The kids are off limits? Except when he can be used to get votes?

@spalladino (17921)
United States
September 3, 2008 10:42pm CST
I know that this will probably irritate everyone who is on a Sarah Palin high right now but I watched her speech and I was very uncomfortable when she used her handicapped son to make a play for the votes of the parents of special needs children. So, the kids are off limits...but not if they can be used as a campaign tool? Whether you agree with me or not, it bothered me. Does she have plans for special needs children that she will push for if elected? No, she's just going to be "your friend".
7 people like this
26 responses
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
4 Sep 08
As a mother with a child, well actually 2, she didn't play my emotions. I think it's sad. According to most here, as long as the person is campaigning for the person than they aren't off limits, so are the conservatives now going to change their minds, or eat their words? I'm sorry I was having a la la land second, they will say that it wasn't a play.
2 people like this
@piasabird (1737)
• United States
4 Sep 08
Are you saying that her children are campaigning for her by standing on a stage with her? It's hard to understand what you're saying.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I haven't watched the speech yet, though I taped it. How exactly did her children campaign for her? Is there presence at the RNC what you are calling campaigning? As far as I know the only candidate whose child campaigned for them was Clinton.
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
4 Sep 08
piasa- If she is going to use her kids to try and get votes then they are symbols of her campaign I know you conservatives have a hard time with when your candidate is not perfect and gets knocked down off of their Jesus status but oh well.
1 person likes this
@Barbietre (1439)
• United States
4 Sep 08
That is so wrong, trying to have her cake and eat it too! if kids are off limits, then they can not be used against or FOR you. No double standards. That is carppy politics, I thought she was supposed to be above all of that. Well apparently NOT
2 people like this
@piasabird (1737)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I believe it was his lordship Obama who said that his wife and kids were off limits. Even though Michelle campaigns for his highness. Come on .... admit it ..... you don't like her and in your eyes she can't do anything right.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I believe you should check your facts.
• United States
4 Sep 08
I was not offended at the bringing up of her special needs son or the son that she has in the military and I do not believe that she was using them as tools to get votes on McCain's side. Its good to know the little things that are going on in her life, it shows that she can relate with the people that are in the same situation as her. She was talking about them throughout her whole speech, so no she was not using them as a tool for people to vote for McCain.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I agree with you that, for most of the speech, she was just talking about them, letting the public get to know her better, and there is nothing wrong with that but that one line that I've quoted again and again in this thread seemed to me to be pandering to a special group and using her son to do it.
@soooobored (1187)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I'm with you, it's all or nothing. Either your kids are to be a focus of your campaign, or should be left out entirely!
1 person likes this
@piasabird (1737)
• United States
4 Sep 08
Um ... do you feel that way when Obama and Michelle paraded their two daughters out at the DNC? So are his children fair game now?
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 08
You know, I actually didn't see the RNC speech where the kids were trotted out... from reading Spalladino's post, I had assumed that it was attached to an appeal for votes from parents of special needs kids. If not, then I'm wrong!
2 people like this
@piasabird (1737)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I'm sorry as I had missed this part of her speech when I had to be somewhere. But what she said about her son in the military or her comments about her handicapped baby doesn't bother me at all. What is wrong with reaching out to people? [b]"And we were so blessed in April. Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. You know, from the inside, no family ever seems typical, and that's how it is with us. Our family has the same ups and downs as any other, the same challenges and the same joys. Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge. And children with special needs inspire a very, very special love. To the families of special-needs... (APPLAUSE) To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message for you: For years, you've sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. And I pledge to you that, if we're elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House." (APPLAUSE)[/b]The rest of her speech is here ..... http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/conventions/videos/transcripts/20080903_PALIN_SPEECH.html
1 person likes this
@newtondak (3949)
• United States
4 Sep 08
First of all, it was Obama who came out trying for votes when he emphatically said that kids were off limits - even though there are rumors that it was actually his people that started all the internet gossip saying that Sarah Palin's son was actually the illegitimate child of her daughter. Unfortunately, Obama's little speech about children being off limits hasn't keept the media or many Democrats from continuing to bash Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston. If there is any population in this country that needs a friend and advocate in the White House, it is special needs children and their families - and by the way, she did say friend AND advocate. Would you have had a problem with her taking her son and holding him on stage if he were not a special needs child - probably not. Would it still be considered "using" her child as a campaign tool if she were advocating for child care or educational services or other issues that pertain to all children rather than just special needs children? Just as pretty much all other candidates have done in the past, they brought her family onstage - male candidates have done it for decades and it was okay with everyone that they were showing that they were family oriented to get votes. Sarah Palin is a wife, a mother and a working woman - she brings her family onstage and she's using them to get votes.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
That's interesting, newtondak. How is it that Obama was simply trying to get votes when he made those statements about the kids being off limits and not making a sincere statement designed to protect ALL of the children involved? even though there are rumors that it was actually his people that started all the internet gossip saying that Sarah Palin's son was actually the illegitimate child of her daughter. Do you have any familiarity at all with the Daily KOS? They're a very far left liberal website and nobody controls that rag. They have the money and ability to derail political campaigns all by their little selves and do no one's bidding. [i]If there is any population in this country that needs a friend and advocate in the White House, it is special needs children and their families - and by the way, she did say friend AND advocate. Would you have had a problem with her taking her son and holding him on stage if he were not a special needs child - probably not.[/i] I have no problem with her holding her son onstage, I have no problem with Cindy McCain holding that baby and I thought Piper was cute as a button when she licked her hand and smoothed down his hair and *again* that is not my point. If there is any population in this country that ALSO needs a friend and advocate in the White House, it's single mothers and teenage mothers but I certainly didn't see her address that. Why? Because bringing up that subject wouldn't tug on as many heartstrings as bring up special needs children does. She picked and chose. The kids are off limits politically, morally and as sources of news yet she stood there and used her son's disability to make a pledge. Would it still be considered "using" her child as a campaign tool if she were advocating for child care or educational services or other issues that pertain to all children rather than just special needs children? No, it would not. Just as pretty much all other candidates have done in the past, they brought her family onstage - male candidates have done it for decades and it was okay with everyone that they were showing that they were family oriented to get votes. Sarah Palin is a wife, a mother and a working woman - she brings her family onstage and she's using them to get votes. Did you even read my original post? I never said that I objected to that...and I have no objection to that. I never said that she was using her children to get votes by bringing them onstage and I never said that she was using her "children" or her "family".
@newtondak (3949)
• United States
4 Sep 08
"I was very uncomfortable when she used her handicapped son to make a play for the votes of the parents of special needs children. So, the kids are off limits...but not if they can be used as a campaign tool?" Sure sounds to me like you have a problem with it!
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
You copied it but did you read it? Me:"I was very uncomfortable when she used her handicapped son to make a play for the votes of the parents of special needs children. So, the kids are off limits...but not if they can be used as a campaign tool?" Sure sounds to me like you have a problem with it! Again, the pandering below is what I have a problem with: [b]To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House. [/b]
• United States
4 Sep 08
It was important for people to know who Sarah is. She was a virtual unknown until a week ago and she had to share her story. She wasnt using her children as a tool to get votes but introducing you to who she is. Her son has down syndrome and she chose to keep him even after learning of his ailment. This is a powerful message of pro-life. Keep life even thought there are challenges. Her son is going to fight the war. This humanizes her family even more because it showcases that she faces real struggles just as many of our families do. By explaining that she is affected by war too allows her to connect with others who share the same fear when their child is taken to war. She made herself more real tonight by explaining that she is just like us and she did not exploit her children to get votes.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
[b]To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House. [/b] I disagree, she exploited the most vulnerable one...the baby. This was not getting to know me...this was a plea for votes.
• United States
4 Sep 08
it is a matter of perception. I am a parent of a child with special needs and have experienced the challenges that go with trying to get those needs met in a school system that doesnt care about the needs of your child. Hillary advocated for equal rights for children with special needs and Palin in the White House can continue to improve the programs that Hillary started years ago. Having a friend in the white house is a good thing when you know of these challenges first hand. Pallin was remarkable and her biggest critics are those that are now realizing that Obama made a big mistake not putting Hillary on the ticket and gauranteeing himself the white house.
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
4 Sep 08
asuniqueasyou, I hope for your sake since you seem to be going for that side, that Palin has it in her to kick McCain's butt into thinking her way, because McCain has been very poor on children's issues. He votes "no" when he shows up to vote, but the last few years he hasn't been showing up much to vote.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
4 Sep 08
"I was very uncomfortable when she used her handicapped son to make a play for the votes of the parents of special needs children" I haven't listened to the speech yet. Exactly how did she use her son?
1 person likes this
@piasabird (1737)
• United States
4 Sep 08
She didn't do any such thing. And it's disgusting the way people are raking her through the mud.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 08
People will nitpick everything about another candidate just to sway the people's votes to the other person. I cannot wait for this whole campaign thing to end.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
Ok, Taskr, I went to bed after posting this discussion so I've only just now searched out your initial response and will respond to you here instead of continuing to post under you. Yes, Palin brought her children and some other family members with her...I have no problem with that. She mentioned that her son and a nephew are in the military and gave a little bit of information about their status. She talked about her husband and introduced her parents. Her children and husband joined her onstage after the speech. She didn't mention the pregnant daughter or Downs Syndrome. Nothing wrong with any of that. But... She made a political promise on the back of that little baby: [b]To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House. [/b] Is she not going to be a friend and advocate for the families of our military? Is she going to be a friend and advocate for the taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet? Is she going to be a friend and advocate for the elderly...as her parents obviously are? Is she going to be a friend and advocate for pregnant teenagers? No, she chose to single out her handicapped son and to use him as a political ploy in order to gain support from the parents of special needs children.
1 person likes this
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
4 Sep 08
I still haven't seen one democrat in here answer this question, though it was asked several times. WERE the Obama's "exploiting" THEIR children when they were brought out on stage at the DNC? There is a HUGE difference in introducing your family to the country and talking about your experiences and difficulties as a parent and out right viciously attacking some one else's children. VAST DIFFERENCE. How someone could now say that because she talked about her children, that they could now be considered fair game is just plain twisted.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 08
Right. If she didn't have them on stage, today they would be saying she's ashamed of them. It's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" case I guess.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I hope you weren't referring to me because I never said that ANY of them are fair game. I also didn't say anything against either party bringing their families on stage...that's traditional...and usually pretty cute. I also have no objections to introducing your family and talking a little bit about them. Both the McCain and Obama camps objected strongly to the activities brought about by the Daily KOS and the public comments by the media relative to Bristol's pregnancy and I read/heard repeatedly that it was a private family matter that should be left private. I agree. I also heard/read that the children were not part of the campaigns and should not be used as such...that they were off limits. I also agree with that. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Deomcrat, Republican or an Independent but I will answer your question...No, the Obama campaign was not exploiting his children by bringing them on stage just as the McCain campaign was not exploiting Palin's children by bringing them on stage. But THIS falls into the category of pandering for votes from a special interest group: [b]To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House. [/b] Whether you agree with me or not, as I said in my original post, it made me uncomfortable to see her make an election pledge to a select group of voters based on her son's status as a special-needs child.
@Latrivia (2888)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I don't recall Sarah Palin ever saying that kids were off limits, nor does trying to connect to voters with children who have special needs through your own handicapped child necessarily a bad thing. If anything it indicates that Sarah Palin DOES know what it's like to be in the situation of a parent with special needs children, and, unlike many politicians, can actually relate to their struggle as parents.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
Are you suggesting that the McCain camp never objected once to media coverage of Bristol's pregnancy and that Obama was the only one who insisted that the children be kept out of it? I'm sure Sarah Palin does know what it's like to be the parent of a special needs child. She also knows what it's like to be the parent of a pregnant teenager but I didn't see her trying to connect with the voters who may be in that same situation. Certainly she can relate to their struggles as parents, too.
@Latrivia (2888)
• United States
4 Sep 08
The only politician I know of who actually said that "kids were off limits" was Obama. Like I said, I myself don't recall Sarah Palin saying anything about kids being off limits. The "McCain Camp" is not Sarah Palin. There's also a remarkable difference between attacking a candidate through their children, and a candidate who uses her child as an example that she can and does understand the struggles of a group of people with the same problem. One is intentionally harmful to both the child and the parent, and the other is not.
• United States
4 Sep 08
Why would seeing a handicapped child make you feel uncomfortable? Is she supposed to hide him in shame? The nominees always proudly show their families off, what's wrong with that? Why was it ok for senator Obama to have his children up front but not Sarah? If she didn't have her children there you people would have something to say about that. Your guy said "children are off limits" why are you making an issue of it?
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I didn't have the text of the speech available last night or I would have included it in order to avoid misconceptions like these. Seeing Palin's child did not make me uncomfortable, that's as ridiculous as the question you followed up with. My objection was NOT about the kids being there, or about Palin introducing them, or about her talking about them a little bit. My objection was to this: [b]To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House. [/b] She used her child's disability to make a play for voters in similar circumstances. I didn't see her making a play for the parents of unwed pregnant teens though. And, by the way, I am not "you people" and Obama is not my "guy". I have not made my decision yet as most people here already know.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 08
This is a valid critism of Sarah Palin, unlike some of the other critism in the media. I hope Gov. Palin does not continue down this road.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I hope she doesn't either because eventually the voters will realize that it's not right to use your child like that. I don't know what surprises me more, the fact that she actually sought out special interest voters on the platform of her disabled child or the fact that people are so ga ga over her that they believe it's okay.
@anniepa (27523)
• United States
4 Sep 08
That's exactly what I was wondering when she made that remark that "You'll have an advocate in the White House." As someone who knows people with special needs children and know that while they love them as much as it's possible to love someone and they give 150% every hour and every day because these special kids require much more care and love than a "normal" child, I know these families struggle enormously financially because if you have a decent job and even the best insurance available there are still many services that are necessary for some children to reach their full potential that insurance doesn't cover but costs a fortune. Social services don't pay for them either, even for those with no insurance and very low incomes because they're not considered critical to the child's immediate health and well-being. Unless the McCain Administration has plans to give a great deal more funding to these causes, I think they were just words - you've got a friend - which is nice to think there's someone in the White House, or close to it, who knows what you're going through, that doesn't help pay the bills, does it? Annie
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I agree Annie, I's sure you probably remember my middle child has autism, and the cost involved with his medical care is unreal. He use to go to a specialist that charged $249 an office visit (we had to find a ped that felt like they could properly help with his medical care since we have a big deductible) so at the begining of this year when they decided to change his medication that treats his hyperactivity he had to go every two weeks for 12 weeks. We didn't want to but of course the doctor needed to note his progress and the med change also brought a monthly savings of a lot of money, it went from $289 a month to $130 a month. Does Palin have to worry about paying her electric bill because her son's medication and doctor's visits over six hundred a month? lol I think not. I don't need a friend like that. Again, thanks but no thanks.
1 person likes this
@missybal (4490)
• United States
4 Sep 08
I believe she does intend to and with Cindy McCain also who has already done so much for disabled children. And Cindy McCain's generosity and love for helping people and especially children in need you can count if they are in office that many will get the attention the deserve. I have to agree with you, however how many things in America would we not have cures for if it wasn't for politicians or celebrities at times having a special interest in a cause due to how something affected them directly? It makes you want to do more when the issue is now affecting you. As far as a campaign tool well both sides have done this... Obama and Biden and McCain and Palin, and in a way it is good to see the family and how they interact and speak of their character. I thought Obama's girls were pretty cute and Biden's little blond haired grandson adorable.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
4 Sep 08
First of all, I have a granddaughter with Type 1 diabetes so children's medical issues are very important to me. Please don't think that I don't care about that issue because I do, very deeply and am very active with the JDRF. Having said that, I do not object or question Sarah or Cindy's dedication or interest in special needs children. I think that's great! What I object to is Sarah Palin using her special needs child in order to make a plea for votes from the parents of other special needs children. I do not agree that McCain, Obama or Biden have done this. I have not seen any of the other candidates direct any audience's attention to one family member in particular and make a campaign pledge related to that family member's disability. This is entirely different from letting America get a look at the family and play on the cuteness factor. That's normal and acceptable.
@orochi (318)
• Denmark
4 Sep 08
In Denmark you have to be 18 years old to vote because they "think" that we are at last smart enough to do it. Well im 16 and i still wanna vote because the one who is in charge now is a idiot.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 08
I don't feel that she was using her kids to get ahead. That was and is such a small part of what she spoke about. Making mention of her kids (in any compacity), to me, just shows how genuine she is and "REAL". If any of you are mothers, and you put yourself in her place, you would be talking about your family too. It's part of HER and who she is. I believe she wants us all to know that she and her family are no different than any of us. It is apparent that she doesn't put herself or family on a pedistal for everyone to bow down to. When I listened to her speech, I felt like she blended well with the people and is only making mention of her family and having them there at her side during such an important time in her life because they are truly a close family. Not just for the cameras or to be popular. Perhaps anyone seeing these issues as a negative thing could be jealous of her ability to be transparent about her family (flaws and all) in front of millions and STILL hold her head high.
1 person likes this
@subha12 (18449)
• India
4 Sep 08
it really bothers. it is not right to use the handicapped children for purpose of votes. its never acceptable
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8712)
• United States
4 Sep 08
Better a friend who understands what it is like to have a disabled child instead of passing laws that make it easier to discriminate against a disabled child for having a disability. That's how they chose to make education "better" for the disabled-to make it easier to kick them out of school. The kids off limits was meant about derogatory remarks not about kids in general. She has a Down Syndrome child. What's she suppose to do put him in a closet somewhere? Never talk about him? Pretend he doesn't exist? Us mothers of disabled children have desperately needed an advocate and voice in Washington.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 08
spalladine, for once, I agree with you! You have finally come to the progressive side to embrace the truth! If you just put your faith in Obama, he will not fail you; he will make the best choices for you, and help you to succeed in life! May Obama reign forever! Vote Obama 2008!
• India
5 Sep 08
Barak obama has given the right reply that "family members should be off limits"! I support him in this issue. Sarah Palin's teenage daughter's pregnacy has nothing to do with her political discreet. Moreover, McCain camp itself has disclosed the truth that Sarah'r daughter Bristol is pregnant and she is eager to marry her boyfriend.
@banadux (630)
• United States
4 Sep 08
Politics is over all a scam. Both sides are in on it. It's all about the power and the control and republicans and democrats are just giving you the illusion of effecting change, but there are a privileged few who run everything and that is it. The elections and surrounding BS like these campaigns are just out there to throw us off more. That being said... In politics everyone will be leveraged and used by both sides even if they say "I'm sorry" after that is just like a lawyer bringing something up they know is inadmissible to get the information out there. The show and maneuvering is really quite brilliant. I think Ronald Reagan was probably one of the most genuine figures in politics because you knew up front that he was an actor. All politicians are actors whether or not they admit to it.