Back in May of this year, I covered a story in my blog ( Michelle Obama – Off Limits or Fair Game? ) that spoke about whether family is off limits in political criticisms. I said that “Personally, I think when you have anyone working for you on the campaign trail – spouse, children, parents, anyone – who is speaking on your behalf, they should take the heat for whatever comments they make while campaigning.”
I still stand by that statement.
But, in light of the recent story with Republican VP running mate Sarah Palin and her recent announcement that her 17 year old unwed daughter is pregnant, I feel the need to expand on my original statement. But first, here is a video of Barack Obama’s response to the issue, where he says that children should be off limits:
I am in agreement with him, with one exception. I think that adult children of any candidate who actively campaigns for their parents or family members should face any and all repercussions for what they say and do. This case with Sarah Palin’s daughter does not fit that criteria, and the media should back off any further scrutiny of this issue.
While I believe that parents need to educate their children on proper birth control, kids will be kids, and they will still find a way to do what they want. A pregnant teenager may indicate problems with parenting, but it isn’t a foolproof indicator. Children can get into all kinds of trouble, despite a parent’s repeated attempts to keep them on the straight and narrow.
But while the media may lay off the issue, the cat’s already out of the bag. Also, some are concerned that Sarah’s acceptance of the VP slot, and the subsequent campaigning, will take attention away from her down-syndrome child. Would the media be as hard on a man if he were in the same position? I doubt it. So while I question Sarah Palin’s qualifications for the VP slot based on her track record and background, I don’t think her role as a parent should be an issue.
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