Ever since the 2008 presidential campaign, there have been strange rumors flying around about Sarah Palin and the birth of her fifth child, Trig.
The rumor, in its most basic form, is that Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy and then lied to almost everybody about giving birth. In the beginning, I have to confess to finding the whole thing preposterous. My first reaction was to laugh and dismiss the idea pretty quickly. Wouldn't somebody from the press have picked up on this? Isn't that their job, to smell out something fishy, investigate and report what they have found? But it seemed like nobody wanted to talk about it but there was certainly a lot of talk about Obama's birth certificate flying around.
Another thing I recall running through my head, was how could she even attempt to fake a pregnancy for the full term? I mean, Sarah was not a shut-in, but was governor of Alaska and surrounded by people. The funny part was the people she worked with had no idea she was pregnant until well into her pregnancy. Still, nothing seemed all that extraordinary. She kept her pregnancy a secret. That's not my business.
Still, when you watch her on tape- she was after all a governor- , she wears heavy jackets and scarves and, while I have never been pregnant myself, I have it on good authority, that Sarah Palin sits and crosses her legs in a way that no woman in her seven-month could possibly do.
Photos from her previous pregnancies show a robustly heavy woman with a baby bump as big as a beach ball. With Trig, there's nothing until the last month and even then, her face never changes. Her walk never changes. To many people, the only explanation is .. a pillow.
Allegedly, (not proved) she went for a massage when she was pregnant. NOT a wise idea.She hadn't told anybody she was pregnant and the woman giving her a massage didn't see anything whatsoever to give her any indication she was going to have a baby.
Apart from whatever evidence there was , I asked myself, why? Why would anybody go to all that trouble? Why not just adopt? Was there some reason that faking it all was preferable to going through all the paperwork of adoption? Well, it does take time.
Maybe there's just some other reason we cannot know about. Yet. If she had heard rumors that she was under consideration for the vice presidential post, perhaps she didn't feel inclined to wait it out. So, Instan -a-Baby!
Still I wasn't convinced. What kind of person would do that? But then, as far-fetched as that theory seemed, Palin's own story was even stranger and harder to accept.
The Wild Ride
On April 22, 2008, in an interview about the birth of Trig, Sarah Palin said:
Palin: And, uh, he wasn’t due for 4 or 5 weeks later and um, while I was at energy conference I felt perfectly fine but uh, had thought maybe a few things were starting to progress a little bit that perhaps there was an idea there that he might come early.
So I called my doctor at about uh four in the morning in Texas and um I said ya know I’m gonna stay for the day here at the energy conference - have a speech that I was determined to give at one o’clock that afternoon and, um, had Todd check on a couple of flights that were earlier than we had scheduled. I decided it would be ok to, um, skip the reception that night that we’d already by that time have taken care of our meetings and my speech. So Todd checked on flights. A flight allowed us to get out a little earlier than we had planned. Skipped the reception and, um, called my doctor before I got on the plane to say, ‘Yea, we think that we will come home a few hours early,’ and, uh, she said ‘OK call when you land and I’ll check you out.’
But none of my babies had been early and being my fifth child I know what labor feels like (laughing) and if I had felt at all that I was really engaged in uh, labor activities I would not have desired to fly and, um, get back uh, to deliver in Alaska. But anyway, so no real huge labor signs. Landed in, uh, in Anchorage at about 10:30. Got out to the valley at 11:30 and she met us at the hospital, checked me out and said, ‘Um, Yea you look, you may have it um tonight or in the morning.’ And it was smooth, it was relatively easy, in fact it was very easy, the easiest of all of them because he was so tiny. And, um, it’s just been absolutely wonderful. It was all, it just all seemed meant to be… the logistics and everything else just worked out so perfectly and to us he’s absolutely perfect, too.
Reporter: Of course you’re back to work already today and actually signed a bill that day, right?
Palin: That day, yeah, staff came out to the hospital and I signed a bill there so I could uh make sure we transmitted that in time and then uh here today also yeah, we have some energy updates I didn’t want to miss so that was good look and at him he’s just doing so well and it’s been easy and relaxing and again all it seems just meant to be this way.
Reporter: You said you felt some signs of labor, what were those signs?
Palin: Well not contractions so much because I had Braxton Hicks contractions for months as every pregnant woman does, and nothing real painful but just knowing that, um, it was feeling like, I may not um, be ale to be pregnant a whole nother four or five weeks knowing that it would be not a bother to call our doctor and let her know. And um she’s delivered how many babies over the year did she say?
Palin: A lot. It’s been a couple of decades of her delivering babies. We knew to call her and just get her advice and, um, from there we again decided to skip the energy conference reception and come on home and get checked out.
Later in the interview she makes it clear that the labor had started in Texas.
Reporter: So did your water break?
Palin: Well, if you must know more of those type of details, but, um…
Reporter: Well, your dad said that and I saw him say it so that’s why I asked.
Palin: Well that was again if, if I must get personal, technical about this at the same time, um, it was one, it was a sign that I knew, um, could lead to uh, labor being uh kind of kicked in there was any kind of, um, amniotic leaking, amniotic fluid leaking, so when, when that happened we decided OK let’s call her.
So, what she appears to be saying is that she was in Dallas about to give a speech, feels labor pains, calls the doctor, makes the speech, her water breaks, and then, instead of going to any of the reputable state of the art hospitals in Texas, she boards a long-haul flight (with a stopover in Seattle, mind you) then she asks you to believe that she lands in Anchorage, Alaska and bypasses other hospitals, in order to go to a small town clinic. Get on a plane travels 10 hours to get back to Wallisa hospital knowing they are not equipped to handle a special needs child?Later, she said her baby was born in Anchorage!
She says she called her doctor, so why hadn't her doctor advised her to go to a local facility in Dallas instead of risking the life of your unborn baby, her own life, let alone the possibly forcing an emergency landing of the plane.
Palin was in Texas last week for an energy conference of the Republican Governors Association when she experienced signs of early labor. She wasn't due for another month.
Early Thursday -- she thinks it was around 4 a.m. Texas time -- she consulted with her doctor, family physician Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, who is based in the Valley and has delivered lots of babies, including Piper, Palin's 7-year-old.
Palin said she felt fine but had leaked amniotic fluid and also felt some contractions that seemed different from the false labor she had been having for months.
"I said I am going to stay for the day. I have a speech I was determined to give," Palin said. She gave the luncheon keynote address for the energy conference.
Palin kept in close contact with Baldwin-Johnson. The contractions slowed to one or two an hour, "which is not active labor," the doctor said.
"Things were already settling down when she talked to me," Baldwin-Johnson said. Palin did not ask for a medical OK to fly, the doctor said.
What kind of doctor would tell a pregnant woman- one who had already had a miscarriage- that it was a sensible idea to travel on a long haul flight?
In her book, Palin has heavily dramatized the story and dried it up.
The next month, Todd and I checked into a hotel in Dallas. The following day I was scheduled to keynote another oil and gas conference. My pregnancy was going fine, and with five weeks to go, I felt great. But at 4 a.m., a strange sensation low in my belly woke me and I sat up straight in my bed.
It can’t be, I thought. It’s way too early.
Moments later, I shook Todd awake. “Something’s going on.”
He sat up in bed, instantly alert. “I’m calling CBJ.”
“No, don’t do that. It’s one a.m. in Alaska.”
I didn’t want to call anyone yet. I just wanted to take stock and see whether this baby was really coming. I also wanted time and pray and asked God silently but fervently to let everything be okay. Desperation for this baby overwhelmed me.
Please don’t let anything happen to this baby.
It occurred to me, once and for all. I’m so in love with this child, please God, protect him! After all my doubts and fears, I had fallen in love with this precious child. The worst thing in the world would be that I would lose him. God knew what He was doing.
Over my protests, Todd called CBJ. I told her that I felt fine and absolutely did not want to cancel my speech and disappoint the folks at the conference, including my cohost, Texas Governor Rick Perry. We agreed that I would stay in contact with CBJ through the day, I’d take it easy, give my speech, then catch an earlier flight back to Alaska. I still had plenty of time.
Later that afternoon we entered a packed house at the energy conference, where I’d speak on the urgent need to tap conventional supplies and innovate on stabilizing renewable sources.
In this version, the water stays put.
It is not plausible that a doctor would have allowed this. For one thing there is such a thing as malpractice. This goes against most medical advice: According to this link
"Generally, women who are having a healthy, normal pregnancy are free to come and go as they please. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends women don’t fly after their 36th week of pregnancy. Women who are having any sort of complications associated with their pregnancy or who are considered to be ‘high risk’ should not travel .
She hadn't told anybody at the airlines she was pregnant and none of the airline staff even noticed.
Caroline Boren, Alaskan Airlines representative said of the incident, “Governor Palin was extremely pleasant to flight attendants and her stage of pregnancy was not apparent by observation as she didn’t show any signs of distress,”
Now, before I continue, I will honestly admit to working with a woman who told me, with tears in her eyes that she wouldn't be coming to work the following week because she was going to have a baby. I was kind of stunned. But sure enough, the baby came. Of course, that woman had a large belly anyway so there is some room for plausibility. At this point.
There was also this unverified report that adds to the strangeness. According to one report Palin was observed in the lounge in Seattle airport ( eating pistachios and reading a novel) by an AK state employee. He spoke with Todd but not with her. He was completely unaware that she was supposedly hurrying back to AK because labor had purportedly begun early that morning in TX.
But….why? What does she have to gain? Perhaps it's all about image.
“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
Of course, the whole death panel thing was a fabrication meant to scare people to vote against their own best interests. But this shows she has not hesitated to use her baby to serve her own aims.
She has spoken for organizations for children with special needs. She was paid for it but the speaking fees were not disclosed.
Palin: "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."
Sarah Palin might have changed her mind on this one recently. However, a comment here notes that Palin actually slashed funding for schools for special needs kids by 62%. Budgets: FY 2007 (pre-Palin), 2008, 2009 (all pdfs).
Still you can't argue with success. Listen to this from a New York Time "fluff piece" on Palin
But her son has given Ms. Palin, 44, a powerful message. Other candidates kiss strangers’ babies; Ms. Palin has one of her own. He is tangible proof of Ms. Palin’s anti-abortion convictions, which have rallied social conservatives, and her belief that women can balance family life with ambitious careers. And on Wednesday in St. Paul, she proclaimed herself a guardian of the nation’s disabled children.
“Children with special needs inspire a special love,” Ms. Palin said
For what it's worth, the article does give a good excuse why she tried to hide it. Not a good one. Not one that is corroborated by her later actions, but an excuse.
The couple decided to keep quiet about the pregnancy so they could absorb the news, they told people later.
And there were political factors to consider. “I didn’t want Alaskans to fear I would not be able to fulfill my duties,” Ms. Palin told People magazine last week.
Isn't this the same governor that decided to quit half-way through her term of office? Looks like Alaskans had every reason to be afraid.
Chose A or B
In the past couple of weeks, mainstream media reporters have taken a rather bland interest in the matter. One went so far to say, "Who cares?" Well, for a journalist to say such a thing, just shows the present sinking state of corporate news. It is a journalist's job to show us, first of all, why it is important and he/she should go out and find news, not wait for it to come walking in the front door so he can decide if it is really news or not. That's pretty damn lazy.
Meanwhile Palin or her staff/ followers have been busily "scrubbing" –deleting- as many of the incriminating photos and videos as they can. One day there is a long lost photo, the next day, it vanishes.
Still, there are some things that do not go away.
In the end, you have two equally strange scenarios. One, a reasonably intelligent person, holding a position of trust and responsibility has gone to great lengths to fool people. And badly. Later she made a selfish, inexplicable decision to that risked the life of her baby. That version, the one she says is true, has changed repeatedly and even now the details don't seem to match.
Or, the altogether peculiar theory that she has, for some reason, faked her pregnancy and continues to this day, telling one lie after another, each one to cover the flaws of the previous lie. That scenario forces us to consider why on earth anybody would feel the need to be so dishonest to the public about the matter.
Of course, the more you investigate the woman, the more you see that, in nearly every aspect of her life, she has confabulated, exaggerated and just plain lied to enhance her image. A baby with special needs would certainly have done that and we have seen how often she has been willing to exploit her own children for the sake of her career.
In either case, Palin has disqualified herself as a candidate for the highest office in the United States. Now she is a cartoon politician leading a strange bunch of gullible followers who say things like, "She'll make a great president… She's so gorgeous."
Dueling Authority Figures
Prof. Bradford W. Scharlott, of Ph.D.Northern Kentucky University has recently written a brilliant piece about this strange person with her strange stories and why the media aids and abets her. It makes fascinating reading and goes into wonderful detail. The whole case is laid out logically.
Her press secretary blustered and sent email to all of the officials of the university where Scharlott works, attempting to get him fired for his writing. McAllister threatened – get this-to slap Scharlott if they ever came face to face and mentioned that in another age, he would invite the professor to a duel.
Yes, a duel. At dawn. On a hill.
Unfortunately for Palin, it only served to shine a brighter line of the article, making even harder to ignore. Good job.
Here is the full article (fullscreen for easier reading.).