That’s the question this analysis by AP writer Ted Anthony poses:
The Republican message about the Palin offspring comes across as contradictory: Hey, media, leave those kids alone — so we can use them as we see fit.
If you doubt this scenario, consider this: On Wednesday morning, a teenage boy from Alaska stood in a receiving line on an airport tarmac, being glad-handed by the potential next president of the United States — because he got his girlfriend pregnant. TV cameras were lined up in advance. The mind boggles.
“Either the children are out of bounds, and you don’t put them in the photo ops, or you don’t complain when somebody wants to talk about them. You can’t have it both ways,” said John Matviko, a professor at West Liberty State College in West Virginia and editor of “The American President in Popular Culture.”
“Right now, it looks like they’re being used by the campaign more than the media are using them,” he said.
[…] Using one’s relatives as accessories in the political arena can have its pitfalls, despite McCain’s remark to ABC News on Wednesday that Palin has “got an incredible resume, including a beautiful family.” Candidates open themselves to charges of hypocrisy if they demand the ability to boast but reject the attention that can ensue when the road gets rougher.
McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds, however, takes issue with that conclusion. He says both positions are possible.
“There’s a long-standing precedent of children of the candidates being in the public eye as members of families involved in public service,” Bounds said Wednesday night. “There is also a long-standing precedent of candidates’ children being left out of the hardball politics of campaigning for higher office.”
That’s pretty typical hypocrisy for the Republicans. Especially when one of the things they’re pushing about Palin is her supposed status as a “soccer mom” who is big on “family values.” In all fairness it’s not as though Obama hasn’t put his kids up on stage or in front of the camera with him, but then neither one of them is representative of a failed policy stance that Obama promotes either.
Maybe I’m stupid (duh, it says so right in my blog name), but it seems to me that if you don’t want people using your pregnant minor child and her “I’m a fuckin’ redneck” boyfriend as a political football then perhaps it would be wise not to do so yourself. But that’s just me.