Sarah Palin's Children and Life in the Public Eye

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In leaked excerpts of her new book, "American By Heart," Sarah Palin asks whether being in the public eye is worth the risk to her family.

"There were times when I wasn't sure; when it was everything Todd and I could do not to lash out at the forces threatening our family. More than once, I thought, How could this be worth it? Let's just go back to Wasilla and stop feeding the media beast. Let's give ourselves and our family a break," Palin writes.

Palins Join Long List of Political Children Who Were Media Fodder

ABC News' Cokie Roberts -- herself the daughter of politicians -- said, "It has always been true that any political child has to know that anything that he or she is doing could show up on page one of the newspaper the next day and you have to live your life in the way that you could stand to have that happen. For some kids that's not a big deal, and for others that's horrible."

The Palins are certainly not the first political children to find themselves the center of attention; Chelsea Clinton, the Bush twins and Meghan McCain were all fodder for the media at one point or another.

"Kids used to be able to have a private life," Roberts said, adding that the media's treatment of politicians' children has changed dramatically over the years.

"Both the Clintons and the Bushes established a whole new territory about political children. Starting with the Clinton and continued by the Bushes, they said very strongly 'hands off,' and they said it so firmly and kept to it, in that they didn't use their kids, that it really did establish a much bigger zone of privacy around those political kids than you would normally see," Roberts said. "Before that I think political kids were always fair game."

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