tagged w/ 2008 presidential campaign
The McCain campaign raised more than $10 million in the two and a half days after Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was named as the vice presidential running mate, bringing the total raised in the month of August to more than $47 million, campaign officials tell ABC News.
The final, official figures are expected to be reported in the next few days, but the amount appears to be a record for the McCain campaign, almost twice as much as it has raised in any other single month.
"We're still counting," said campaign spokesman Brian Rogers.
The McCain campaign raised more than $10 million in the two and a half days after... more
Bristol Palin's pregnancy may be the ultimate teachable moment. It just might not be the lesson that John McCain intended.
My first thought on hearing the news was: What was Sarah Palin thinking? Assuming, as the campaign says, that she knew about her 17-year-old's pregnancy and informed McCain in advance, how could she expose her daughter to the inevitable spotlight that Palin's vice presidential nomination would bring?
The unwed mother -- or at least, the not-yet-wed mother -- has become a more common (this is bad) and less shameful (this is good) phenomenon in 21st-century America. It's the unusual celebrity (the Hollywood type, not the Obama type) who bothers to get hitched before getting pregnant. The baby bump has become a badge of honor, not a scarlet letter.
Yet no one feels good about a pregnant 17-year-old, whether it's Bristol Palin or Jamie Lynn Spears. As Sarah and Todd Palin put it with decided understatement yesterday, this will "make her grow up faster than we had ever planned."
And it will be that much more difficult in the media glare. "We ask the media to respect our daughter and (the father) Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates," the Palins said in their statement.
As a parent, I sympathize. But as a parent in the media, I also know that the Palins assumed this risk. Anyone who watched coverage of the Bush twins' barroom exploits knew that the avert-your-eyes stance toward candidates' children has its limits.
It's naive to imagine, in the anything-goes Internet era, that Palin's daughter's pregnancy would go unremarked upon. It's also mistaken, I think, to expect it. Like it or not, Bristol Palin's pregnancy is intertwined with an important public policy debate about which the two parties differ and on which Sarah Palin has been outspoken.
Which brings me to the teachable moment: What should teenagers be taught about sexual activity and contraception? By whom? What access should they have to condoms or other forms of birth control? Specifically, is abstinence-only education enough?
The 2008 Republican Party platform acknowledges that "each year, more than 3 million American teenagers contract sexually transmitted diseases, causing emotional harm and serious health consequences, even death." It expresses support for "efforts to educate teens and parents about the health risks associated with early sexual activity and provide the tools needed to help teens make healthy choices."
Bristol Palin's pregnancy may be the ultimate teachable moment. It just might not... more