UPDATED (Yet Again!)
Keep in mind, before we wind up the Friday night activities in Blogistan, that this is still only ten hours after the announcement of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s VP announcement caught so many of us flat-footed. In ten hours, though, the hits keep on coming. Let’s take a quick look at a few more.
UPDATE: Please see Update #3 below regarding the first item in this list, re: the question of paternity on Palin’s youngest son.
UPDATE SQUARED: And ALSO see Update #4.
The first one, and possibly the most tawdry of the bunch, came via several e-mails which arrived after the announcement here at Jazz Headquarters. Check out this picture of Sarah Palin from Super Tuesday this year.
It’s a nice shot, but according to at least once source it was taken on Super Tuesday. That’s in February. At that point, Palin should have been six months pregnant with her last child. It does make me wonder if the following will turn into a story.
…the oldest girl is rumored to have actually been the one who had the last baby, the one with Down’s Syndrome. She was taken out of school the last 4 or 5 months of her mother’s pregnancy.
On March 5th, 2008 Alaska’s Republican Governor, Sarah Palin, announced to the media that she was 7 months pregnant with her 5th child. She is currently 44.
Palin’s daughter Bristol is 16 and attends an Anchorage high school. Students who have attended class with her report that she has been out of school for months, claiming a prolonged case of mono.
Palin does not appear pregnant in any recent photographs. The announcement came as quite a shock to people who had worked closely with her, and have been quoted as saying that she did not appear pregnant whatsoever during the prior 7 months. While this is debatable, you can judge for yourself here: http://gov.state.ak.us/photos.php
(Ed Note: That link has since died since we first looked at it. The pictures were removed today.)
Of more pertinent interest, Palin gave a recent interview talking about Iraq. Click through for the audio, but it includes the following:
“I say this in the context of looking at the situation we are in right now, at war, not knowing what the plan is to ever end the war we’re engaged in.
I’m the mother of a 19 year old whose getting ready to be deployed to Iraq. His striker brigade will be deployed on Sept. 11 of this year. He’s 19 and will be gone for a year. So this is kind of on a personal level when I talk about, ummm, the plan for the war, you know? Let’s make sure we have a plan here.
Palin also recently questioned whether or not the position of Vice President was even relevant and said she didn’t understand “what is it exactly that the VP does every day?”
The McCain campaign may also want to find a way to wipe out Ted Stevens’ endorsement of Palin.
Ok, faithful readers. Now tell me again exactly who vetted this candidate and how long that vetting process took?
UPDATE: Reader johnkelley e-mails to remind me of a segment which I saw on MSNBC earlier. Rachel Maddow (yes, I know… I know) told what sounded like a completely obscure, irrelevant story about Palin giving birth to her last child. Apparently, as she noted, Palin’s “water broke” while on an extended trip to Texas, but she hopped a plane back home immediately to give birth in Alaska, “so desperate was she not to have her child born in Texas.” Is Maddow on to something related to the first story in this piece but not ready to take it to the airwaves?
UPDATE 2: For all of you writing that I’m so far off base on this, check out this piece from ABC which came out far faster than I thought it might. Palin wasn’t even in the running until this week and “a few lawyers” for McCain finished her vetting without the knowledge of even his most senior staff. This was a last minute panic pick to ‘shake things up’ as the article says. Thank you and good night. Elvis has left the building.
UPDATE 3: Well, our readers have certainly been busy bees on this post. Frankly, when I finally got back to this post this morning and finished going through my e-mail, I was taken aback at how much the comment section exploded into a fireball and the number of other sites throwing more links on this column than a mafia turncoat caught with a wire on him. Almost all of the debate centers on the first of the listed items, specifically the question of Palin’s fifth pregnancy. Apparently the mention of this possibility has angered a number of people, including close friends, and brought in serious questions from many of our long time readers and commenters. Here are a couple of the more thoughtful ones.
I understand that this would be a great scoop for a reporter should it turn out to be true, but without any actual proof it’s a pretty serious attack on Palin’s credibility to claim that she is lying about her own child.
If you didn’t post on this site for a week, and during that time there were a string of bank robberies in LA, would it be spreading rumors to suggest you were the bank robber? This article seems to have just about as much factual basis behind it as that crazy allegation would, and thus strikes me as nothing more than an ugly smear against a woman who by all accounts is an honest mother of a large family.
In this case, accusing a mother of lying about her own child isn’t something that’s OK to suggest without rock solid proof, just as accusing Obama of hating his country (even if it could be true) is completely out-of-line without very clear evidence.
Ok, team, we clearly need to address this a bit more. First, let’s start with a bit of background. The original intent of this post, as a follow-on to a previous one, was to express not only my personal dissatisfaction with McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as the running mate, but to highlight my suspicions that Ms. Palin had not been vetted as fully as some of the other potential nominees. There were four more items listed in this column which I felt supported that point, and the childbirth story was only one of them. (Side note: Did you know that Palin also ran through a “windfall profits tax on big oil” up in Alaska? It’s pretty much a page straight out of the Democratic playbook.)
Back to the history. After the Palin story broke, I received a number of e-mails on the subject. One of these was from a colleague who lives in Alaska (and who shall remain nameless at his request) who sent me some information on that particular story, also stating that it was a “common story going around locally and the media was looking into it.” When I took a look at the photos and the scrubbed web site, it seemed like enough smoke to pose the question, but I felt that it was phrased in a way that made it clear that this was not yet substantiated, but might be worth a look.
But given all of the various opinions being pushed back and forth, allow me to pose a follow-up question to you. Assume, just for purposes of discussion, for a moment that this story actually might be true. (It certainly wouldn’t be the first time this has happened in our country.) Would this be an appropriate topic for discussion in the political arena, or is it simply too personal, even if true? Would a situation such as that qualify (to quote one of our readers) as a “venial sin” at most, and really not any business of the voters? Or do you, when entering politics and running for a seat in the White House, pretty much sacrifice your privacy and forfeit any right to a lie, even if it was in reference to an intensely personal matter which didn’t amount to any wrongdoing? (And let’s face it – again as some of the comments point out – even if this story were true, it would only reinforce Palin’s pro-life bona fides and show that she was taking care of her entire, if extended, family.)
UPDATE 4: After 72 hours, regardless of all the smoke rising and curious questions raised, it’s looking like the questions of Trig’s paternity may be falling apart fast. See this later update.