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Posted Mon, July 19, 2010 6:58pm EDT

Why Sarah Palin — The Mama Grizzly — Needs To Take Parenting Lessons From Hillary Clinton!

Need proof that the much-maligned Secretary of State is an A+ plus  mom? Check out her daughter Chelsea.

Need proof that Sarah “Pro-Family” Palin could use a major refresher course in parenting — take a look at daughter Bristol’s latest adventures.

Isn’t it ironic that uber-working mom Hillary who took heat as First Lady because she didn’t take her cookie recipes seriously, should be the mom of a Stanford and Oxford University grad, who is getting married on July 31, at the age of 30.

She’s NOT pregnant! She has a great job at Avenue Capital Group, a hedge fund, and her husband-to-be is a 32-year-old investment banker — Marc Mezvinsky — who has NEVER stripped naked for Playgirl or any other form of media. Sarah’s future son-in-law,20,  on the other hand, after his adventures as a nude model and D Lister Kathy Griffin’s date, is currently unemployed but is  planning to get his GED and be an electrician.

Furthermore, Chelsea’s wedding, in which 400 guests are expected, is a personal and PRIVATE affair — in other words, the photos and story are NOT being sold for the cover of Us Weekly, unlike Bristol Palin and her baby daddy Levi Johnston‘s.

“My lips are sealed,” Hillary told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell in an interview July 18, “I am under very strict orders not to talk about it.”

But, at least she knows about it … every detail. “It’s the most important activity going on in my life right now, I have to confess,” Hillary told China’s Central Television. “Probably just a tiny bit of a motherly overstatement.”

Now let’s do the Palin family contrast. Bristol gets pregnant at 17 and admits that neither of her pro-life parents EVER discussed birth control (“We never had the birds and the bees conversation”) with her. She gave up her plans to go to college to study for a business degree and then become a real estate agent , in order to raise her son Tripp,  now 18 months, EVEN though her parents are wealthy enough after Sarah’s $12 million haul from the sales of her memoir Going Rogue, to get her daycare money or a babysitter.

She and her family, get into a vicious war of words and a custody/support battle with baby daddy Levi Johnston after the couple breaks their first engagement. The ugly fight  erupts in Vanity Fair magazine, on Oprah and on The Tyra Banks Show, among other places.

Levi basically calls Sarah an absentee mom who’s “extremely vindictive”, and Sarah says that Levi “would sell [his] body for money ( which) reflects a desperate need for attention and [is] likely to say and do anything for even more attention.”

Now, in a move that has shocked the world AND especially Sarah Palin — her daughter, 19,  announced on the cover of Us Weekly that she and Levi have reunited and would get married. Reportedly, the pair was paid $100,000 for the scoop. They are now apparently shopping a reality show about their new life together.

The re-newed engagement was such a surprise to the Palin parents, that they barely had time to issue a public statement before the magazine hit the newsstands.

“Bristol at 19 is now a young adult. We obviously want what’s best for our children,” they intoned. “Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives.”

How sad AND dysfunctional is it that Bristol felt the need to go behind her mother’s back in the most public of ways to tell the world about her new marriage plans.

“It is intimidating and scary just to think about what her (Sarah’s) reaction is going to be. Hopefully she will jump on board,” Bristol confesses to Us Weekly, after making it clear that she and Levi got engaged “even though we don’t have the approval of our parents.”

It’s a tragic statement about the gulf between Bristol and the “pro-family mama grizzly” Sarah, that the gulf in their real life family — not fake political campaign life family  — is wider than the Bering Sea that Sarah claims to see from her house.

“I love my mom more than anything. I pray she’ll attend our wedding,” Bristol feels more comfortable telling a magazine, than her mom. “When she accepts this, it’ll be awesome.”

Even more poignant is what Bristol says about her dad Todd: “I pray that my dad will come and walk me down the aisle. I don’t feel like walking down alone.”

Again, contrast that with the Chelsea Clinton nuptials. “You should assume that if he (Bill Clinton) makes it down the aisle in one piece it’s going to be a major accomplishment,” Hillary told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “He is going to be so emotional, so am I.”

Somehow, despite Bill’s infidelities, Hillary’s legal and then political career, and her non-Tea Party leanings, both Clintons have forged a close, open, accepting and loving relationship with their daughter. And let’s not forget, that just like Bristol, Chelsea went on the campaign trail with her mom when she ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination. In fact, Chelsea was her most constant and loyal companion and she has NEVER embarrassed her mom publicly in any way. But can you imagine if Bristol and Levi DO get their own reality show, how that may affect Sarah’s presidential ambitions? Will they be such a public embarrassment that it will be impossible for her mom to run?

So what does all this say about Sarah and Hillary as parents? It says to me that Hillary has done a damn good job and has given her daughter the unconditional love, and top priority status in her life that any child deserves.

As for Sarah — it sure is a lot easier to talk a good “Mama Grizzly” parenting game, than to live it. But the proof is in the progeny.

And isn’t it sad that Bristol can only get her mother’s attention on the cover of a magazine. And that she can only afford her dreams through a reality show?

–Bonnie Fuller

Sarah ‘Mama Grizzly’ Palin

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