The Collegian
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Bristol Palin -- Not an Issue

It seems like 17-year-old Bristol and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have suffered more media scrutiny in the past few days than Barack Obama has dealt with for his entire campaign. Liberal bloggers and some in the media are pouncing on the Palin family like attack dogs, delving into private family issues that even Obama has ruled off limits. It would be wise of the Democrats to back off, and back off quickly.

If you want to attack Sarah Palin on her record as governor of Alaska, be my guest, but to drag a helpless 17-year-old girl into the callous world of partisan political attacks is pretty low, and it will undoubtedly backfire.

Unbeknownst to trigger-happy liberal bloggers, their exuberance to mar Palin only hurts their cause. Most Americans aren't likely to look kindly on political hacks verbally assaulting a 17-year-old girl, and their indiscretion will reflect directly on Obama.

Does this mean candidates' families are never open to public criticism? By no means. Sen. Obama recognized how politically dangerous it is to criticize Bristol Palin and warned his disciples to back off, but I'm just waiting for the comparison between Bristol and Michelle, who has been widely ostracized by conservative blogs and talk radio for seemingly unpatriotic and anti-American statements. "Both are family members of the candidates, and both are off limits" so the mantra will go. The difference, though, is that 17-year-old Bristol isn't out making campaign speeches; Michelle is. Bristol hasn't spent her time ranting about how bad America can be; Michelle has.

So let's keep politics where politics belong -- centered on the issues and the people that speak about those issues, not a teenage girl who made a poor life choice and is moving past it with the help and support of her family. Surely the Democrats have actual issues to discuss...

Contact Timothy Patterson at

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