September 2, 2008

The Connection Between John McCain And Bristol Palin


Although the McCain campaign said that Mr. McCain had known about Bristol Palin’s pregnancy before he asked her mother to join him on the ticket and that he did not consider it disqualifying, top aides were vague on Monday about how and when he had learned of the pregnancy, and from whom. (NYT)

If there was a national organization dedicated to helping people with impulse control problems, this image — taken just before the Veep announcement on Friday — would make a great billboard for the front of its headquarters.

What resonates in this photo — in John McCain’s over-the-top chuckle and his focus on Bristol Palin — is how much McCain’s impulsive, yet potentially world changing decision to ask Bristol’s mom onto the ticket without vetting her echoes Bristol’s impulsive act of getting pregnant (and the question whether, at this point McCain really did know).

… A “maverick,” by the way, is ostensibly someone known for fiercely independent thinking, not fierce actions without thinking.

8:55 pst Clarification/Update: The post, in my mind at least, has next-to-nothing to do with Bristol Palin.  Any teenage that gets pregnant is acting impulsively.  It’s not a character fault or accusation, it’s more a developmental issue, and one — like the Palin family is saying — must be treated more as a mistake than anything else.  The point, though, is how much the same kind of unthinking behavior, in a grown man, and especially someone who aspires to the presidency, IS a character issue.  Along those lines, what is captured in this picture is one of two realities: that either McCain did do his vetting and, along with a lot of other baggage about Sarah Palin, he’s pretending not to see it, or what I suspect, but have no way of knowing, is that McCain — who chose Palin in a knee-jerk act, the impulsive person never that interested in or able to deal in facts — smiles at Palin’s daughter with Palin’s baby (and grandchild), but has NO IDEA about any of “the baggage.”

(image: Heather Brand/

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


Comments Powered by Disqus