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Chelsea Clinton Steps into Spotlight

Chelsea Clinton receives a photograph from Spelman College student Sescily Coney, right, of New Jersey, during a visit to the historically black school for women in Atlanta. (AP).

By Matthew Mosk
Chelsea Clinton's parents have long guarded her from the public spotlight, but after Iowa she started to emerge.

Now, within days of the South Carolina primary and less than two weeks to Feb. 5, she is putting herself in the spotlight as rarely ever before. The Clintons' only child was the focus of a profile on NBC's "Today" show this morning. That was followed by a fundraising e-mail sent out under her name. In the email, Chelsea offers a Clinton donor the chance to sit with her while they watch her mother debate.

"I've been campaigning with her across the country -- and I'm definitely planning on being at the next debate. Would you like to join me? The campaign is picking an online supporter to watch the January 31 debate in Los Angeles with me and to meet my mom. I know she'll be thrilled to meet you -- she is so grateful for how much every supporter has done for her campaign," the e-mail says.

The e-mail appears to be part of a plan to soften Hillary Clinton's image, an approach which has become more evident since her early loss in the Iowa Caucus. Things that once appeared to be off limits are now in bounds. For instance, in advance of the Nevada Caucus Clinton appeared on the Tyra Banks show and the two had this exchange about her husband's infidelity:

BANKS: How did you persevere during the darkest moment in your life?

CLINTON: Well, because I had tremendous faith, number one. I really had to dig down deep and think hard about what was right for me, what was right for my family. And I never -- I never doubted Bill's love for me. Ever. And I never doubted my faith and my commitment to our daughter and our extended family. But I had to decide what I had to do and I think it's sort important to be able to hear yourself at a moment when it's hard. It might be a family issue. It might be a job issue. There's so many times when you really have to listen to yourself.

BANKS: Were you embarrassed? I would be embarrassed.

CLINTON: Well, sure, all of that. But I also - I was just praying so hard and thinking so hard about what's right to do that I couldn't let anything else interfere with that. The momentary feelings, you know, you are mad, you're really upset, you're disappointed, all of that goes through your mind. But I have found you really shouldn't make decisions in the heat of those moments. You have to think about it.

After the appearance, political strategists and commentators pointed to the interview as a sign that Sen. Clinton was trying to humanize herself.

One columnist wrote in the Philadelphia Daily News that the interview was a "good move for Hillary. People rally behind her when she seems more vulnerable, more like the rest of us."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 24, 2008; 12:27 PM ET
 
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Comments

Wow. Some people have no shame at all! How could anyone malign a daughter who speaks well of her mom?

I mean, isn't that the normal thing to do? I mean, I cant imagine saying anything bad about my mom. Maybe when I'm 30 and old and bitter...

But no, I love my mom. I like it that she loves her mom, too.

Posted by: fjstratford | January 25, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so NOW it's time to get Chelsea out there BLOGGING:
http://dave-lucas.blogspot.com/2008/01/around-blogosphere-25-january-08.html

Posted by: davelucas.notes | January 25, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Chelsea Clinton works for a hedgefund manager. Considering people in that profession make tens of millions of dollars in bonuses and don't pay any taxes, doesn't itseem a bit unseemly in the Clinton's quest to paint themselves as the friends of the common man?

Posted by: nysteveo2 | January 24, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if there are ten ex body guards of Bill Clinton dead. Most shot to death.
So what if Slick Willie slicked his willie over and over and over and over while conducting classified national business.
So what if Hillary's signature is on an ILLEGAL loan document from Madison Guaranty association. (just cuz she repaid the ILLEGAL loan doesnt mean its ok)
So what if the day Vince Foster is mysteriously found dead with strange conflicting reports and Hillary's Personal assistant is in his office the Next day Shredding documents. So what.
So what if the Clinton campaign received illegal campaign contributions from Red China through a monk temple in Bills last campaign.
So what if everyone that ever implicated the Clintons in wrongdoing wound up DEAD.
Vote for that scumbag family since it just doesnt matter. If Bush or ANY other Democrat or Republican had the disgusting history of that family has we would NEVER hear the end of it...but the Clintons can have ANYONE killed, receive illegal campaign contributions from Red China, take illegal loans, and act disgracefully and NEVER account for anything. So vote for scum and be scum.

Posted by: mikkonman | January 24, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

It's the electability, stupid. Democrats, please pay attention: Hillary cannot win the general and that is the ONLY point worth putting out at this crucial moment of the primaries. Don't get distracted or side-tracked: put every other piece of info, scrappy fight, comment by surrogates, squabble, newspaper article, blog, story and propaganda-filled speech aside. Its not about race or gender or policies or change or experience. You only need to know ONE piece of information to make your decision: no candidate can win a general election that is not supported by half of her own party. Keep your eye on the 11/08 ball before it's too late. She is the only thing that will rally the struggling Republican Party. Tell every Democrat and Independent you know: a vote for Hillary is a vote for John McCain, HIS war in Iraq and an economy that will not recover for a very long time. Why does the DNC not recognize this? We are running out of time to put an end to the eight, and I now fear 12, years of negative and never-endingly bad mojo and the moment to do something about it is right now. So stop talking and go out and do something. One simple first step? Email The DNC and tell them how you feel about the way The Clintons are leading our party and running their campaign. http://www.democrats.org/page/s/contactissues . Pass it on.

Posted by: malarson2 | January 24, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

"That was followed by a fundraising e-mail sent out under her name. In the email, Chelsea offers a Clinton donor the chance to sit with her while they watch her mother debate."
Chelsea is offering herself in exchange for donations? Isn't there a word for that type of behavior?

Posted by: DRH1 | January 24, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Well this just tells me that people want to be played like a fiddle - even if the only reason it's getting offered up is cos it gets votes. Oh well, if that is all it takes to make the people happy and elect her I guess we'll be screwed for another 8 years. Maybe I should start learning Chinese?

Posted by: JayKay2 | January 24, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

At one of Bill Clinton's appearances in SC on Wednesday, an elderly black man stood up and said "black people are voting for Obama because he's black. But he can't win and he will make sure the Republicans win in November." Clinton showed "concern" while a few others nodded.

After it was over, reporters tried to get the man's name. He refused to identify himself and left with his BODYGUARD! Now, tell me. How many people attend town hall meetings with bodyguards, especially elderly black men in SC? This guy was a plant by the Clinton campaign used to continue to play the race issue.


Now can someone tell who in the past tried to scare black people from doing something?

Wasn't it called "KKK"?..........

The Clintons are now resorting to staging, having black people show up at rallies saying Obama can't win and can't help up. This is a scare tactic to steal your vote!

Posted by: laplumelefirmament | January 24, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Seed of Change thinks I'm an Obama supporter, which I'm not. I can't vote in the primaries, so I'll be left to choose whoever isn't Hillary Clinton in the general election.

But following from his/her email, you have to give Obama credit for admitting what he did and acknowledging it was wrong.

The Clintons, on the other hand, will filter/censure what you know about them, won't acknowledge responsibility for their actions, and won't admit any wrong-doing. Do you really want people like that running the country?

Posted by: wontvotehillary | January 24, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"A search of the Washington Post web site for the term "humanize" yields 19 results. Two are book reviews. Two refer to the candidates in general, but appear immediately before or after the paragraphs referencing Sen Clinton. ALL 15 of the rest are specifically in reference to Sen Clinton."

Silly me, that's only the last 60 days. The Archive search yields 55 hits for "humanize clinton" and 7 for "humanize obama". Interestingly, all of the "Obama" hits only used "humanize" to refer to Sen Clinton.

Some will think I'm overly sensitive, but I'm beginning to sense a pattern.

Posted by: zukermand | January 24, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Former President Bill Clinton may be keeping his zipper closed these days. But his mouth is always wide open and constantly in motion, as he campaigns for his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton.

Senator Barack Obama has tried mightily to raise the country's level of political discourse to actually discussing ISSUES. But Bill Clinton's pursuit of a third term is getting in the way -- he'll say ANYTHING, true or false, to discredit Obama. And so Obama, a veteran of Chicago politics, has had to hit back -- which he has still done in a dignified way.

Enough already. The Presidency of the United States is not a consolation prize to be awarded to Hillary Clinton, for standing by her man after his hanky-panky with Monica Lewinsky. It is the most important job in the world. Obama may be a lot younger than Hillary, but he has learned more in 46 years than she has in 60.

By the way, I'm an old white guy. And an Obama supporter.

Posted by: chuck8 | January 24, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to tar anyone - this is all public record here in the UK, I'm not sure why noone talks about it in the US.

Besides, wasn't Mrs Clinton the one who wanted to make sure the candidates were all fully vetted before they came up against the Repubicans? Don't you think they'll use this against her?

Posted by: wontvotehillary | January 24, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

SeedOfChange sez, "but learn to win"

me: End justifies the means? That's Clinton down-in-the-mud talk.

billmcg sez, "...the conclusion drawn from the facts is so elementary and straightforward"

me: Yep. What he said. Chelsea suddenly speaking out at this most critical period in the primaries after years of silence is no coincidence. To see it as anything other than a strategic move is ludicrous. Sure, politicians have trotted out their family since politics was born. But that's what makes the strategy so obvious!

And I said I was going to skip posts by SeedOfChange. But I read it before I knew it was his/hers.

egc52556

Posted by: egc52556 | January 24, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

If recent history is any guide, I note that a vote for an independent in a general election is simply a spoiler vote ala Ross Perro or Ralph Nader. Ergo, if you vote independent INSTEAD of Democratic simply because your candidate lost in the primarys, you have given your vote over in favor of Four more years of Republican misery for the nation and the World....Hello Carl, I see your trolls are busy at work undermining the Democratic surge.........

Posted by: Birddog08 | January 24, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

wontvotehillary wrote:

I'm really uneasy about the way the Clintons (and the media) use Chelsea in campaigns.

A lot of people say things like, "well, if Mrs Clinton raised a nice, young lady like Chelsea, she'll make a good President".

But the US media don't show the public the darker side of Chelsea, and that's irresponsible (and biased) reporting.

The UK media were regularly reporting on Chelsea going out and getting stone-drunk while she was studying there, and hanging out with people like Courtney Love. Where has the US coverage of these things been?

http://kellyanncollins.com/2005/03/chelsea-clinton-no-stranger-to.html


This looks like more slim for Bob Johnson after he flips over to Obama's side.

Posted by: valskeet | January 24, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

SeedofChange and frankbrit:

There's no need to vote for the GOP candidate if you take my pledge -- I'm registered Independent, but I actually did vote in the primary for Barack Obama -- plenty of us have agreed NOT to vote for Hillary Clinton if she makes it to the general election (I started a list so far).

Birddog08:

Try again, Carnac.

Posted by: JakeD | January 24, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Comments soliciting a pledge from Democrats to "Not vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination" could ONLY come from one of Karl Rove's underground brigade or a VERY immature Gen Xer who has played one to many Video games and has lost all touch with reality....Birddog

Posted by: Birddog08 | January 24, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama supprter are behaving very strange and pathetic. Euphoria of Iowa victory seemed to have left them emotionally unstable.

Obama may have offered them something :-)

Don't take it personally. If Obama wins he will face 10 times the scrutiny he is getting now and the media will not be on his side (Republicans control their advertisement money).

Posted by: SeedofChange | January 24, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Some pathetic creep from UK is writing about Chelsea and her drunken behavior, while promoting a crack head Presidential candidate.

Have some sence of reality.

Don't take everything personally, it is a election and it will be rough and tumble.

When the real battle starts, it will be gun ships chasing the democratic candidate with the media cheering on the deck.

Posted by: SeedofChange | January 24, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

l.Mrs.Clinton is not a feminist.
2.She likes power and highly ambitious to live in the White House
3.Clintons believe in their dynasty
4.America is sick and tired of Clinton/Bush dynasties. CHANGE is needed.
5.Clintons are misrepresenting Obama by telling lies.
6.Bill Clinton is behaving like a racist
7.He said to the media"SHAME ON YOU". He should appologize to the media. He is not a King. This is a democracy and the media's role is enshired in the Constitution.
8.Obama lost narrowly to Clinton in New Hampshire because Clinton spread untruths about Obama.
9.Ask Clintons to read today's Washington Post editorial.

Posted by: vpwaren | January 24, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:
Regarding your comment not to vote for Clinton if she gets the nomination:

After the past 8 years, why would I ever want to vote for a Republican?

Posted by: frankbrit | January 24, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Clintons are winner. Slapped Republicans around twice, not just Alan Keyes :-)

JakeD (real name Obama) don't be cry baby. Fight back and win against the Clintons. Don't take your chips with you and go home, Republicans will get them from you by force if you don't learn to protect them now.

Grow some backbone, stand up straight, take money from Razko if necessary, but learn to win.

Posted by: SeedofChange | January 24, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

To ALL Democrats:

Please join my pledge to NOT vote for Hillary even if she gets the nomination.

Posted by: JakeD | January 24, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

wontvotehillary, some might find your "uneasiness" disingenuous and your attempts to tar the Senator's family to be sleazy and disgusting. But hey, you know how some people are, all civilized and not low-life scum and stuff.

Posted by: zukermand | January 24, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm really uneasy about the way the Clintons (and the media) use Chelsea in campaigns.

A lot of people say things like, "well, if Mrs Clinton raised a nice, young lady like Chelsea, she'll make a good President".

But the US media don't show the public the darker side of Chelsea, and that's irresponsible (and biased) reporting.

The UK media were regularly reporting on Chelsea going out and getting stone-drunk while she was studying there, and hanging out with people like Courtney Love. Where has the US coverage of these things been?

http://kellyanncollins.com/2005/03/chelsea-clinton-no-stranger-to.html

Posted by: wontvotehillary | January 24, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

hu·man·ize

1 a: to represent as human : attribute human qualities to b: to adapt to human nature or use

A search of the Washington Post web site for the term "humanize" yields 19 results. Two are book reviews. Two refer to the candidates in general, but appear immediately before or after the pargraphs referencing Sen Clinton. ALL 15 of the rest are specifically in reference to Sen Clinton.

Given all of the candidates are exactly equally human, how does one account for this remarkable statistic?

Posted by: zukermand | January 24, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

This article proves to be good for both the Clinton women, but does not stay focused. The title of the article, "Chelsea Clinton Steps into Spotlight" gives the illusion that the entire article will consist of information about Chelsea Clinton and what in her life is putting her into the spotlight. Instead, it switches from that point, to Hillary Clinton's interview with Tyra Banks about her husband previously cheating on her. The article contains good information and points for both Clinton women, but needs to be more focused.

Posted by: jhaynes0227 | January 24, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"And anyway, the conclusion drawn from the facts is so elementary and straightforward that clearly it *is* appropriate for journalists"

You and I obviously have different standards for the product of journalism, and we differ on what defines value as added to a news story. That's fine.

Mosk: "After the appearance, political strategists and commentators pointed to the interview as a sign that Sen. Clinton was trying to humanize herself."

That's Mosk's voice. Is he suggesting Sen Clinton is not fully human? While people are entitled to their opinions, however stupid, uninformed and mean spirited they may be, in this venue Mr Mosk is not entitled to express it.

Posted by: zukermand | January 24, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The sins of the fathers, etc...It's sad to see a young woman like Chelsea Clinton drawn into the sordid mess that her parents are making of this campaign. Someone should ask Bill Clinton what Joe Welch asked Joe McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency, at long last?"

http://ajliebling.blogspot.com/2008/01/bill-clintons-bimbo-offensive.html

Posted by: connectdots | January 24, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Um, zuckermand, this isn't a news story it's a blog post. Relax. And anyway, the conclusion drawn from the facts is so elementary and straightforward that clearly it *is* appropriate for journalists. If news reports don't add depth and context they don't add value.

Posted by: billmcg | January 24, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"The e-mail appears to be part of a plan to soften Hillary Clinton's image"

This is an entirely inappropriate judgment for a "journalist" to include in a "news story". Mr Mosk doesn't have the slightest idea why these events are occurring, but seems to feel free to opine. Someone at the Washington Post needs to decide whether Mosk, Kornblut, Murray, Balz , Bacon and Kane are reporters or opinion columnists, and then hold them to the appropriate standards.

Posted by: zukermand | January 24, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

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