Monday, September 01, 2008

Bad Spin Doctors! Bad!

This is not the way to deal with the "Trig is Palin's granddaughter" rumors!

The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.

Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin's five children with her husband, Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.

"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us," the Palins' statement said.

"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support," the Palins said.

The Palins asked the news media to respect the young couple's privacy.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates," the statement concluded.

This is, aha, not going to help things. At all.

People will still believe the rumors even more than they did. Palin is highlighting them through the response, and this is exactly what the rumormongers need; the credibility of a response. I had thought they were going with "we're not going to dignify that with a response", which would be the logical approach. Instead, it's now a talking point.

It still won't pass the public's smell test, either. The problem is that this sort of thing is exactly what someone trying to salvage the situation would do, and the public knows it. Every analyst and blogger worth her salt will be saying "er, wouldn't this be what she'd do if she were lying?" The answer is "yes." Someone who wasn't lying probably wouldn't go to this extent. They'd just deny it, and proffer proof.

(Plus, if the daughter is five months pregnant, it still doesn't explain how Sarah looked so svelte as a 7-months-pregnant woman, or why she'd endanger the life of herself and the baby by taking that long flight back to Alaska when Sarah was practically already delivering.)

But let's say people do think she's telling the truth. People will think that Palin is pushing her daughter into marriage in order to save her campaign! I doubt a 17-year-old having her "first" child really wants to get married, and certainly wouldn't want to have it be her mother's political defense. She's dooming her daughter to a marriage she may not even want because it's politically inconvenient if she doesn't. Never mind the poor bastard that she's had the kid with.

A shotgun marriage at 17? Really? She thinks this will appeal to women?)

Honestly, the Kerry campaign could give lessons to these idiots.

Edit: So, this "five months" thing is supposed to get rid of the Trig rumors, right? Can't be doublepregnant, right?

Sure, except that anybody who thinks that Palin would lie about the pregnancy will believe that she'd lie about how far along Bristol is. If, er, Bristol is even pregnant in the first place.

(There's also right-wing blog chatter about how Sarah was breastfeeding the child. That'd be true, except that she's a governor. I imagine that a governor can probably get the hormones that make you lactate. They aren't exactly rare.)

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