Chelsea Clinton turns 30 today

Is her surname a blessing or curse? And Happy Birthday, of course.

Questions:

1. Chelsea Clinton is trying to keep a relatively low profile. Anyway “nomen est omem”. Would you say she will enter in US politics sooner or later?

2. How hard do you think it is for her (or how hard it would be for anybody) to live with the surname Clinton?

Answers:

Nichola Gutgold, Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State University, Author of book – Almost Madam President:  Why Hillary Clinton “won” in 2008

1. It is difficult to guess what her future plans are, though she emerged as a very articulate spokeswoman for her mother’s presidential campaign.  It would not be surprising if she wanted to run for office in the future.

2. She has tremendous support from her parents, of course, but not having the chance to be considered first and foremost for who you are individually may have been difficult for her. She seems to have warm and good relationships with her parents, so that of course is a positive.  From what I have seen of her, she is an impressive woman in her own right, so I imagine she will pursue what she wants.

Antonio de Velasco, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, The University of Memphis

1. Chelsea Clinton was virtually silent, and largely unseen, as a teenager in the White House.  She turned 13 days after Clinton was inaugurated for his first term.  The public knew little about her for the next several years. After the Lewinsky scandal, however, she appeared in an almost iconic – and apparently choreographed – image between the president and the first lady – she was holding the hand of each, almost like a bridge between the two – walking towards Marine One, the president’s helicopter.

My sense is that she will not enter U.S. politics, mostly because in her limited appearances on the campaign trail for Hillary she seemed less than enthused in the process. On the other hand, her fiancé is himself of a political family.  I doubt that she will run for office in any formal capacity, but instead expect her to remain politically involved in other, informal capacities – e.g., perhaps endorsing candidates, etc.  But one cannot predict what she will feel like in 10-20 years.  Perhaps time will whet her appetite for politics.

2. I do not think it so hard to live with the surname Clinton, for the most part.  My sense is that Bill Clinton remains popular, that he has bounced back from whatever negativity was raised in 2008.  And Hillary Clinton has clearly rebounded, with a public approval rating above that of anyone in American politics currently.  So, in the end, while certainly the Clintons have enemies, and growing up famous can’t be easy, Chelsea, I suspect, is proud of her name and has found it to open more doors than it closes.

Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science Iowa State University


I honestly do not think Chelsea will run for office. There has still been a lot of cultural push back against daughters of politicians entering and doing well in politics. Why would she go into what has become a toxic and poisonous environment. You ask about a “Clinton” and I would therefore add that ESPECIALLY for a Clinton! She would be bruised and beaten up. All of her younger days in the dysfunctional White House of Bill and Hillary would be dredged up by the attack and destroy media. Hillary Clinton’s politic; career which I think is very promising – I believe she will be drafted to run for president because Obama turned out to be the “regret” candidate for so many Democrats (as in “ I regret that I supported Obama because Hillary would have made a much stronger president”)A Chelsea race would distract from a Hillary race. I think she has brilliant opportunities in law and probably on corporate boards and non profit organizations. She may end up in a sub-cabinet position at some point or as US Ambassador to some country of her interest!



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