Suddenly, the liberal establishment is earnestly interested in traditional family life, and there is a good — if cynical — reason for this.
When Michelle Obama, a Harvard Law grad, appeared at the Democratic convention last week, she did not come a la Hillary Clinton, who bragged when her husband first ran for president that if you elected him you would also get her — "a two-for-one, blue plate special."
Mrs. Obama did not pitch a co-presidency, but the image of a traditional family.
In her carefully crafted text, she said "Iraq" twice, "health care" four times and "family" or "families" nine times.
The Democrats made a calculated decision: Present Michelle Obama as a sister, daughter, wife and mother.
"I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president," she said. "I come here as a mom whose girls are the heart of my heart and the center of my world. They’re the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night."
Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, struck a similar familial theme.
"My parents taught us to live our faith and treasure our family," Biden told the convention.
When Republican candidate John McCain, in the afterglow of the Democratic family fest, picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, we instantly learned she was the ultimate working mom: five kids, just one husband, youngest child a 5-month-old with Down syndrome born in the second year of her gubernatorial term.
Left-wing blogs soon slimed her with a vile lie. To knock it down, the Palins revealed that their 17-year-old was pregnant and intended to marry the father of her unborn child.
Some in the liberal media took this as a perverse opportunity to expound on their newfound dedication to family life. They saw the Palins as a bad example.
ABC’s "Good Morning America" ran a segment Monday titled, "Family Secrets: America Reacts to Palin Family Pregnancy." It consisted of a focus group of women — none from any part of America west or south of the Delaware River — answering questions from Kate Snow.
Snow hit them with this zinger: "This is a bit of a flashpoint question: But does it (their daughter’s pregnancy) say anything about the Palins’ parenting; that, or the fact that she is away from the house so much?"
Did ABC News expect Palin to stay home and bake cookies? Why would a 21st century American television network promote as a topic for national debate the proposition that any woman might have been out of the house too much?
The answer: The like-minded liberals running the TV networks and the Obama campaign read the same polls. They show that married people could very well swing the election to McCain.
The Gallup tracking poll for the week that ended Aug. 24 — just before the Democratic convention — showed McCain trouncing Obama among married people, 53 percent to 38 percent. That was up from the week ending June 15, when McCain was defeating Obama among married people, 49 percent to 40 percent.
We are often told of the "gender gap" in national elections. Female voters, we are frequently reminded, tend to vote Democratic. Yet, this is not entirely true.
The Gallup poll completed Aug. 24 did show Obama ahead of McCain among all women voters, 47 percent to 41 percent. But among married women voters there was an even bigger "gap" — and it cut the other way. McCain enjoyed a 10-point lead, 49 percent to 39 percent.
Married people gave George Bush a second term in 2004. According to the network exit poll, Bush beat Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic candidate, 57 percent to 42 percent among married voters, and 59 percent to 40 percent among married voters who had children — call it the "parent gap."
Married voters tend to vote for Republicans over Democrats because married people tend to be more conservative, both culturally and economically, than unmarried people. A 2003 Gallup analysis, for example, showed that abortion was deemed morally acceptable among 36 percent of married people, 38 percent of divorced people, 51 percent of never married people and 52 percent of people living together.
The Democratic polling firm of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner reported this April that "unmarried women are 19 points more likely to describe housing assistance as very important to their lives, 12 points more likely to describe child care assistance as very important to their lives and 10 points more likely to describe raising the minimum wage as very important."
Palin’s daughter is keeping a baby and getting married. She appears to come from the America that the Democrats tried to fool last week, not the one they would like to govern.