So now I know much more than I care to about the presumptive Republican VP nominee, with the news that the eldest daughter of Sarah Palin, who is 17, is pregnant.
Some will point fingers and say it is yet another indicator that Palin was a bad pick to be nominee.
For me, the issue of Palin's daughter's pregnancy is utterly irrelevant. Things happen with our children that we don't anticipate, that we didn't raise them to do, that are out of our control as parents (as much as we wish we could control them). It's a sadness that this 17 year old is in this situation, and frankly, I have doubts about the odds for success of the impending marriage. It has zippo to do with whether or not Palin should be VP.
As political animal, I understand the pick of Palin. She solidifies the evangelical/values-conservative wing of the party. She solidifies McCain's cred with the NRA and the anti-environmentalists. She is youthful and snappy with a comeback (although that may cause problems in the long run). Was she picked to try and draw away Hillary's female supporters? Even the most naive could not believe that - her views on social issues are too radically different from Hillary's. On the other hand, this completely takes the experience argument off the table, since both sides can bash each endlessly to no effect using the same club. Rs say Obama is inexperienced. Ds say Palin is inexperienced, and oh by the way McCain is older than dirt, so the likelihood of her succeeding him is rather high. Neutral political result.
So I just wish, for once, we could evaluate a female candidate on the merits. She will not be my candidate for a long list of reasons, not the least of which is how little we know about what she really thinks about a variety of issues. And on the issues where I do know her position, I disagree with her.
It's not about her hair, or her family, or her pregnant daugher, or the tiara.
It's about ability to know what this complicated world is about, and to lead in a measured and intelligent way in it.