Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin met her first challenge as John Sidney McCain III’s vice presidential running mate on Monday, making a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention that sought to preempt rumors surrounding her teenage daughter’s pregnancy.
Rumors about the pregnancy of Bristol Palin, 17 and unmarried, surfaced in the 72 hours following Gov. Palin being named to the ticket on Friday. Reports among party faithful that the conception was immaculate gained momentum over the weekend, and Palin decided to confront the issue rather than risk turning her family’s Alaska home into a holy pilgrimage site.
Manifesting to GOP delegates on live closed circuit TV at the Xcel Energy Center, Palin — her hair up in her trademark haystack style and wearing a respectable, Republican cloth coat — denied her pending grandchild’s immaculate conception, and said the Holy Ghost had sworn to her that it was not the father.
But Palin sought to reframe the question, rhetorically asking, “The question isn’t where the ‘seed’ came from, and it’s not even whether we should give it back. The question is — is it morally wrong?”
“Well, it would be. It’s a secret thing, done in secret, hidden from view, under cover, shameful, evil evil evil,” she added.
“But you know what? We’re going to make this joyous news. Bristol already loves her baby, and our youngest girl, Tricia, the six year old, named it Checkers.”
By all accounts the heartfelt, personal nature of the speech, already being called ‘The Out of Wedlock Checkers Speech,’ is helping Palin connect with the Republican base. “She hit it out of the park,” said an enthusiastic Gov. Mitt Romney.
The former GOP candidate said he is seeing a surge of support for Palin at the convention. “The delegates are really behind her. Already there is a movement to find a way for her to spend more time with her wonderful, moral, Christian family. In Alaska,” Romney said.
In related news, conservative religious leader Warren Jeffs has offered to marry Bristol Palin, “in order to do the right thing.”