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Bristol Palin, 17, (L) and her sister Willow Palin, 14, carrying their baby brother Trig, get off the Straight Talk Express campaign bus at the airport in St Louis, Missouri on August 31, 2008.
What a strange day this was.
It started off on this very low key, sort of elegiac note. Everyone here was being very correct and mature about the fact that the Republican party's convention business was so sharply curtailed due to fears about Hurricane Gustav.
Later, walking around the hall, there was not a T-shirt, not a button, not a bumper sticker to be found. I got exactly two buttons today, both of which I had to beg off of a delegate's lapel (you gotta do what you gotta do).
And then ... after we got off the air, of course, the BOMBSHELL hit about Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol. She is 17 and she is pregnant. And she is, as of this moment, unmarried. The campaign put out a statement, according to news reports, in order to forestall a more damaging story circulating on the Internet that Gov. Palin's youngest baby is, in fact, not her daughter but her granddaughter, and that Palin took responsibility for the child in order to protect her daughter's privacy.
Here's the statement from Sarah and Todd Palin:
"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.
"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates."