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As the GOP turns: Sarah Palin's daughter's baby's father to attend convention

ST. PAUL -- Levi Johnston, the boyfriend of the pregnant 17-year-old Bristol Palin, plans to join the family at the Republican Party's nomination here of mom and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for vice president.

The 18-year-old father-, husband- and celebrity-to-be left Alaska this morning to join the Palin family at the convention, according to his mother. Gov. Palin's speech is scheduled for WednesdaLevi Johnston future son in law of Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential nominee and father of the Bristol Palin baby playing for the Wasilla Alaska high school hockey teamy night.

The young parents-to-be haven't faced any pressure to wed, says the boy's mother, Sherry Johnston, reporting that the two teens planned to marry before it was known she was pregnant.

"This is just a bonus," Johnston said.

So much for family privacy: Imagine the attention this couple will confront in the media-filled Xcel Energy Center where the hurricane-truncated convention is playing out.

The Palin family already has captured the attention of this hall, after Sarah Palin and husband Todd announced Monday that their daughter planned to have the baby and marry the father. They also asked the media to respect the young couple's privacy.

Good luck with that this week, as the small-town hockey player makes his national TV debut.

It is traditional for the running mate's family to join him or her on stage at the close of the vice presidential nomination acceptance speech.

Sherry Johnston allows some concern about all the attention her son will face. It's difficult enough for teenagers to cope with pregnancy, she says, without an entire nation watching. The Wasilla High School hockey team is not accustomed to 19,000 spectators.

But that's probably what'll happen tomorrow night. Our blogging buddy Mark Silva has more on this soap opera story over at the Swamp.

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (51)

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Hey! Can Bristol Palin be the "Baby Mama" Drama that Fox News was looking for earlier this campaign season?

….please place your bets now and see if you reap the rewards of a V.P. withdrawal before this Friday….

Will it be Baby-gate that brings Gov Sarah Palin down?

I doubt it….

Will it be Trooper-gate(with the help from DUI-gate, Earmarks-gate and Secede-from-the-Union-gate) that brings her down?

More likely….at least the impropriety of the investigation certainly won't help the Republican brand this fall….

did you read this redneck's statement about how he hates kids and uses the F**** word over and over again. Way to go!

What do we know about this Republican Baby Daddy? Pre-marital sex does not sound too Christian. Is he Pagan? Some Muslims are allowed many wives or consorts. How many children has he sired? What country is he from? Does he have a valid green card? He would be one heartbeat away from being the First Baby Daddy.

Is all this going to bring Sarah Palin down? Nope...hello Vice-President Palin.

I'd be interested to read Malcolm's (or any of The Ticket's bloggers) thoughts on the debate over the newsworthiness of Bristol Palin's pregnancy...

didn't barack obama work for years with domestic terrorist bill ayers? didn't he lose $110 million in grant money for the Annenberg Challenge in Chicago?

didn't joe biden get caught twice plagiarizing?

these obama/biden scandals show real moral turpitude.

these palin "scandals" are just examples of the mainstream media trotting out the Democratic talking points as soon as possible.

Keep it up, Dems. Throw in "white trash" and "breeders" for good measure. Then comes the whining after you lose by 5 points in the general.

You go to the convention with the family you have, not the family you might want or wish to have at a later time.. :-)

I would like to know why Palin's daughter's pregnancy is off limits and personal as McCain and Obama have stated. Palin believes abortion should be outlawed completely. She believes her views should be imposed on all of us. If that is no personal, I do not know what is. Why are our personal views on abortion rights NOT off limits to her and the rest of the right wing conservatives? I think everyone should be talking about how hipocritical the republicans are. What happened to abstinence? What happened to the sanctity of marriage? Oh yeah, if its a liberal, then is an abomination. If it is one of them, its ok.

I think they should have the wedding at the convention on the last evening thereof. Wouldn't THAT set off the hideous, nasty lefties!!!

Palin is a values-hypocrite and a fascist liar, and typical of all that the GOP has on offer. She's got about as much chance of being Veep as McCain has of accomplishing anything but reading the teleprompter. I'm embarrassed for America that the GOP would even nominate Palin.

So Levi is a drop-out? He hasn't graduated?

Not that this is a big deal compared to... well, whatever...

Sarah Paline need to drop out and take care of her family. There is nothing sexist about the coverage. If McCain had chosen a young, inexperienced, male with limited foreign policy credentials, and all this came out, I'd be critical as well. Shame on Mrs. Paline for putting her daughter through this. That girls needs to be sat down and talked about sex, stds, and responsibility. Paline is NOT what this ailing country needs - she needs to return to Alaska and WITH HER HUSBAND take care of her family.

I'm disgusted, since when did a 17 year old girls life become our priority?
HOnestly, does Sarah Palins V.P selection have anything to do with wether her daughter is pregnant or not?
It's not like that will govern her ability as to wether she can lead our country if the need arises. We are looking for a leader, not a role model family to lead our country.

Congratulations on Sarah Palin for standing by her committment to a right to life and supporting her daughter and Best of luck to her too, this is hard enough to go through the end of school, find out your pregnant and have your mother running for VP at the same time.

Give it a break already and leave that poor girl alone. Good Lord!!!

This is a brilliant PR move by Steve Schmidt, Carl Rove trainee that he is. Don't hide, make it like your proud. The conservative nuts will love it. Taking responsibility etc.

This is the best strategy. Until they find out that this is the SECOND baby Bristol has had, the first being the one mama says she had,

Issues about the young couple - leave them to resolve it...

The true issue is "qualification" - what we have today...
I am skeptical of Governor Palin's qualification...
Senator McCain - perhaps jumped into gun too fast...
wanted to take media attention away from Obama?

God bless America... I hope we play well for the benefit of 300 million Americans... Hope he will hear our comment.

Yes, after Sarah the "New Republican Terminator" speaks and WOWs them. It will be the most watched event in VP history, maybe it will be watched by more people who watched Obama. When the whole family join her on stage that photo will be on the front page of all the newspapers in the world. The young man is use to hearing cheering crowds and this will be the biggest one. The other big photo will be when McCain & Sarah and their families join them on statge.

VJ Machiavelli
ps This is no longer your "GRANDFATHERS" Party

The pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s unwed daughter is not off-limits in discussions of Governor Palin’s fitness to become the Vice President of the United States.

Why? Because your pregnancy is not off-limits to Sarah Palin, not even if you are the victim of rape or incest.

So the Republicans are bringing fornicators to the election. Nice. This our family values party? This is the worst possible message to give to our children. I don't think I will vote for the Sodom/Gomorrah ticket. I am going to vote for the Democrats this time. I can hear pops rolling over in his grave,but this is too much to let pass.

lajay,give it up. get some therapy.

I estimate 95% of the comments here are by people trying to mischievously make their opponents look bad.

Right? Please let this be the case.

Incredulous! What does the Bible say about fornication and pre-marital sex? But here, the Republicans are celebrating both. Imagine what would have been said and written if Michelle Obama's underage daughter were pregnant? Imagine what Foxnews and this page would have said and written if the true maternity of the youngest member of the Obama family were in doubt. Now, really imagine if the baby's father had followed the Obama's to the Democratic Convention before the benefit of matrimony? I guarantee you that these so called news outlets would have been running amok talking about Catholic values in Pennsylvania and Kentucky and West Virginia and Ohio. You remember those voters who are supposedly in doubt regarding Obama's values and how they relate to theirs? What kind of statistics and studies would have been cites and recited regarding unwed mothers in the black communities and how that has so severely eroded the great US of A? Values indeed!

In the last eighteen months, how many nights has Barack Obama spent under the same roof with his two young daughters? Just wondering.

The mainstream media, megaphone for the Democrat Party, continues to demonstrate their misogynist and child hating behavior. The comments section is littered with the insane meanderings of those who must direct their self-hatred towards others. To those of you who do not have this disease, aren't you glad?

Gov. Palin will gut a moose tonight on TV instead of giving a speech. She will not use a knife, but John McCain's "Little Eskimo" will do the bloody deed using only her teeth. That should put an end to all the nasty rumors.

It's always amazing to watch liberals try and use the religious right's talking points against them. It just shows how little they understand their opponents and their thought process.

I'm sure you've all heard it but it bears repeating. 'Love the sinner, hate the sin.' That we are human is not in question. That we fail to reach the goals we set out for ourselves at times also isn't in question. That we may stray from the path we consider true and correct can and does happen from time to time.

But none of that means you shouldn't do the right thing regardless of your actions. Having the baby and getting married mean more to religious conservatives than when she got pregnant. The fact that the first and only response wasn't 'ABORT!' is a big part of the reason she's getting support from the right. They care more that she didn't stop a beating heart because it was just too inconvenient to have the child.

Of course it's a shame they were having sex. I think it's a damn shame they couldn't keep it in their pants like (most) adults. Once you've crossed that bridge and made that mistake though, were do you go from there? Do you continue down that same path? having an abortion and basically trivializing the entire event as something that was a 'blip on the radar'? Or do you do the responsible thing and have the child and marry the man? That they made the second decision speaks volumes about them as people and is a big part of the reason the religious right is shrugging it's shoulders right now while liberals are irately spitting at their keyboards as they 'TALK IN ALL CAPS ABOUT THE UNBRIDLED HYPOCRISY OF THE RIGHT'.

Hypocrisy is evident in some of these Democratic responses. What were you doing at the age of 17? Where were your values? Why don't you concentrate on the real issues instead of on the children of the VP nominee. Hey Democrats...If you're scared, then just say you're scared. Have some balls!!

I am an Independent. I was considering voting for Obama, but after I have seen the way that Mrs. Palin is being treated by the far-left and even many in the media, I am absolutely voting for McCain in protest.
There a remillions of americans that fell like me - those who are vicously attacking her are guaranteeing a McCain victory. Obama himself has said that the candidates children are off limits but obviously US Weekly and others don't really want him elected...

So her family is none of our business... I do feel sorry for her kids but she is the one that isn't watching out for their best interests. She also has an agenda to take our decisions about our families away. This is fair game! BTW after they are born she leaves them with the nanny so her taliking about how her daughter will learn about how tough it is to raise children is rich. Her needs come before her family every time, way to go Sara Baracuda!

John Paul Telhomme, Actually most Christians say hate the sin love the sinner. They are not celebrating the sin, but being upfront and honest about it. We have gotten past the forced shunning and sending the girl away. We now treat then as someone who made a mistake but whom we love and will love. Much healthier I think and notice who are the ones having a problem with it; not the so called fundamentalists but the so called liberals. Who are the real hypocrites?

yes, funny picture choice with the 'UROLOGY' in the background.
anyhow, how about focusing on the real issues, and the dramatic events of the ongoing twin conventions in minneapolis/st. paul?

it is obvious that the traditional republican core majority represented by the legitimate candidate, RON PAUL, would never support the neocon faction headed by mccain, that has hijacked the party and is attempting once more to hijack the government.
but when the delegates declare RON PAUL, who has suspended his campaign, the legitimate winner of the nomination, he can be expected not to decline but to accept the offer, for love of humanity and liberty, for the people, and for his country.

many people who support the legitimate republican candidate's constitutional message, have been following the events at RON PAUL's 'rally for the republic' attended by over 10,000 enthusiastic people.
obviously, the convention is not widely covered by the corporate media, but can be viewed on c-span and alternative media. and while the delegates are still deliberating at the near-empty excel center across the river where RON PAUL has been prohibited to address the dissident neocon faction and the delegates, by the 'heroic' mccain (and the neocons that have not yet deserted him), it seems there can only be one conclusion - which is for them to do as one of yesterday's speakers, dean wead put it, 'come home. come back.'

'today they want you to believe a patriot supports what the government wants - a true patriot supports liberty and the people' said RON PAUL.

Parading the stud muffin on stage with the ever-fertile Bristol is an enormous mistake.

Liberals=Scum of the Earth. I would say I'm shocked to the extent you anti-American clowns will stoop to in order to get Barry Soetoro elected, but nothing is lower that Whale Dung, except the American Left.

LAJAY, do the math.

Ignorance is alive and well. The GOP is actually now going to exploit two kids who did what millions of children do...had some sex...and oops, got pregnant. NOW, mommy Palin [who??]and the "Mav" actually want us to buy into their plan to fly the baby's baby daddy into the RNC as a demo of "family values". What a crock. Those two teens haven't even acquired full brain development themselves and we're to all applaud them for getting married...which has less than a snowflakes chance in hell of surviving 5 years. Anything for appearances though, right ?? ...disgusting.

Levi Johnston, first baby daddy on the presidential campaign trail. Republican hypocrisy once again, "Do as we republicans say not as we republicans do, Amen".

So how does this compare with adultery against a terminally ill wife on this 'scandal scale'?

Just wondering what headline (if any) the LAT gave the Edwards story -- once you couldn't suppress it anymore that is.

And, no the GOP isn't exploiting them - the LEFT (including the LA Times) is. The family was keeping it a quiet, family, affair until the Left (and MEDIA) pushed it to center stage in an desperate attempt to discredit Palin.

Just shows how empty they are when it comes to real issues (Energy, Gas Pricing, WOT, etc....)

Uh. Forget about Americans. What does God say in His Holy Bible? If you are to be a leader, then your household should be led well, family of one husband, one wife, and children who are respected as well. These are GODS qualifications, not ours. This means Palin doesnt qualify. Pretty bad when we choose who we want, but forget that the MAIN chooser is God Himself who gives us qualifications for leaders! WOW. I agree with one above who writes, send Palin BACK TO ALASKA... ~judi~

Why do I feel like these bible-bashing posters excoriating Palin in the comments are having to make sure they dont end their posts with "Vote Ron Paul"...

No matter how the Right spins it, there is something wrong when a 17 year old decides to engage in sexual activitiy without protection which results in a pregnancy. The parents's lives are stunted and the child's life suffers as well.
What happened to old-fashioned values that say this just isn't right?

WOW What is speech! McCain definitely made the right choice! The left has to be shaking in their boots. Her speech was intelligent, witty and truthful. I am so thrilled she is going to be the next US vice president!!


go ask you mom and dad how old there parents where when they got married or great grand dad and mom they where having sex and married by 15 old values out the door kids been have sex young like it or not

by the way its for vp no pres

and i still would rather have her for prez then a man that has made statment after statment and we still dnt know where he stands

what has he done for are nation can you tell me one think he voted on that did or didnt help us grow as nation not one that every body voted on ethier one where he went against his own party for the better good be nice to hear other then change change change

we all want change i hate bush and i voted him in

fact s are mccann has lived and learned do i like him not much but way better the a man that has just lived

obama needs to go get a job go see the world and maybe gov a state then come back and try again

four h leader does not make you ready for pres.

OK. First of all, this is an issue that need attention. Sarah palin has a 17 year old daughter who is pregnant? Whatever happened to being a good parent and advice your child on sex after marriage. This just makes her entire family look disgusting. Her daughter is having sex at the age of 17?? Who knows how old she was when she first experienced sex?? Palin is talking about being against abortion??? OK WOW. This is a no brainer. Her daughter is fortunate enough to have a wealthy family to take of her ACCIDENT. Yes, the poor child is an accident. Trust me, I would live my life with anger if I knew I wasn't planned. For those poor (unwealthy) girls who make the same mistake Bristol palin did by opening her legs at such a young age, without the right to abortion, how would they be able to take care of a human. SARAH PALIN is soooo out of touch with reality. She is only supporting no abortion because she is looking at it from a rich family's view. It is a great struggle for poor people. Sarah Palin isn't able to educate her kids on common sense issues, how is she going to be a VICE PRESIDENT? Bristol will marry that immature boyfriend of hers who post childish and illogical comments of himself on myspace?? Let's face it if she wasn't pregnant, she wouldn't be getting married at such a young age. The marriage is just a forced solution to try to cover up the fact that she HAD SEX AND GOTTEN PREGNANT AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE. DISGUSTING. Coming out and saying that she was going to marry that kid even before finding out she was pregnant is SUCH A LIE AND A SHAME. They ought to keep that ridiculous lie to themselves. What? do they think we are stupid or something?? AMERICA, LET'S WAKE UP, OPEN OUR EYES AND SEE THE REALITIES.

Sarah Palin need to stay at home to take care of her 5 kids. Bad enough one has DS and now the 17 yr old is knocked up. Great she supports her, but it is wrong to parade this unwed--17 yr. old KID and her baby's daddy around. I guess the 17yr old and the baby's daddy was told to look like a happy, loving couple-hold hands the whole time and put on happy faces.
I know Bistrol wants to marry the baby's daddy. If this marriage is sometime soon....I hope he is smart enough not to go thru with this. A minor marrying a minor. I dont see this working out at all. This guy wants to be and probably is with other girls. I know she aint the apple of his eye! At this time in his life, he is eating plenty of apples.

Sarah Palin what a joke! I watched the Repub.Conv. and what I got from the lil puppet Sarah was more of the same. You tried to distract people who care about change. What a shame! And to have your minor/pregnant child and baby''s daddy there smiling/holding hands --wholesome----I dont think so.
The american people want change!! No thanks to the Palins take your dirty laundry back to Alaska for change lol

good lord... the way the lefties are reacting to this you'd be forgiven for thinking something seriously morally terrible has happened... like a President getting caught with his pants around his ankles in the oval office with someone other than his wife perhaps?

Why do they think that by having Bristol & Levi marry is the right thing to do? Is this to say that the child will not be born out of wedlock ? Are they entering the marriage willingly? I don't think so. And why was Levi in attendance at the RNC when he is not part of he family and he"d proably rather be playing hockey. Sure it is unfortunate that Bristol has become pregnant at such an early age and that the RNC is exploiting her situation for their own selfish gains. Odds are that thery are only getting married because of her mother is in the limelight now. They'll proably be married long enough for the arrival of the baby. They talk about family values and all but has it been established if they really love each other enough to withstand the pressures that is surely to come their way? I think that this move by John McCain and his party just reeks

The hypocrisy of the GOP is so evident in that they explain away Palin's 17 year old daughter's pregnancy as okay, because she is "prochoice". If Obama had a teenaged daughter in the same condition, the GOP would have a field day raking him over the coals as having poor family values and poor upbringing of his children. Where are all of those gray, hawk-faced, mean-spirited, judgmental evangelical conservatives now that McCain's choice for VP comes with readymade scandals such as Troopergate and teenage pregnancy. The very people who say that Obama is inexperienced are willingly accepting McCain's "judgment ?" in picking a relatively inexperienced woman to attract any Hillary supporters who are still bitter. And, why pick Alaska's governor? This seems all too convenient. How much of Alaska is she willing to give away to appease the oil lobbyists for drilling? If McCain kicks, do we want Palin to step in as President? At least Obama has the foresight to pick a more experienced man in Joe Biden as VP.
To sum this up: The GOP seems to have gone insane with their wealthy, puritanical, war-mongering paranoia. Bush brainwashed them well and POW McCain is the perfect Manchurian Candidate.

Forgot political affiliation I have several problems with all of this is, children having unprotected sex. Are we now to tell our teens that its ok to have unprotected sex and get pregnant; expose yourself to something more dire. have we forgotten AIDS/HIV? Was she of age to have sex with a young man. In Georgia young men have been put in jail when having sex with underaged girls. Ok you became pregnant but don't flaunt it. This family is doing just that. As if to say I will do what I want no matter how it looks to you because I am a child of God and doing His will. What has happened to propriety in our country?

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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