Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Welcome to politics Chelsea

As anyone who has been following the presidential campaign is aware, Hillary Clinton has been keen to send Chelsea to places where she doesn't otherwise think she will perform well. Lately, the former First Daughter has been touring college campuses on her mother's behalf. A student asked whether Hillary's credibility had been hurt by the Lewinsky perjury scandal and former President Clinton's subsequent impeachment. A lot can be gleaned from Miss Chelsea's terse-and some would say angry-response:

"Wow, you're the first person actually that's ever asked me
that question, in the, maybe 70 college campuses that I've been to," Clinton
bitterly said at Butler University. "And I don't think that's any of your

I can certainly understand why Chelsea would feel uncomfortable answering that question-these are her parents, after all. However, Miss Chelsea is no longer the teenager she was when her father was in the White House. She is a grown woman and if she is going to be on the campaign trail, she has to be prepared to deal with tough questions about her mother's credibility-even in the way of the
Lewinsky Affair. If she is uncomfortable answering the question, she could simply have said "for reasons that probably appear obvious to everyone here, I don't feel comfortable giving an answer to that question, I'm sorry." Instead, she told the young man it was none of his business.

The problem is that her mother is running for President of the United States, her father has already been President, and the scandal in question was the closest thing we've had in this country since
Andrew Johnson to seeing a President forcibly removed from office (some will cite Nixon and Watergate, but Nixon resigned before the House could impeach him). How that scandal and Hillary Clinton's reaction to it may or may not impact her credibility as a candidate is a very legitimate question to ask. Simply put, it is that young man's business-and everyone else's who might vote in this election.

Asking a teenage Chelsea Clinton about her mother's credibility in the wake of the late scandal and impeachment of her father would rightly be considered a merciless and uncompassionate act. Asking an adult Chelsea about whether she feels the Lewinsky perjury scandal and her mother's reaction to it is a legitimate thing to ask someone who, we must presume, has volunteered to go out and campaign for her mother in a hard-fought series of primaries which she is losing in total at this writing. If Chelsea has volunteered to involve herself in the politics of this campaign, she must prepare herself to deal with politics.

Welcome to the world of the political, Chelsea. It is often unpleasant, and sometimes we must be subjected to situations with which we are uncomfortable. Very often, our opposition is out for blood. Politics can be fun, but no one said it was going to be filled with rooms full of people singing Kumbuya and victory parties all the time. Political work is a very worthwhile and enjoyable endeavor, but is is also a very hard business. Get used to it.

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At Thursday, March 27, 2008 2:47:00 PM, Blogger nobody said...

you are absolutely right! my first reaction was what a tacky thing to ask this kid however this kid is not a kid anymore and has become a public figure in her own right by campaigning for her mother she has got to expect all sorts of questions.


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