Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An Elaborate and Systematic Plan of Action

Bristol Palin's answers to Greta Van Susteren's questions included several key words that we've heard Sarah use before:  advocate, had to grow up a lot faster, focusing on getting through school, I just am so blessed...

So it struck me when Bristol used the term "game plan" not once but twice in the interview, that those were not her words, either.  Here's the relevant section of the interview to put this phrase in context (bolding is mine and the transcript comes from Fox):

VAN SUSTEREN: And I imagine [your mom and dad] had some guidance for you, or some thought.

BRISTOL: Yes, they just wanted us to sit down and make a game plan, like, what we were going to do and stuff.

VAN SUSTEREN: Had you told Levi's family?

BRISTOL: No, not yet.

VAN SUSTEREN: When did that come about?

BRISTOL: That came about probably, like, the following day.

VAN SUSTEREN: And how did that go over?

BRISTOL: Well, his mom was -- she was scared for us, too. Just we needed to sit down and make a game plan. But she was excited. We were all excited for the baby, of course.

What sort of "game plan" do you need to sit down and devise when your high school junior tells you she's pregnant?  Here's a definition for "game plan" from an online dictionary: plan - (figurative) a carefully thought out strategy for achieving an objective in war or politics or business or personal affairs; "newscasters speculated about the President's game plan for an invasion"
scheme, strategy - an elaborate and systematic plan of action plan - (sports) a plan for achieving an objective in some sport
athletics, sport - an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition
scheme, strategy - an elaborate and systematic plan of action

Schemes, strategies, achieving objectives, and sports metaphors -- that sure sounds like Sarah and not Bristol to me.  So what kind of "game plan" exactly was needed?  You don't have to make a game plan to figure out what maternity clothes to wear.  Or when to have pre-natal visits.  Or how to get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs during pregnancy.

No, I think this "game plan" refers to something much larger -- a plan to achieve an objective that requires careful thinking-out, diversions, and a flexible strategy.  What was the objective of the "game plan" that Bristol and Sarah and Todd (and possibly Sherry and Levi Johnston) worked out?  If we hypothesize that Bristol is Trig's birth mother, we might have this plan.

The Trig Plan

Cover for underage, unwed daughter Bristol's pregnancy by making it look like Sarah is having the baby instead.

  1. Avoid embarrassing the Governor and disrupting her political ambitions
  2. Avoid embarrassing the family members
  3. Gain sympathy from community and church
  4. Use DS baby as a political pro-life credential
  1. Hide Bristol during last 4 months of pregnancy by sending her to Sarah's sister in Anchorage.
  2. Preemptively deny rumors of Bristol's pregnancy to the press, to 'nip it in the bud.'
  3. Wait until 4-6 weeks before Bristol's due date, then have Sarah announce she is pregnant and due in 2 months.  This will cut down on the amount of time Sarah has to fake her pregnancy.
  4. Have Sarah start wearing scarves, jackets and coats to disguise body.
  5. Explain away lack of sharing the news of Sarah's "pregnancy" with family and staff as needed.
  6. Keep Bristol and Trig out of sight if the baby comes too early. 
  7. Get Sarah's picture taken with a fake belly a couple of times.  Release them if necessary.
  8. Announce the birth of Trig after Legislative session is over and Texas speech delivered, saying he was born 4-5 weeks prematurely.  Refer to him as a gift, a joy and a blessing.

Another quote from the transcript noted above leads me to think there was also a "game plan" for Tripp.  Sarah mentions twice that Bristol's pregnancy was a shock.  In the context she says this, I take it to mean Bristol's second pregnancy was a shock since who would have thought Bristol could get pregnant again so soon?

SARAH PALIN: I'm still getting used to having a -- you know, my last child, Trig, much less that, you know, knowing that we would have another little bundle of joy in our midst. So yes, it was a surprise. It was a shock.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you give her hell or were you -- at first? I mean, what...

SARAH PALIN: Yes, I kind of did. I mean, I was...

BRISTOL: We were all surprised.

SARAH PALIN: We were all surprised. Let me put it this way. And this is -- I think Bristol's kind of an example of, truly, it can happen to anybody. [...] But still an absolute shock that it happened.
Sarah says, "I'm still getting used to having a -- you know, my last child, Trig..." Why would having recently had Trig contribute to Sarah's shock on learning of Bristol's pregnancy with Tripp?  One answer is that Sarah couldn't believe that Bristol went and did it again.  So then, we have need for another "game plan."

The Tripp Plan

Get the most benefit out of releasing information about Bristol's (second) pregnancy, in light of already being nominated for Vice President.

  1. Use the announcement to quell rumors that Sarah did not give birth to Trig.
  2. Sarah gains sympathy by being supportive of Bristol.
  3. Sarah gains further cred with the religious right because Bristol made a mistake getting pregnant but at least she is going to have the baby and get married (we'll see about that).
  4. Bristol will become an 'advocate' for something... like the benefits of abstinence, or why you should just say No, or what a pain it is being an unwed mother unless you are a Governor's daughter, or...
  1. Preemptively announce Bristol's pregnancy as soon as possible after the VP selection announcement (throw her under the bus) to quash Babygate rumors.  After all, McCain has made his choice and can't back out now.
  2. Have some anonymous aide say that Bristol is about five months along, which will be about one month too early for her to have also birthed Trig.
  3. Keep Bristol on the bus as much as possible to avoid speculation on the stage of her pregnancy.
  4. Once the campaign is over, hide Bristol away.
  5. Push the supposed birth date out from middle to late December, and then announce it just before the year ends no matter what.
  6. Procrastinate if magazines come calling to get baby pictures.
  7. Keep Bristol hidden until she does give birth.
  8. As soon as Tripp no longer looks obviously newborn, get a friendly TV personality to do an interview with Bristol and finally show the new arrival.
  9. Use the interview to start Bristol's career as an 'advocate' for something and as another way to get Sarah's political positions on prime time TV.
[Disclaimer - I have never seen a real Palin family "game plan."  This is just what I imagine one might have looked like.  YMMV!]
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