Apparently Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol is with child...out of wedlock.
This may not bode well for many conservatives who still have their doubts about McCain, even though they have praised the Alaskan governor for her populist half-fiscal conservative, mostly social conservative policies.
Here's more on the story:
Sarah Palin today came face-to-face with the hard reality of the media examination she will undergo as John McCain's running mate when she was forced to confirm that her unmarried school-age daughter was pregnant.
The revelation immediately renewed questions about the extent to which Palin, Alaska's governor, and relatively unknown before McCain announced her as his vice-presidential choice on Friday, had been vetted.
Other disclosures today included that her husband, Todd, was arrested for alleged drunk driving 20 years ago and, more recently, she hired a lawyer to represent her in a state ethics probe.
The investigation is over when she dismissed the public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, after he refused to fire her brother-in-law, a state trooper, who divorced Palin's sister.
Palin, the vice-presidential candidate and new star of the Republican party, was in St Paul, Minnesota, today to rally Republican convention delegates after being dispatched by McCain last night. The Republicans are trying to salvage their convention, which has been disrupted by media attention switching to Hurricane Gustav. All convention activities were cancelled for Monday except for essential business.
Palin, soon after her arrival, was caught up in questions about her private life. In response, the McCain campaign team issued a statement on her behalf stating that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant. Palin, who campaigns on a Christian, anti-abortion ticket, said Bristol and her partner planned to marry: 'We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.'
The fact that her daughter is to marry and have the baby blunted negative reaction among the party's social conservatives worried about sex before marriage. The news could even help consolidate the image of Palin and her family as typical of the average American home.
The emergence of details about Palin's life, partly after reporters landed at her home town, Wasilla, in Alaska, raised concerns about whether the usual vetting had been dispensed with due to McCain's impulsive choice.
McCain's team insisted today he had known about the pregnancy, the drunk driving charge and the ethics probe before offering Palin the job.
The man who carried out the vetting, Arthur Culvahouse, told Associated Press that all the potential problems uncovered in interviews with Palin had now been made public. 'I think so. Yes. I think so. Correct,' he said, insisting there had been a 'full and comprehensive' vetting.
But it emerged that McCain sent a fresh team to Alaska after he made the announcement on Friday, a move that raised questions about how thorough the initial vetting had been.
On the pregnancy, a McCain spokesman, Steve Schmidt, said the senator's view was that this was 'a private family matter'. He added: 'Life happens,'
Mark Salter, a McCain adviser, said the pregnancy had been announced to rebut rumours from internet bloggers that Palin's son, Trig, born in April with Down's syndrome, was a child of Bristol's. 'An American family,' Salter said.
The appointment of Palin is intended to mark a change in strategy by McCain. Having concluded it was not enough to challenge Barack Obama over his lack of foreign experience and to push his own narrative as a Vietnam war hero, he has been hoping to appeal to the working class and lower middle class, and believes Palin has the right credentials for attracting blue-collar workers.
With the absence from the convention of McCain and the US president, George Bush - who had been scheduled to make a prime-time speech last night at the convention but went instead to Texas to be on hand for the Hurricane Gustav emergency centre - Palin, Laura Bush and McCain's wife, Cindy, led the push to raise delegates' spirits.
The president's wife, who appealed from the podium for help for hurricane victims rather than make a politically-tinged speech, acknowledged delegates' frustration over the cancelled first day of the four-day convention. 'I know they're disappointed they're not going to get to have the programme tonight, but everyone understands it, everyone is thinking about everybody all across the Gulf coast,' she told CBS television.
All but two hours of the conference were cancelled today. A cocktail party planned for tonight, named Spirits of Minneapolis, was renamed Spirits of the Gulf Coast, with a fundraiser present to help bring in cash for the the American Red Cross hurricane effort.
The Republicans are hoping to resume normal business today . As long as they can manage to have three full days of prime-time viewing, finishing as planned on Thursday night, they believe they can secure enough media attention to judge the convention a success.
While Hurricane Gustav reminded the public of the failure of Bush to deal with the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, McCain's campaign team sought to turn the storm to their advantage. The cancellation of the first day of the convention sent out a message that McCain cared, contrasting with Bush's seeming indifference straight after Hurricane Katrina.
McCain said on ABC News that he was frustrated at the loss of part of the convention but added: 'This is just one of those moments in history where you have to put America first.'
The hurricane diverted media attention from the Republican convention, with almost all of the anchor journalists from the main networks having flown out to New Orleans.McCain is hoping he can get back media attention for Palin's speech tomorrow and his own on Thursday. Rick Davis, a McCain adviser, said decisions would be taken on a day-to-day basis.