Hillary Clinton’s somewhat surprising 2016 election loss is still fresh in people’s minds. The woman tapped to make history, beat all the boys and declare victory was left trying to pick up the pieces.
It was supposed to be her year. Except it wasn’t.
Since Mrs. Clinton doesn’t appear to have a third presidential run in her back pocket, the focus has turned to her only child, Chelsea Clinton. What the Clinton cohorts are trying to accomplish by pushing Chelsea to the forefront isn’t exactly clear. Are they attempting to make this Clinton more palatable so she’ll be ready for her own chapter in the political spotlight? Regardless of the goal, it feels an awful lot like force-feeding.
Recently, The Washington Times noted the uptick in Chelsea-mania, and speculated on the reasoning behind it.
The New York Post has speculated, after her mom’s loss, Ms. Clinton is being groomed to run for Congress. The New York Daily News has suggested if Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand runs for president in 2020, Ms. Clinton may look to fill her seat.
Perhaps the media attention is a way to keep Ms. Clinton relevant — a token to the Clinton family that the mainstream press so lovingly adores.
The Chelsea obsession could be a vigorous attempt at keeping the Clinton family relevant. After all, Bill has done his time and Hillary seems to be winding down, too. Now Chelsea must carry the torch.
Whatever the case, a biting, entertaining article published last week by Vanity Fair titled “Please, God, Stop Chelsea Clinton From Whatever She Is Doing” said what most of us – on the left and the right – are thinking. The author, T.A. Frank, made note of Chelsea’s oddly inflated sense of purpose, among other things:
What comes across with Chelsea, for lack of a gentler word, is self-regard of an unusual intensity.
The crude conventional wisdom is that Bill Clinton craved adoration and Hillary Clinton craved power. But Chelsea Clinton seems to have a more crippling want: fashionability—of the sort embraced by philanthropic high society.
What seems to be missing among those who are pushing Chelsea onto us, including Chelsea herself, is a dose of self-awareness. Just because you’re a Clinton doesn’t mean you need to stick your neck into the political arena. You don’t have to follow your parents into the limelight of political destiny. The same goes for the Bush daughters, and any other children of politically famous parents. Of course, these descendants may pursue a political career, but the voting public is not required to admire or support them.
The urge to make Chelsea “a thing” may not end in a political campaign and a spot on some ballot. It may just be an attempt to take the bitter sting out of Hillary’s loss or to smooth over her cold, hard image. Either way, pushing and promoting the adult child of a politician is a cheap ploy at redirecting feelings – good or bad – brought about by the unexpected Clinton defeat. We shouldn’t fall for it.