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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

The Only Things You Need To Know About Sarah Palin's Kids

Alaska governor Sarah Palin has not gotten very good press for her first few days in her new role as the Republican vice presidential nominee. Some has revolved around the TrooperGate scandal she's at the epicenter of in her state. Some has revolved around her incredibly short time in public office and absolute lack of experience or qualification to be a heartbeat away from the role of President of the United States. And some, against the urging of Republicans and Democrats throughout America, has focused on Sarah Palin's children.

We are in agreement with Senator Obama that a candidate's family should be off limits to political attacks. But the way the McCain campaign has dealt with the issue are much more of a story than Palin's kids ever were. So to cover the subject and be done with it, here are the two things you should know about it, from the mainstream media themselves:

  • Roger Simon at Politico notes that the lambasting of the media from the McCain & Co. Campaign is based on a contradiction the campaign itself created:

    Fifth, we should stop reporting on the families of the candidates. Unless the candidates want us to.

    Sarah Palin wanted the media to report on her teenage son, Track, who enlisted in the Army on Sept. 11, 2007, and soon will deploy to Iraq.

    Sarah Palin did not want the media to report on her teenage daughter, Bristol, who is pregnant and unmarried.

    Sarah Palin thinks that one is good for her campaign and one is not, and that the media should report only on what is good for her campaign. That is our job, and that is our duty. If that is not actually in the Constitution, it should be. (And someday may be.)

  • And Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo goes further, to point out that even the issue of Palin's daughter itself was one that was released by the McCain campaign, pushed into press attention by the McCain campaign, and used repeatedly by the McCain campaign to get that very same leverage against the "liberal media":

    It was the McCain campaign that announced Palin's daughter's pregnancy. That alone might be understandable since it appears a supermarket tabloid was about to print the story. But it was the McCain campaign, entirely on its own, that dished up unsubstantiated claims about maternity tests and all sorts of other lurid nonsense that had never been seen in print anywhere. And now the McCain campaign has staged a ceremonial laying-on-of-hands on the tarmac in St. Paul in which Sen. McCain has given his official blessing to the young couple and embrace of Bristol's boyfriend Levi.

Most Passive-Aggressive Product Launch Ever?

I think the launch of the Bristol Palin story (and let's face it, this is exactly what it is...a product rollout like iPhone 3G) has to be considered as one of the most passive-aggressive product launches ever conducted by a political campaign.

As you wrote, it was the McCain campaign that launched the the Bristol Palin story and then it was the McCain campaign that immediately began to leverage the media's attention to this story as evidence that the "liberal media" is out to smear a 17 year old because of her mother's selection as Vice President.

Well, at least we know what to expect from McCain-Palin '08: Refried culture war and heaping helpings of the re-heated "it's all the liberal media's fault" meme.

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