Pregnant, shmegnant. Candidates’ kids are not fair game, says NBC’s Brian Williams.
“Show me the germaneness to their ability to lead the nation,” he said last night, a few hours before Sarah Palin‘s vice-presidential acceptance speech at the G.O.P. National Convention.
As everyone in the civilized world learned this week, Bristol Palin, 17-year-old daughter of the Alaska governor, is with child and without husband.
“Families are messy and complicated and American and normal,” said Williams, notoriously protective of his own. “It’s where public officials kind of close the door behind them. Home is home. Family’s family.”
With situations like Palin’s, “We’re feeling our way,” Williams admitted. “It becomes part of the biographical sketch. Sometimes it bleeds over into politics. I’m comfortable reporting what we know.”
For politicos, it’s an easier line to cross when it’s with those of their own ilk, Williams said.
Republican President Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, for example, “could be tough customers” on the Hill, Williams said, but after hours, the “twinklely-eyed Irishmen” liked to tip a few. (We can see the headline: Tip Tips.)
“A switch gets thrown when the scene changes.”
In the last eight weeks, Williams has endured more scene changes than a “Law & Order” episode.