Daily Archives: September 1, 2008

Gideon Rachman

In a column earlier this year, I asked  – “Why is the American election such compelling viewing?” My answer was that it is structured like a soap-opera and – “the script-writers know how to keep you watching with some new twist to the plot.”

Well, hat’s off to whoever is writing the latest episodes of “American President”. We now have two “you couldn’t make it up” developments – Hurricane Gustav smashing into New Orleans and the announcement that Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old (Bristol) is pregnant.

The family say that she is going to have the baby and to marry the father. I bet she is. Talk about shot-gun weddings: if Bristol’s boyfriend hesitates for a moment, he will have entire swat-teams marching him to the altar.

I am not enough of an expert on Christian morals to work out how this is likely to play among evangelical voters. I suppose the fact that Bristol is getting married and having the baby is “good”; the pre-marital sex angle is “bad” – particularly if it suggests a lack of parental supervision while Mum was busy running the state. Or maybe it won’t matter at all – and Mrs Palin will attract fundamentalist votes, on the basis of her opposition to abortion and flirtation with creationism? Read more