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Obama: "Hands Off" 
1st-Sep-2008 06:18 pm
face, Lauren: Look, bovvered?
Obama says Palin's family off-limits

Sen. Barack Obama campaigns in Monroe, Michigan, on Monday.
MONROE, Michigan (CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama said firmly that families are off-limits in the campaign for president, reacting to news that GOP running mate Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.

"Let me be as clear as possible," Obama said. "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 Gov. Palin's performance as governor or her potential performance as a vice president."

Obama said reporters should "back off these kinds of stories" and noted that he was born to an 18-year-old mother.

"How a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn't be the topic of our politics, and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that's off-limits."

Bristol Palin, a senior in high school, is about five months pregnant, according to an aide to Sen. John McCain who asked not to be named.

The aide said the Palins and the McCain campaign decided to reveal the information now because of rampant Internet rumors that Sarah Palin's 4-month-old baby, who has Down syndrome, was actually Bristol's.

Obama became annoyed when asked about a Reuters news service report that quoted an unnamed senior McCain aide saying that Obama's name appears in liberal blogs speculating about Trig's parentage "in a way that certainly juxtaposes themselves against their 'campaign of change.' "

"I am offended by that statement," the Illinois senator retorted, not letting the reporter finish his question. "There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us.

"We don't go after people's families; we don't get them involved in the politics. It's not appropriate, and it's not relevant," he added. "Our people were not involved in any way in this, and they will not be. And if I ever thought that there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they'd be fired."

I hear and respect that, but I'm not in this campaign and I cannot be fired for writing what I believe is relevant. I appreciate the moral high ground Obama takes on issues such as this, but I'm not personally going after Bristol Palin. She is merely a catalyst, and I have no intention of smearing the child at all. I have yet to post anything defaming or derogatory about her, nor will I. The issue here is her mother and the fact that I think she is dangerous as well as disingenuous in espousing abstinince only sex education (which has clearly failed in the confines of her own home - clean your own goddamn house), and the potential for her to assist in stacking the SCOTUS with conservative justices and overturning Roe V. Wade among other things scares the shit out of me.

See also: There's No Reason to Be Afraid of Taking on Sarah Palin:
The stakes here are deeper than the usual sniping in presidential campaigns, which will no doubt revisit Palin's record as governor -- including allegations of abusing her office to take revenge on her ex-brother-in-law in a messy divorce. The question is not whether she made the right and noble choice to protect her daughter, but if her repeated public statements were lies, suggesting a temperament unfit for high office.

If that is the case, McCain will have shown the nation that his hasty judgment in selecting Palin reveals another, more serious character flaw: a recklessness with decision-making. Proving that he is a maverick Republican is not the same as being presidential.
Hypocrisy, thy name be Sarah Palin.
1st-Sep-2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
I agree that families should be off-limits. Hypocrisy in public officials, however, should never be.

It is Palin's own fault that she put herself into a situation where these principles clash. In such situations, the need to expose hypocrisy supercedes the need to respect personal boundaries. The people may choose to accept a flawed representative ("warts and all", as it were), but they should not choose while ignorant of the representative's self-contradictions. She should be asked to explain her apparent hypocrisy in every interview since she is the public figure, but her daughter should be left alone.

Similarly, it is perfectly acceptable for Dick Cheney to say "None of your business" every time a reporter asks him about the apparent contradiction of his support of anti-gay policies while simultaneously having a lesbian daughter. And it is the responsibility of the reporter to continue asking the question at each interview until the contradiction is resolved. They should be asking him since he is the public figure, not Mary Cheney (except in situations where she chooses to take a public stance).
1st-Sep-2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
Perfectly stated!
1st-Sep-2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly - a lie right out of the gate.
1st-Sep-2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
Hmm, five months along. So that means in November she'd be 7 months along ... I wonder, if nobody had speculated, would the girl have been conveniently "hidden" or "too busy with school" for public outings between now and after the election?

Personally, I couldn't care less what people do on their own time with consenting folks their own age. But I'm not running for office, and I certainly wouldn't be running for office on the principle of shaking my finger at people about how to conduct their sex lives. So long as it's not an underage sprogling they're boinking, I don't care. But I care that Palin would care what I choose to do with my body.
1st-Sep-2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
Obama doesn't have to say anything about this, everyone else will do it for him.
1st-Sep-2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
My thoughts exactly. She preached abstinence and we can see how well it worked in the one sphere over which she holds the greatest influence, her own family. The segue then to questioning her judgment (and McCain for picking her) is only natural in my mind.
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