The high price of Sarah Palin's candidacy

The out-of-wedlock pregnancy of Sarah Palin's teenage daughter is not news by itself. Many American families have faced the same situation.

What it implies about Palin, however, is not flattering.


The out-of-wedlock pregnancy of Sarah Palin's teenage daughter is not news by itself. Many American families have faced the same situation.

What it implies about Palin, however, is not flattering.

The Alaska governor's decision to accept Sen. John McCain's offer to be his running mate says one of two things, take your pick: 1) She is so naïve and clueless that she didn't realize her daughter's condition would place the 17-year-old and her lover in a national media spotlight, or 2) Palin knew that and went ahead anyway, throwing her own daughter under the train in a reckless rush for national fame and power.

If this is an example of a family value of the religious right, it is one that surely is repugnant to many Americans. Both Palin and McCain are giving us a display of raw ambition that is truly staggering.

McCain has rolled the dice, and now we have a national sideshow featuring kids whose mistake would never have been known beyond their hometown had McCain and Palin shown any respect for their privacy.

Floyd J. McKay, professor of journalism emeritus at Western Washington University, was a print and broadcast journalist in Oregon for three decades. Recipient of a DuPont-Columbia Broadcast Award for documentaries, and a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, he is also a historian and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He resides in Bellingham and can be reached at floydmckay@comcast.net.


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