Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin Hears About Marriage Via Tabloid: How Present is She?

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

How much of a hands-on mom is Sarah Palin, really?

News broke today that Palin's daughter Bristol and on-again, off-again beau Levi Johnston are engaged, and that they didn't seek Bristol's mother's blessing.

In fact, Sarah Palin only found out about the engagement through Bristol and Levi's interview with Us Weekly magazine. After the interview was published, Palin and her husband Todd issued a statement to NBC News about their daughter's engagement: "Bristol at 19 is now a young adult. We obviously want what’s best for our children. Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives."

While Palin's no longer governor of Alaska, she still has a full schedule. She's hosting a show on the Discovery Channel named Sarah Palin's Alaska, and she has a Fox News show titled Real American Stories, where she interviews people "with real-life tales of overcoming adversity."

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Perhaps all this time spent on her career is affecting her relationship with her children to such an extent that her own daughter didn't feel she could tell her about her engagement before she announced it to the tabloids.

On the other hand, Palin has been vocal about her dislike of Levi Johnson, calling his appearance in Playgirl "porn," and saying, "It's a bit heartbreaking to see the road that he's on right now." If I were Bristol Palin, I'm not sure I'

d want to tell my mom I was getting re-engaged to a guy who'd reportedly started calling himself "Ricky Hollywood." Plus Levi has only just admitted that the "dirt" he said he had on the Palin family was largely a figment of his imagination.

There are some who say Palin should have never become the Republican vice presidential candidate because her campaign meant putting her pregnant, unwed teenage daughter in the middle of a very public situation. In 2008, Macleans writer Lianne George said Palin had made Bristol - and, in fact, all of her children - part of her political platform. Can all of this pressure really have been good for Bristol, and can she really have considered all the options available to her - marriage, partnership or single motherhood; adoption, abortion or keeping her child - in such an intense, politically conservative spotlight?

Perhaps this strategy has now backfired on Palin. Maybe her use of Bristol as a campaign talking point has now led to Bristol denying her the privilege of being the first to know about her re-engagement, lest Palin use it for her own political ends once again.