The National Enquirer has accused Todd Palin of having an affair with Shailey Tripp, a massage therapist who has been arrested for prostitution. News of the scandal is being spread far and wide today, and some are asking whether this alleged affair will hurt Sarah Palin’s bid for President in 2012. Palin doesn’t have much credibility with those outside of the Tea Party, so I’m not sure she’s ever stood a chance to be elected President, and certainly her blood libel remark didn’t do much in the way of painting her as someone with true leadership potential. That being said, there’s a chance this sex scandal could do as much to help Sarah Palin as it could to hurt her.
Sure, Palin has gone to great lengths to assure the public that she’s a family woman, a hockey mom who loves her kids and her husband. But Palin not only famously gave birth to her son Trig, who has Down Syndrome, just hours after landing from a trip to Dallas for a speech, she has been accused of essentially abandoning him during her VP bid. I’m not sure those accusations are fair, nor am I sure it’s okay to accuse someone of having an affair without any real evidence. (At least when the Enquirer disclosed the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter affair, they had photos of the two of them together.)
The question remains: will Sarah Palin will be looked at with pity during this scandal, especially given all of the criticisms against her of late, or will the general public will be thrilled to watch her go down in flames? A lot of that depends, naturally, on how she handles herself in response to these accusations. If Palin starts pointing fingers at the press, accusing them of a smear campaign, she might lose sympathy from even some of her base. I think Palin would do best to prove precisely how devoted she is to the sanctity of her family life by keeping this affair between her and her husband. And the woman he might have slept with.
Photo: New York Daily News