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Chelsea's Campaign Cameo

Mother and daughter in Des Moines. (AP).

Facing the publicity juggernaut of Oprah Winfrey here today, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton made another last-minute addition to her weekend entourage: Chelsea Clinton.

The candidate had already brought her mother out to the campaign trail on Friday night, part of her scramble to attract women voters away from "Oprahpalooza" -- the weekend campaign swing of Winfrey and Sen. Barack Obama.

But Clinton made a curious choice in how she (re-)introduced her daughter to the presidential campaign trail.

This morning, Chelsea Clinton sat next to her grandmother in a frigid warehouse at the local airport in Winterset, where a crowd of about 100 had gathered. Neither spoke, but Chelsea greeted people later on the rope line, thanking for turning out on a blustery Saturday morning. Clinton answered questions about health care, veterans benefits and farm policy -- but not Oprah, ignoring reporters who asked her afterwards about the Obama event.

Long seen as one of her mother's greatest potential assets, Chelsea, 27, a Stanford graduate who now works at a hedge fund in New York, has not been a part of her mother's campaign -- making her arrival here potentially big news.

Still, rather than giving her daughter a prominent platform, Clinton brought her in seemingly haphazardly, with no advanced notice to Iowans who might have wanted a glimpse of the three-generation team (or to reporters who might have covered it). ABC News first reported the Chelsea trip on Saturday morning; the campaign said the story was the result of a tip-off from a fellow passenger on her flight. The Des Moines Register referred to Chelsea's arrival as a "surprise."

Mother and daughter are now scheduled to make stops at organizing events across Iowa today, along with Dorothy Rodham, the candidate's mother. They also visited a diner on Saturday morning for breakfast.

From a strategic point of view, the decision to low-key Chelsea Clinton -- on a day when the nation's eyes are trained on Winfrey and Obama in downtown Des Moines -- suggested that Clinton remains less comfortable incorporating her family, with the obvious exception of her husband, into her work.

And it illustrated a striking quandary for Clinton, who would be the first female president if elected, and whose choices about campaigning with her family are charting new historical territory.

Her advisers have repeatedly conveyed her discomfort in exposing both her mother and daughter to public attention; aides repeatedly describe Clinton as acutely "protective" after enduring high scrutiny during their earlier White House years. Unlike 2000, when Chelsea campaigned with her mother across New York for her Senate bid, the former First Daughter has eschewed the campaign and has refused all interviews over the last year.

The only free agent in the nuclear family is former Pres. Bill Clinton, who campaigned apart from his wife on Saturday, in South Carolina.

Obama, by contrast, has brought his wife and young daughters to the campaign trail from the outset. Michelle Obama is scheduled to appear with him at the Winfrey event.

--Anne E. Kornblut and Shailagh Murray

By Washington Post editors  |  December 8, 2007; 2:05 PM ET
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How is it curious? Has it occurred to you a)that Chelsea wants to come out and campaign a little for her mom? and, b)that the Oprah events made it the perfect day because the media was busy with Oprah so Hillary didn't have to worry about her daughter being swarmed by the media? Why does the media hate this woman? The double-standard for Clinton in every move she makes is absolutely ridiculous.

Posted by: hbp1 | December 9, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

The only thing that Chelsea "Trust Fund" Clinton does for Hillary is remind everyone why they want someone other than a Clinton to be in the White House in 2008.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | December 8, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

"But Clinton made a curious choice in how she (re-)introduced her daughter to the presidential campaign trail."

This is Anne's judgment. It is baseless and irrelevant. It has no place in a news story. Why is it here? Are there no editors willing to insist on professionalism/ This is the Washington Post, for Pete's sake.

Posted by: zukermand | December 8, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Malia2, some of us [old Dems] remember Chelsea fondly - she's like family. It's great to see her looking so well and beautiful. How awful the press was in 92. As I recall, she was mocked on SNL for her teeth in braces and her hair like little orphan Annie. The word swiftly went out that the public was not amused. Bill and Hill made phone calls and the press backed off. Hillary is a good mom to worry how the paparazzi will behave now that Chelsea no longer has "protected" status.

Posted by: jhbyer | December 8, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

So why is this news?

Posted by: paulnolan97 | December 8, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Philoporquepaso- YOU are a "Potential Dimocratic Representatative"!

Just because Hugh Hefner is offering record amounts for a spread(LOL), does not give YOU permission to contradict the integrity of the Dimobratic party's Elitists!

Shame on you!

Posted by: rat-the | December 8, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

What is this, the "Ugly Olympics?" Also, how can Goldman, Sachs spare Chelsea?

Posted by: filoporquequilo | December 8, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to see so much pure hatred of Hillary Clinton. It's not pretty.

I don't see why anyone has a problem with her daughter being on the campaign trail --Mitt shoves his 5 sons in front of the cameras every chance he gets.

Posted by: drindl | December 8, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

"Some still believe that Bush-Cheney did not [sic] start the entire Iraq operation to steal Iraq's oil, avenge Saddaam's attempt on Bush 41's life, and to enrich Halliburton. This was Cheney, Bush and Cheney's true motives, respectively. How quaint to think otherwise.

Posted by: merganser | December 8, 2007 06:47 PM"

So, Merganser, Obama is a Muslim mole and Clinton is a murderous Lesbian? Because those theories have just as much supporting evidence as your's.

Please contact Avraamjack for advice on how to line your hats with tin foil so that "they" can't find you with their mind-reading x-rays.

Posted by: hisroc | December 8, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea why anyone should care about what Chelsea Clinton thinks! Oprah is an icon but Chelsea Clinton is no more important or newsworthy than one of Gerald Ford's kids making an endorsement.

Posted by: Malia2 | December 8, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

And what, exactly, does the presence of Chelsea have to do with Hillary's qualifications to hold the most powerful office in the world? None. So, why is the Post dwelling on this fluff instead of posting real news? We need in depth coverage of the candidates and their actual views and motivations -- not "horse race" coverage or trivia.

Posted by: squirma | December 8, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

As Obama surges to the front in Iowa, the Clintons and the Clinton Machine start doing desperate and dirty whack jobs!

When Obama wins Iowa, you aint seen nothing yet like you'll see in New Hampshire!

Posted by: DaTourist | December 8, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Chelsea's still getting family counseling for Daddy Bill's adulterous betrayals of the Family Clinton!

Would that kind of family counseling have inclued a political component?

C'mon, libbies! I know you've wondered, too, but you just won't ask the most interesting questions!

Posted by: DaTourist | December 8, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

If the Clintons thought they had a chance of making an impact in this news cycle, why not have Bill campaign with the rest of the family in Iowa...

"This morning, Chelsea Clinton sat next to her grandmother in a frigid warehouse at the local airport in Winterset, where a crowd of about 100 had gathered."


Chelsea, honey... Dorothy... do you want to comve over for some hot chocolate and warm cookies? You've got to be freezing...

Meanwhile, later that afternoon...

Oprah delivered a kick*ss speech before a standing room only crowd. It was measured, spoke to why she supports him, contained no embarassments (unlike Sean Penn's for Kucinich), warm, comfortable, familiar.


Posted by: jade7243 | December 8, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I betcha MONICA LEWINSKY would have attracted more publicity than CHELSEA CLINTON!

Whatcha wanna bet?

I betcha two dollah, bro!

Posted by: DaTourist | December 8, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the only way they can get anyone under 30 interested in Hill as a candidate is if she hauls her daughter in.

What did she do to Chelsea? Threaten to cut her out of the will.

Posted by: jabailo | December 8, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Some still believe that Bush-Cheney did not start the entire Iraq operation to steal Iraq's oil, avenge Saddaam's attempt on Bush 41's life, and to enrich Halliburton. This was Cheney, Bush and Cheney's true motives, respectively. How quaint to think otherwise.

Posted by: merganser | December 8, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Chelsea has become beautiful! I am so happy to see her campaigning with her mother. I don't know why Hillary is hiding her family away. They clearly love her and are proud of her.
Maybe, Hillary wants to give Chelsea a chance to be Chelsea, and not the Clinton's daughter. Maybe Chelsea can't spare the time from work.
Who knows. It is just lovely to see her again. I don't think I have ever seen a picture of her mother, much less her mother herself. Of course, all that campaigning might be hard on Mrs. Rodham.
I hope we get more glimpses of these two members of Hillary's family.

Posted by: bghgh | December 8, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

How lucky this country would be to have this brilliant first family in the White House.
I hope Chelsea will take a leave of absence from her job and get out there full time after Hillary wins the nomination! She is a real asset!

Posted by: quarrierbcook | December 8, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

And just why shouldn't Chelsea be hitting the presidential campaign trail with her mother? After all, she'll reach 35 before Hillary's second term ends.

Posted by: FirstMouse | December 8, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, crap. Avraamjack the whack-job is back.

Avraamjack, when did you first discover this gang stalking? Was it in elementary school when you got bullied? Was it in middle school when you were the last one picked for teams on the playground? Was it in high school when girls at another table in the cafeteria would all look at you and giggle?

Posted by: hisroc | December 8, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

is chelsea there to tell the public how her parents were there to keep her unclothed arse off the front page of the tabloids.

Posted by: dwightcollinsduarte | December 8, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

You just don't get sarcasm, do you?

One of the biggest single problems with our current political discourse is the personal hatred and vitrolic accusations that fly back and forth. Obama is a closet Muslim. Clinton is a lesbian who had Foster killed. Bush-Cheney started the entire Iraq operation to steal Iraq's oil, avenge Saddaam's attempt on Bush 41's life, and to enrich Halliburton. It is all so much crap. Hollywood conspiracy thrillers don't come close to the level of fantasy in these nonsensical plots and accusations.

I'm fed up with both parties and want to see America return to a state of reasonable, intellectual debate of the issues that results in a fair compromise in the best interest of the people and the republic.

Posted by: hisroc | December 8, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse



It is possible that Senator Clinton is the best candidate. However, even though many may like the policies that Senator Clinton proposes, they should also consider her record, just as Senator Clinton insists.
The last Clinton Administration, when faced with the fact that protection rackets where assaulting, torturing and murdering people with poison and radiation, chose to avoid its responsibilities to incarcerate the criminals and to protect the citizenry.
Instead, they made a deal with the criminal gang stalker protection rackets to leave them alone and to consequently abandon the citizenry.
Do we want a President who sells out the citizenry for votes?
Do we want a President who sends a "crime does pay" message to society?
Would you vote for a President who signed nonaggression deals with the KKKlan or the Nazi party? Gangs that torture with poison and radiation are much like the KKKlan and Nazi Party.
We do not need a sellout President. We need a principled leader President.
If you are one of the few who do not know what the above refers to, do a web search for "gang stalking" to see the tip of the dirtberg. Please do it before you decide to reply to my post. Here let me make it easy for you:

Posted by: avraamjack | December 8, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"his roc": the downside of free speech.

Posted by: neabas | December 8, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Chelsea does look more and more like her mother--and Vince Foster. Is it true that she was their Love Child and that Hillary had him killed after he threatened to expose the affair after Hillary left him for her lesbian lover, Billy Jean King?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: hisroc | December 8, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Ask not if they were both wearing asbestos panstuits. Ask Rather if they were asbestos boxers, or asbestos briefs.

Posted by: onwaj6 | December 8, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I find it refreshing that Mrs. Clinton wants to avoid putting her daughter in the spotlight because it could be harsh. It is ashame that Mr. Obama doesn't feel the same way and that his supporter Ms. Winfrey decided to use her platform now and not when it could have really counted in 04.

Posted by: artcamacho | December 8, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

At first I thought, how pleasant: comments that praised Chelsea and worried about the effect of cold on old people. But alas, it couldn't last. The venomous Hilary haters are always there, dragging up poor Roger (when was the last we heard of him?) just to get in some cheap shot. I wonder why they hate her so? A failure in a good effort to bring us health care and a refusal to divorce Bill ( how dare she uphold her vows!).
No matter. I like and am proud ofall our candidates. When I look at the sorry lot of Republicans, I feel blessed, even though I know both Hilary and Obama are going to bring out the haters.

Posted by: joe.anthony | December 8, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Roger Clinton's turn next. He can campaign among the drug dealers to get their votes for Hillary. Not that Hillary hasn't already garnered the votes of all the fugitives and law breakers through Norman Hsu. But Roger with his Clinton name brand will help.

Posted by: MonaStewart | December 8, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

How nice to see three generations together in Iowa. I am 84 and feel for Hillary's mother. That cold weather isn't nice to older persons. We appreciate all of you who have worked hard for Hillary. Wish we were younger, we would be active doing the same thing. Who needs Oprah when you have Bill, Chelsea, and your mother by your side.

Peter G.

Posted by: Lucille4 | December 8, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Chelsea is one of the Clintons' many amazing accomplishments. I hope we will get to see more and more of her as the campaign progresses.

Posted by: mmeyerdc | December 8, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

At first I thought Chelsea was standing next to her Grandmother!

The Light caught those Wisdom Lines all over Hillary's face! LOL! "Makeup"!

Truth, fortunately for Chelsea, she is starting to resemble her Mother more!

Posted by: rat-the | December 8, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

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