When Sen. John McCain announced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, it buoyed the sleeper candidate's campaign into a frenzy. Not only did the Friday-morning selection trump the news cycle discussion of Sen. Barack Obama's historic nomination acceptance speech, but it also appears to have drawn the coveted GOP conservative base back into the fold. Naysayers jumped at once at Palin's lack of experience. However, with the recent revelation that Palin's 17-year-old daughter is five-months pregnant, McCain's daring choice became a national debate of which the campaign has lost control.
Once it became known that McCain chose Palin as VP only a day prior to the announcement, the media and pundits began to question whether his team had known about the governor's skeletons. McCain's camp fought back, saying it thoroughly vetted Palin, and did not think an old DUI charge to her husband, a pregnant minor, or an ethics investigation were deal breakers.
There's no reason to take pot shots at Palin's family – in fact, they've now become a walking pro-life statement, which should placate conservatives concerned with McCain's record. However, if McCain's team knew of these tabloid-worthy items, it should have aired them immediately upon her selection, or better yet, asked Palin to announce it prior to her selection. This way the news would have been part of her bio, not a standalone story on the first day of the RNC.
The campaign is blaming the media for too close scrutiny of Palin, but that misses the point. It's a 24/7 news cycle, so it's no surprise that Internet rumors swirled over Labor Day weekend. The statement released last Monday shocked RNC delegates, while images of the pregnant teen covering her “baby bump” with her younger brother played over and over. The media was simply doing a job that the McCain campaign neglected.