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

September 2, 2008 |  4:53 pm

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