GOP Convention Notebook Day 2

BOB OAKES: And suddenly, it's as if we're in a huge national movie theater and we're all watching a sequel to the recent hit film "Juno."

Except in this sequel, unlike the original, the teen keeps the baby and marries the teenaged father. At least, that's the script as written at present in real life.

The revelation that Republican Vice Presidential pick Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter Bristol is five months pregnant and plans to marry the father of the baby caught just about everyone in St. Paul by surprise.

Not so in Palin's hometown in Alaska where reportedly it was somewhat common knowledge.

The episode once again thrusts the social issue of teen pregnancy into the spotlight just as it was nationally a few months ago following reports that a handful of teenaged girls in Gloucester got pregnant together in a supposed 'pregnancy pact' since denied.

Some Republican delegates here in St. Paul called it a private family matter. We spoke to Monica Medeiros, a Massachusetts delegate from Melrose.


OAKES: While even Barack Obama thinks this matter should remain private, teen pregnancy is a public problem. It cost Alaska $30 million in 2004 in public social services spending.

In 2007, Alaska ranked 11th in the nation among states with the highest teen pregnancy rate. Massachusetts was 21st.

Unfortunately for Bristol Palin, her pregnancy may become just as voyeuristically scrutinized as Angelina Jolie's or Ashley Simpson's baby due in October.

Possibly unfortunately for the McCain campaign, Sarah Palin is now undergoing intense media scrutiny as reporters try to find out if the surprise VP pick has other surprises not yet disclosed.

And the McCain campaign's own degree of background checking about Palin is also under scrutiny.

The Huffington Post reports the campaign never bothered to dig through the file of newspaper stories about her in her hometown paper. The stories were not online.

If true, perhaps Alaska was simply too far to go.

This program aired on September 2, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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