Opinion: Hurricane Bristol


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I’ve covered several Republican conventions and the way they’re usually run, they make Disneyland look chaotic.

This time, the Republicans’ orderly convention plans are getting double-whacked by Mother Nature.


Hurricane Gustav forced the scrapping of all but the legal minimum proceedings for Monday’s convention schedule. Neither President George Bush nor Vice President Dick Cheney will be speaking as scheduled; instead, First Lady Laura Bush and John McCain’s wife, Cindy, will be talking, presumably about Gustav relief efforts. There are hastily crafted donation boxes scattered hither and yon around the press spaces. (The non-appearance by Bush on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina can’t be grieving too many political strategists here in St. Paul.)

The other hit from Mother Nature is from the stork. Sarah Palin’s unmarried teenaged daughter, Bristol, is pregnant. The convention center was buzzing with that news this morning, and Southern Californians who called me on KPCC radio were quick to point to what some called the hypocrisy of the Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate, in her own words.

Palin’s statement said she was proud of her daughter’s ‘decision to have her baby....’’ The word ‘’decision’’ implies ‘’choice,’’ and gives the impression that her daughter had a choice about what to do about her pregnancy. Palin’s anti-abortion position -- banning abortions even for rape victims -- would leave women with no decision, no choice to make.

The photo of the Palin family -- left to right, Todd, Piper, Willow and Bristol, holding baby brother Trig -- at a campaign rally last week is from AP Photo/Stephan Savoia.