All the Palins ever had to do was just produce little Trig’s birth certificate. Let a local television station run a feel-good piece with hospital staffers and the nurses who took care of Gov. Sarah and newborn Trig during the labour and after the delivery, and let the media do their job.
It didn’t have to be an intrusive piece. It just had to give the normal details one expects to read about any woman of note bringing a new life into the world. Only one other female Governor in the US had given birth during her term of office – and there were good-natured jokes about how Ms. Swift ran the state from her hospital bed for ten days prior to delivery:
New York Times in May 18 2001:
Acting Gov. Jane M. Swift of Massachusetts, who has been running the state’s government from her hospital bed since May 8, gave birth tonight to twin girls, an aide said.
Ms. Swift, 36, delivered by Caesarean section at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, her spokesman said. Lauren Alma Hunt, weighing 6 pounds, was born at 9:11 p.m. Sarah Jane Hunt, 5 pounds, 4 ounces, was delivered a minute later. Both babies were 17 1/2 inches long.
Their immediate conditions were not known, but Ms. Swift gave the O.K. sign as she was wheeled out of the operating room, her spokesman said.
Ms. Swift is the first woman in the nation to give birth while serving as governor. She and her husband, Charles Hunt, 47, have one other child, 2-year-old Elizabeth. Mr. Hunt has one grown son from a previous marriage.
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There were photos available of Ms. Swift in her hospital bed ‘being Governor’.
Reporters who waited in the halls for the babies to be born continue to mention this experience in other articles. Hospital officials continue to congratulate themselves for the good job their hospital and staff did in delivering Gov. Swift’s twin daughters:
September 03, 2008 4:36 PM
Rick Klein, from ABC News’ The Note, Reports: Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, earlier this year became the second sitting governor in US history to have given birth while in office.
Former Gov. Jane Swift, R-Mass., was the first. In 2001, after ascending from the office of lieutenant governor when Paul Cellucci became ambassador to Canada, Swift gave birth to twin girls, her second and third daughters.
(As a reporter for The Boston Globe, I was at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston waiting for those bundles to be delivered.)
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By contrast, the stories released about Trig’s birth all looked like this:
Fri April 18 2008
Yereth Rosen reporting:
ANCHORAGE, Alabama (Reuters) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gave birth to a baby boy early on Friday, becoming the second U.S. governor to have a baby while serving in office.
Palin’s labor began on Thursday, about a month early, while she was attending a Republican Governors’ Association meeting in Grapevine, Texas, said spokeswoman Sharon Leighow.
Palin, the first woman to serve as Alaska governor, was able to deliver a keynote luncheon address on Alaska energy issues on Thursday before flying back to Anchorage and delivering the baby on Friday morning, exactly a month before her due date, Leighow said.
The baby, named Trig Paxson Van Palin, is the fifth child for Palin and her husband, Todd.
The Palins knew through prenatal testing that “he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives,” the Republican governor said in a statement.
And then the strangest thing… the Governor’s spokeswoman, Sharon Leighbow, launched an accounting of Sarah’s travel plans, including the unsolicited, qualifying statement that Sarah would never have boarded a plane if she’d thought it would endanger her child.
I suppose the implication here is for the reader to work out that since she did board a plane, she was, therefore, in control and knew ahead of time that nothing could possibly go wrong. But would any reporter ask a woman who has just gone through childbirth such a question? Really? This came up during an interview on the morning of Trig’s birth?
What an odd thing to focus on in the midst of this historic event! Then you notice that no one from the maternity ward commented on their role in caring for Gov. Sarah and newborn Trig. No one from the delivery room commented on their role in caring for Gov. Sarah and newborn Trig. Not one hospital attendant, administrator, board member, Chairperson or CEO commented on the role their hospital played in caring for Gov. Sarah and newborn Trig on this rather historic event in US and Alaskan history.
I could not find a single photo of a proud Todd (The First Dude) holding his newborn son. No photos of either big sister holding their newborn brother. No proud as punch grandparents.
There were no photo layouts of the family gathered around the new bub in a Sunday newspaper or woman’s magazine, not directly after the birth or in the ensuing months.
So forget the mind-boggling, bizarre report on the flight from Texas back to Alaska and just tell me, please – when Trig was born, where the Hell was everybody else?