In the U.S., there are the lower, middle and upper economic classes — and the political class, which could usher in a whole new era if Chelsea Clinton becomes the nation’s first repeat First Daughter.
The Adames, Harrisons, Roosevelts, Kennedys, Bushes and Clintons know this well as each famous family formed their own political dynasty of a sort.
John Quincy Adams, son of our nation’s second president John Adams, was the sixth Commander-In-Chief. William Henry Harrison was the ninth president, and his grandson Benjamin, the 23rd. Theodore Roosevelt was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cousin. The Kennedys occupied many powerful political positions, including John F.’s election to the White House. Both George H.W. Bush and son George W. Bush resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
With Hillary Clinton making a second run for president, the Clintons could be forming their own repeat First Family — and daughter Chelsea, 35, might not be that far behind. While she may never reach the political heights of either of her famous parents, she recently admitted to not ruling out a potential run for office in the future.
It’s been quite a journey to this point for Chelsea. From timid and awkward teen to a powerful, intelligent woman, Americans have seen Chelsea Clinton grow up. She is now vice chair of the Clinton Foundation and is taking on all the challenges that come with being the scion of a political family.
Right now is also the time Chelsea’s leadership could shine — that’s if she can somehow get the Clinton Foundation out of its current mess. The Clinton Global Initiative, which manages assets near $2 billion, has come under fire for Bill and Hillary’s exorbitant speaking fees — his is up to $1 million, and hers is half that amount — and for continuing to accept donations from foreign governments while Hillary was secretary of state during the Obama administration.
But if Chelsea does decide to enter the political fray, her parents are going to have to accept that she will be subjected to the same media scrutiny of any office-seeker and that she can’t forever be treated with kid gloves. Should Hillary win in 2016, Chelsea may also be up for a position in a second Clinton White House.
I always rooted for Chelsea because of what she was put through when Bill was president. She was just a freshman at Stanford when rumors of her father’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky began. Can you imagine that?
Navigating the difficulties of college is hard enough without being known by every student. Then add to the mix the fact that she was mocked on television for her awkward teenage looks and put a scandal of her father’s making on top, and it’s an even more difficult road.
Chelsea began to shed the private life she chose to live after Bill’s affair with Lewinsky in 2007, when Hillary was preparing for the primaries. She married investment banker Marc Mezvinsky in 2010 and had her first child, daughter Charlotte, last year. Will she make another appearance when Mom begins to go out on the stump for 2016?
It might be a good move for the Clinton camp. It would portray family unity and could be the opening Chelsea needs to begin a political career.
A second Clinton presidency could give Chelsea real experience in shaping policy and the intricacies of government. I’m hoping she gets into the political game.
Noah Zuss is a reporter for TheBlot Magazine.