In Wasilla, Pregnancy Was No Secret

  • Share
  • Read Later
Christopher Morris / VII for TIME

Sarah Palin's husband Todd, left, and daughters Piper, Willow and Bristol (holding Trig) join Cindy and Meghan McCain at the announcement of the Alaska governor's addition to the Republican ticket in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 28

(2 of 2)

If you haven't guessed yet, the people here are genuinely friendly. Even those in Palin's inner sanctum who have been told since Friday not to talk to reporters by McCain's media team are almost apologetic that they can't be neighborly and chat, since you came all this way to little Wasilla. And those who can talk, do. All weekend they had the decency not to pretend that they didn't know the governor's eldest daughter was pregnant. But they also expected decency in return, that I wouldn't be the kind of person to make sport out of a young girl's slip.

The fact is, regardless of what you will hear over the next few days, Bristol's pregnancy is not a legitimate political issue. Sarah Palin is a long-term member of a group called Feminists for Life, which is not opposed to birth control. So you probably can't tag her for consigning young people to unwanted pregnancies.

You can argue that it was ham-handed of the McCain campaign — they had to have known, right? — to somehow let this drop just a few days after the announcement. Pregnancy does show, and it does have a ticking clock. The story was going to come out eventually.

As for the idea — sure to be floated — that the avowedly antiabortion Palin might have pressured her poor daughter to ruin her life by carrying an unwanted baby to term, I wouldn't bet on it. The Palin family seems to share the same pro-life values going as far back as anyone here can remember, and it wouldn't be at all surprising if Bristol wore those values, however imperfectly, as her own. At least, that's what the town thinks. And Wasilla, above all, is pretty sensible. (See photos of Sarah Palin here.)

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next