New York, Sept.2 : The disclosure that Alaska Governor and Republican vice-president hopeful Sarah Palin's unmarried teenage daughter is pregnant, is likely to be seen as a test case of what the American voter deems will remain in the private domain, and what will be public.
According to the New York Times, though Republican delegates are rallying around Palin on the issue, they are also citing it as a challenge for the party.
"It's a challenge, and I just think we have to deal with it. But it's just not going to hurt her (Sarah palin). This is a family problem that people have," the paper quoted Katon Dawson, the Republican chairman of South Carolina, as saying. The disclosure, at the very least, is an unwanted distraction for the McCain campaign as he prepares for his nomination.
Orchestrated attempts are being made to minimize attention to the pregnancy issue, but it still is dominating discussion among delegates in the run-up to the November 4 polls.
In many ways, how the country will react to the pregnancy of 17-year-old Bristol Palin is more a sociological question than a political one.
It could, however, provide fodder for provocative conservations around kitchen tables or sly references in the late-night television comic-sphere.
As Pastor Rick Scarborough says: "From what I see this family is dealing with it honorably. They are going to carry this baby to a full term as a further testimony of their commitment to life."
In the short-term, though, this disclosure served to illustrate - though presumably not in the way the McCain campaign would have preferred - just how much McCain's selection of Palin has helped among conservatives. They not only rallied around Palin, but praised her daughter for deciding to marry and have the baby.