09/02/08 — A little brave, too: Take a look at Sarah Palin's daughter from a different view

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A little brave, too: Take a look at Sarah Palin's daughter from a different view

It wasn't like anyone really thought it wasn't going to come out at some point.

Gov. Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter had to know when her mother started being asked about the possibility of becoming vice president that her pregnancy would become a national media story.

How hard would that be for an adult, let alone a 17-year-old? She knew she would have to handle the looks, the press and the judgments that were sure to follow.

And that is, of course, after dealing with being the governor's pregnant daughter -- and the stigma in her own hometown and school.

Make your comments about her choices -- both to engage in premarital sex and to keep her baby and to marry its father.

But you have to admire a teenager who could stand beside her mother in front of flashing cameras and know that her personal, private life would soon be fodder for all sorts of stories and criticism. That took guts.

There is no question that Gov. Palin thought about what a run for the White House would do to her family -- and likely discussed all of that with her children and her husband.

They had to know this wasn't going to be easy.

And like many families, they knew there would be skeletons and issues that would allow others to question their morals, their commitments and their values.

What kind of strength does it take to decide that the mission you are on is worth the struggle and the possible embarrassment of having your life put under the microscope?

Sen. Barack Obama has said families should be off-limits in any campaign -- and has refused to comment on the pregnancy concerns. Let's hope he sticks to that decision. It is the right one.

The pregnancy of Sarah Palin's daughter says nothing about her parenting or her ability to lead a nation -- any more than it does about anyone else's. It is about a 17-year-old who made a mistake.

But how that young lady has chosen to handle the hand she has been dealt is what will be the measure of who she is in the long run.

And anyone who would use a teenager's mistake as a campaign talking point is the one who is not fit to lead.

Bristol Palin might not be a role model for the choices she has made in the last year, but she could teach a lot of Hollywood starlets and other young people a whole lot about standing strong in the face of criticism, adversity and public scrutiny.

She could talk to them about responsibility and right and wrong when the going is not easy.

That is the measure of a young woman who has her priorities and her head on straight and is going to be OK.

And that is all that should matter.

Published in Editorials on September 2, 2008 10:59 AM