NOT WORK. That is why it was important.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

@dalepetrie, that is true, i didn’t think about that. generally speaking though, i do think that family business should, for the most part, be out of politics. and also generally speaking, i do think parents have influence on their children, but not total control. however you do definitely make a point. [:

dalepetrie's avatar

I agree with you about influence vs. control completely. I wouldn’t expect her to keep her daughter abstinent, but that she willfully decided that all she needed to know about sex was that she should be, well SHE’S the one imposing that standard on her daughter, not us.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

verrrry true indeed.

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