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Monday, October 6, 2008

Trig in Play

posted by on October 6 at 9:00 AM

With Sarah Palin out there accusing Barack Obama of “palling around with terrorists,” and trying to revive the Rev. Wright scandal (despite having preacher issues of her own), it looks like everything is fair game in the last four weeks of this election.

And “everything” includes Trig.

Sarah Palin has not released her medical records. The circumstances of Palin’s “secret” pregnancy and Trig’s around-the-world birth are bizarre in the extreme. And before Palin’s nomination turned pre-marital sex and teen pregnancy into virtues, the fundy governor of Alaska had a motive to pass Trig off as her own son. Now we could give Palin the benefit of the doubt here—indeed, she would deserve it—if everything else that’s come out of Palin’s mouth wasn’t a lie. She lied to the American people about the bridge to nowhere, divestment from Sudan, trade missions to Russia. Why should we take Palin’s word on Trig’s birth or anything else?

Check this out: It’s a list of babies born in April at the hospital where Sarah Palin claims Trig was born in April. Only Trig isn’t on the list. And check this out: when she ran for mayor of Wasilla, Palin demanded that her opponent release his marriage certificate. She wanted him to prove that he was actually married to his wife—because, you see, his wife used her maiden not, not her husband’s last name. For all voters knew, Sarah Palin insinuated, her opponent was living in sin right there God-fearing Wasilla. And living in sin and everything that goes along with it—premarital sex, children born out of wedlock—is just wrong. (Or was wrong—Bristol and Levi’s appearance at the RNC was a “game-changer,” as they say.)

No one has taken more of a pounding for raising questions about Palin’s record—her lies, her qualifications, and the circumstances of Trig’s birth—than Andrew Sullivan. And Sullivan says:

Why would a hospital exhaustively record all births on their premises and leave out easily the most famous baby ever born there? There were only 24 births at Mat-Su in April of this year: it’s not like they could have mislaid one. So why is there no formal record of Trig’s birth? This is not an “unspeakable” question. It’s a simple factual one. Presumably there’s an explanation. Perhaps the Palins decided that it would be an invasion of Trig’s privacy to have the birth actually recorded in the hospital where he was born. But at least they should be able to tell us that. Or perhaps the hospital decided for some reason not to record that one birth. I have no idea. I do know that if Sarah Palin were running against Sarah Palin, she would demand evidence, as she did with something just as accessible with respect to John Stein’s marriage license.

Release Palin’s medical records.

Americans don’t have a right to know every last detail of Palin’s messy, sprawling family life—we’re really not interested in every last detail, frankly—but we do have a right to know if Palin lied to us about Trig too.

RSS icon Comments


I haven't been able to shake the whole Trig thing either... I know what with Bristol's pregnancy announcement we were all supposed to put that aside and stop thinking conspiracy theory thoughts.

But, all of the circumstances that came out during that whole "Is Trig Really Bristol's?" thing still are very suspicious to me. Flying back to Anchorage and then driving to Wasilla while in Labor. Pulling Bristol out of school for mono for five months. Nobody knowing Sarah was pregnant.

It just seems like the kind of thing that could be easily proven or disproven if someone were to dedicate some time to investigate.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 6, 2008 9:06 AM

Can someone call Mat-Su and ask why a baby wouldn't be listed (if all babies are in fact registered and listed on the website?)?

Posted by Ariel | October 6, 2008 9:06 AM

Isn't it funny how the right have played Palin's flaws? Even Ann Coulter:

When liberals start acting like they're opposed to pre-marital sex and mothers having careers, you know McCain's vice presidential choice has knocked them back on their heels.

You see what she did there? Clever.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 6, 2008 9:10 AM

She was probably smoking crystal meth during her pregnancy. Wasilla is Alaska's crystal meth capital after all.

Posted by Sirkowski | October 6, 2008 9:12 AM

She's like that woman in "The Lottery" that wanted everyone to get a chance at winning the lottery, but as soon as she "wins", she doesn't want to be the one who gets the PRIZE.
Palin=Total hypocrite in the extreme.

Posted by ShirleyJackson | October 6, 2008 9:12 AM

I would rather let Palin be the smear-er. Let her say the ugly, inaccurate things. Her medical records don't interest me, and drawing attention back to the situation serves no purpose. It's prurient.

Save your curiousity about this after Obama's in office. Use your energy now to go after policies--McCain's, and Palin's lack of. I'd rather spend more time on her position re: climate change than this.

Posted by MJ | October 6, 2008 9:18 AM

I'd sure like to know what's up with that baby. They pass it around like a sack of potatoes, keep it up late, and it never seems to fuss. Is that a characteristic of Down's Syndrome, or do you think they have it drugged?

Posted by Mrs. Doubtfire | October 6, 2008 9:28 AM

Mat-Su appears to have no record of Trig's birth, but they do list another baby born on April 18th: "Kayden Lexus." LEXUS!? The vaguely-gender-neutral-and-made-up-sounding Kayden is one thing, but Lexus is inexcusable.

Posted by Aislinn | October 6, 2008 9:32 AM

@8--OMG. I saw that. How about Kyrus Leigh, Timberlyn Rae, Paris Brandi, Avigail LeeAnn? Oy.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | October 6, 2008 9:35 AM

My Hebrew name is Avigail. It should never be attached to a LeeAnn.

Posted by Abby | October 6, 2008 9:37 AM

are there records of the OTHER kids? willow & piper?

Posted by max solomon | October 6, 2008 9:38 AM

The whole tactic of going after Trig smells like a trap. We don't need more of this kind of dirt on Palin; the people who are still (in defiance of any kind of reason or logic) going to vote for her ticket will do so unto their graves.

The remaining Undecideds (read: "Having Trouble Voting for a Black President") won't be swayed by more negative crap.

Palin is creepy enough as it is. No need to roll the dice on something that would yield a pretty modest pay-off...

Posted by natopotato | October 6, 2008 9:41 AM
Posted by ha! Retards! | October 6, 2008 9:42 AM

the most likely possibility is that the records have been scrubbed by GOP elves.

Posted by max solomon | October 6, 2008 9:42 AM


Obama's Keating 5 ad ... now THAT's campaign news!

Posted by Mahtli69 | October 6, 2008 9:45 AM

@7 - Low muscle tone is very characteristic of Down Syndrome.

Posted by RJ | October 6, 2008 9:46 AM

So the obvious next step is to follow up by seeing what other babies were born that day or the day before in other hospitals - presumably in the general area where Bristol was around that time. Anyone working on this? I for one am curious as hell.

Posted by wench | October 6, 2008 9:56 AM

Going after Trig is going to be extremely effective too. A lot like going after Bill Clinton for Monica was for Newt Gingrich back in the day.

It won't be about her family life, but the fact that she may have lied about it. That's as devastatingly effective as it is original.

Posted by Luke Baggins | October 6, 2008 10:00 AM

I can't wait until Palin is just another footnote in history. She will forever have an * next to her name.

Posted by Scott in Chi-town | October 6, 2008 10:08 AM

Nobody has the right to demand to see someone's medical records, period. But it is quite telling that Palin's demanded this of other candidates before.

Posted by Karey | October 6, 2008 10:09 AM

I'm all for transparency in government, and I think Sullivan has a point as far as it goes. My REAL question is... where is this going? I haven't seen anyone point to what the possible alternative is to Trig being Palin's son. That's my real headscratcher. It can't be Bristol's, right? So if you're saying it's not Palin's, who's is it? I'm confused. And it just seems to be getting too ugly for my taste.

If people are going to attack on something, I'd like to know what it is they hope to gain from it. This one just doesn't seem to have any "upside". It starts to make us look as ugly as Freepers.

Posted by Deric in LA | October 6, 2008 10:16 AM

Wait, I thought the baby was actually supposed to be Palin's daughter's. If the medical records of this small-town hospital are so watertight, surely the kid must be registered somewhere.

My friend from Alaska was visiting me last weekend, and casually mentioned that her mom hates Sarah Palin because she stayed in the hospital bed next to Palin after Palin gave birth. It's weird, yes, that Palin isn't confirming the basic fact of her son's birth, but all the 'evidence' so far is weak if you haven't already made up your mind. It's time to move on now...

Posted by Rottin' in Denmark | October 6, 2008 10:28 AM


Who says Trig can't be Bristol's?

I realise that Palin claims Bristol if 5+ months pregnant, which would preclude her from being Trig's mother. But, as we well know by now, Palin lies, pathologically. Seems to me that it's entirely possible that either Bristol isn't pregnant, or she's less than five months pregnant with her second child. My mother pointed out that in the rally footage at the beginning of one of the Couric interview clips (I think it was the one where she couldn't name a single magazine or newpaper), we see Bristol on stage wearing a high-waisted dress and looking considerably less pregnant than she did a month ago at the convention.

Posted by John | October 6, 2008 10:28 AM

As loathsome as I find the practice of dragging politicians' children into the fray, I totally agree with you Dan.

This situation is awfully curious, particularly given Palin's inability to answer just about anything honestly or correctly.

I think we are in for another big week. This countdown to Nov. 4 has me on pins and needles.

Posted by kerri harrop | October 6, 2008 10:31 AM

Why can't it be Bristol's?

Posted by w7ngman | October 6, 2008 10:32 AM

So Palin faked her own pregnancy and now she's faking her teenage daughter's? All because Trig's name isn't on a hospital registry? Isn't the scenario that they're all telling the truth about 1,000 times more plausible than this?

Posted by Rottin' in Denmark | October 6, 2008 10:33 AM

@8: you realize your name is *aislinn*, right? you can't really say much about trailer-trash inexcusable names...

Posted by jon | October 6, 2008 10:33 AM

Whether Trig is actually Sarah Palin's son or grand son is small potatoes at this point. It would just distract from her other obvious lies and flaws. Stick to McCain. I think Palin is neutered as a threat at this point.

Posted by spencer | October 6, 2008 10:33 AM

Come on Dan.

If the left stays on the issues, we win. If we get side-tracked on Triggergate, people pay less attention to the economy, the war, health care, and Obama's ability to transcend entrenched politics: all things that generate votes for democratic tickets.

The left doesn't need Trig, but the desperate right might benefit from a perceived attack on SP's Down's Syndrome son (aka Most Sympathic Figure In Politics EVER)!

Posted by Nater | October 6, 2008 10:37 AM

@27: Sounds gaelic to me, rather than modern made up. A quick google of 'Aislinn' agrees ...

Posted by Sto | October 6, 2008 10:44 AM

Where's Maury when you need him?

Posted by not the daddy | October 6, 2008 10:48 AM

Isn't is standard practice for candidates to release medical records? Or is that just once you're elected?

In any case, this will not produce anything worthwhile. Focus on Troopergate and the Keating 5.

Posted by Jen | October 6, 2008 10:53 AM

#27, Aislinn isn't a trailer trash name, you fucking moron. It's gaelic.

Posted by w7ngman | October 6, 2008 11:11 AM

Sorry for the attitude there, I'm a little defensive.

Posted by w7ngman | October 6, 2008 11:17 AM

I think people should continue looking into it for no other reason that it's highly likely we see Palin again in 2012.

Posted by paul in Kirkland | October 6, 2008 11:19 AM

Dan, here's a fact that I haven't seen in the media. Maybe you can turn it into something.

Palin claims she found out her baby had Down's Syndrome via prenatal testing. If that was true, her baby would have been delivered by cesarean given the high rate of birth complications for Down's babies.

This is significant for a few reasons.

a) Women typically remain in the hospital 2-4 days after cesarean surgery, and then go home to rest for several more days. Palin was back at work after 3 days. That would be an incredibly fast recovery.

b) If you can find evidence of Palin lifting something in the week or two following the birth, then she did not have a cesarean, and the baby is not hers.

c) If it can somehow be determined that Palin does not have a Cesarean scar, the baby is not hers.

Posted by Sean | October 6, 2008 11:22 AM

It seems clear that, if Sarah was pregnant with Trig, she and Todd were determined to have Trig born in Alaska (for future automatic citizenship in the Independent Republic of Alaska?)-- as stupid and irresponsible as it was for them to take a long commercial flight from Texas and a long drive from Anchorage to Wasilla after her water broke.

Why the hell doesn't somebody check for birth certificates at the county courthouse (whatever that is)? Those are freely accessible public records, unlike hospital medical records.

Posted by rob | October 6, 2008 11:26 AM


The Stranger should have a budget for FOI requests.

Savage, FAX in a request NOW.

Posted by cochise. | October 6, 2008 11:31 AM

I have to agree with @6, @12, and @21. I'd like to add that the whole debate about Trigg's origins feels like a creepy tabloid conspiracy theory story to me. It is human nature to indulge in gossiping and wanting to dig up the dirt about the private lives of others, (I admit TMZ is a guilty pleasure of mine) but come on people, this isn't about Paris Hilton or Brad Pitt. We're deciding the fucking president and vice-president of the United States here! How will knowing the truth about Trigg sway the voters who are still undecided to vote for Obama? If anything,I think it will backfire and the undecideds might become so disgusted about it that they will blame Obama for allowing his supporters (whether he encouraged it or not.) You can justify further investigation all you want, I think most people are going to perceive it as a mean spirited attack on a mother with a down syndrome child. Shouldn't the situation with Bristol's current pregnancy, as well as Sarah Palin's stances on pre-marital sex and abstinence only education, be enough for people to see Palin is a hypocrite when it comes to social issues? As far as our "right to know" whether or not she has lied about Trigg's parentage because it will prove something about her dishonest character, well we've already had plenty of proof of her dishonesty (bridge to nowhere, troopergate, etc.)that directly relate to her political life. We should be focusing on all the many many ways both McCain and Palin have questionable character and judgement and why they do not deserve to lead this country.

Posted by Jennifer | October 6, 2008 11:32 AM

@36 - Giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome does not mean an automatic cesarian, particularly if the mother had given birth before.

And, just to be anal about's Down Syndrome, not "Down's Syndrome."

Posted by RJ | October 6, 2008 11:33 AM

It seems likely to me that there would be a release form to sign to have your child's name and picture placed on the website. If I were governor, I wouldn't have released that information (I wouldn't have no matter what, but this could explain a lack to attribute the baby to either Palin or her daughter).

Posted by jude | October 6, 2008 11:34 AM

I thought Gaelic WAS trailer trash?

I will not be satisfied until Trig Palin is cooked on a spit over an open fire and eaten with barbecue sauce.

Posted by Fnarf | October 6, 2008 11:35 AM

"Release Palin's medical records."

While we're at it, can we have Mr Obama's medical records--I mean more than a 250-word executive summary? Mr McCain has released his.

Posted by Seajay | October 6, 2008 11:37 AM

#42, touche.

Posted by w7ngman | October 6, 2008 11:44 AM

Trig is not Sarah Palin's kid. It's Bristol's kid. How many lies must she tell to make that clear?

Posted by elenchos | October 6, 2008 11:50 AM

@37 (my lazy self): Okay, so Palmer is the borough (not county) seat for the Matanuska-Susitna borough, which includes Wasilla. Palmer is where the birth/death and property records should be kept.

Posted by rob | October 6, 2008 11:53 AM

@43 - McCain released his into a closed room for a limited period of time with no information allowed out of the room except for the reporter's notes. Somehow, I think that doesn't exactly count.

Posted by wench | October 6, 2008 11:54 AM

@40: My understanding is that both "Down syndrome" and "Down's syndrome" are correct.

Posted by PJ | October 6, 2008 12:14 PM

@47 And the total amount of time that non-medical professional reporters were allowed to spend per page was less than ten seconds.

But everyone knows this, right?

I guess the Republican shills really have run out of material.

To the nay-sayers who inevitably say nay every single time dirt is dug up on Republicans and insist that we not use it and then we use it anyway and then that dirt is what defeats them -- give it up, already.

We use everything. It's all relevant. It always works. Find a new hobby.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 6, 2008 12:17 PM

@33 You don't know very much trailer trash then, a lot of us have gaelic names.

But I got to be the only person who doesn't even care who the hell Trig belongs to. It's a retard baby, it's not like he is some prize.

Stupidest conspiracy theory ever, at least make it something worth caring maybe Sarah Palin planned 9/11. Where was she on that day? Why won't she tell us? What about building 7? Much better, imho.

Posted by EmmiG | October 6, 2008 12:25 PM

Inclusion in nursey baby lists of that type is voluntary. They are a marketing tool. It allows family and friends a chance to see the newborns' first pictures. Palin simply could have opted out. Most institutions now have the patient sign a directive that allows or dis-allows the institution to even acknowledge that someone is admitted.

Posted by inkweary | October 6, 2008 12:53 PM

Taking the story at face value, it exemplifies the religious right's insistence on the sanctity of life with no concern for the details: inadequate prenatal and neonatal care and zero maternity leave are all perfectly acceptable, only abortion is disallowed. Were a woman like this elected to public office, I would be very afraid that she would expect me and every other mother to deal with our health, our children's health and our childcare as recklessly as she has.

For a woman who thinks her child is perfect, it does seem an awful lot like she did her best to kill him (flying and driving home after her water broke to a small town in Alaska to have her premature child delivered in an ill-equipped hospital by a general practitioner), and to hide his existence (hiding her pregnancy, erasing his medical records, not telling even her own children he had Down Syndrome until after he was born). Assuming, you know, he is her biological child.

Posted by Erica T. | October 6, 2008 1:05 PM

@52, 2nd ¶: That's a fascinating idea, unprovable of course. But when people are too tightly bound by religious or other social strictures, bizarre behavior, denial, and rationalization all pop out. So the subconscious mind makes the actual choice ("endanger/kill this child") and the conscious, supposedly moral part tries to smooth it over with justifications: ("want baby born in Alaska like all my others, want my familiar doctor/hospital," etc.)

Posted by rob | October 6, 2008 1:40 PM

If we're going to talk medical records, let's talk McCain's: The guy looks half dead. He gets confused easily. He's had cancer four times and has a history of mental problems.

Leave the baby alone. Nothing good ever comes from messing with babies.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 6, 2008 3:32 PM

I think this issue is just a curiosity and should be left alone. It seems highly unlikely Trig is Bristol's, as Down Syndrome is much more common in babies born to 40-something mothers than teen mothers. (Along the lines of 1 in 100 at Sarah's age vs. 1 in 1500 for Bristol). If he was adopted, I don't know why they'd hide it. And if they did, they might come out looking like the sympathetic victims if it were disclosed by people digging. I think Trig is hers and that it doesn't matter much if he's not.

Posted by snoozn | October 6, 2008 3:47 PM

Maybe it's the younger daughter's baby.

Posted by Nancy Reagan | October 6, 2008 3:56 PM

@47 & 49 ... I didn't hear an answer to my question, posed in 43: "While we're at it, can we have Mr Obama's medical records?" Come to think of it, did we ever get Bill Clinton's?

Posted by Seajay | October 6, 2008 8:15 PM

@57 ... Bill Clinton's? Why do you want his medical records? Aren't we over him yet?

Posted by David | October 6, 2008 8:59 PM

Personally, I'm far more interested in WHY Mrs. McCain's tax records for the past seven years haven't been released - INCLUDING THOSE FOR HER TRUSTS.

But then, Palin already WAS unqualified to be President.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 6, 2008 9:21 PM

58 ... Sure we're over him. But you *can* be president, and even get re-elected, without releasing your records, that's my point. In other words, it's all a big game of gotcha. I don't recall any President or Presidential candidate being called upon--as part of judging their fitness for office--to release their medical records prior to the 1980s. I mean, so what? FDR had polio. JFK had a messed-up back. Would the country have been better off had they not been elected because people thought they weren't fit enough? Just saying.

Posted by Seajay | October 6, 2008 11:00 PM

Oh, and by the way, same thing goes for tax records. For more than half this country's history there wasn't even any such thing as an income tax return, and for a long time after, no Presidential candidate was called upon to release them either. Just more gotcha gamin' to feed the talk mills.

Posted by Seajay | October 6, 2008 11:05 PM

I'm sure someone already said it...but HIPAA. It's against privacy laws to just post online patient's information-so it's not that the hospital doesn't have records of Sara Palin giving birth there, it's that they weren't allowed to release that information to the public, per the patient's wishes.
Secondly, the risk for having a child with down's syndrome rises significantly with age. So it's way more likely that Sara is the mother of a child with down syndrome than her teenage daughter.
There are so many other things that make Sara Palin a terrible candidate. Why are we talking about this far-fetched, soap-opera conspiracy theory?

Posted by bethbeth | October 7, 2008 12:11 AM

As much as I dislike Sarah Palin, I don't think going down this road will help Obama win the election. Conservatives have already rallied around Bristol's pregnancy. If the Trig-as-Bristol's-kid theory is true, I think they would happily ignore the fact that Palin is a liar in favor of waving the anti-abortion flag.

Posted by J. | October 7, 2008 9:17 AM

Here are two thoughtful sites that are trying to collect and publish information on the (still open) question of who are the parents of Trig Palin:

Posted by PalinBaby Question | October 7, 2008 4:20 PM

Here are two thoughtful sites that are trying to collect and publish information on the (still open) question of who are the parents of Trig Palin:

(apologies for re-posting, you won't be able to use the links in the previous post, and you'll have to copy and paste these!)

Posted by PalinBaby Question | October 7, 2008 4:24 PM

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