Great news from Chelsea Clinton: I tried to care about money, but I just can't

Old theory: Hillary’s going to run despite being a terrible, tone-deaf retail politician. New theory: With her family’s help, Hillary’s going to preemptively disqualify herself so that she doesn’t have to run.

If photos suddenly surface of Bill at a strip club “making it rain” with thousand-dollar bills, we’ll have our answer. Deliberate sabotage would be the only possible explanation for a photo like that, right?

“It is frustrating, because who wants to grow up and follow their parents?” admits Chelsea. “I’ve tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents. I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t. That wasn’t the metric of success I wanted in my life. I’ve talked about this to my friends who are doctors and whose parents are doctors, or who are lawyers and their parents are lawyers. It’s a funny thing to realise I feel called to this work both as a daughter and also as someone who believes I have contributions to make.”

I like the idea of someone who lives in a $10 million condo and who “earned” $26,000 per minute interviewing the Geico gecko for NBC quizzing her friends about why they’d want to follow their parents into high-paying professions. I assume she means it as a compliment, i.e. that she wanted their thoughtful advice on the pros and cons of doing what your parents did for a living. But the fact that she prefaces it with the money talk and emphasizes that she spoke to children of doctors and lawyers makes it sound like she thinks they’re doing it for the money, out of greed, instead of doing something more noble like charitable work while coasting off their inheritance. I’m already looking forward to hearing her reprise that argument when she inevitably announces she’s running for Congress. She could have gone into banking, you see, but she’d rather work for you. Even if that means never being “truly well off.”

Fair question from CSM in all this: After 20+ years of limelight, is the Clinton brand really susceptible to change anymore?

Will this hurt Clinton if she runs for president? That’s possible – Republicans are already trying to use it to tar her in the eyes of the electorate. Some on the right even hope that Clinton’s perceived 1 percent problem will drag down Democrats as a whole in the 2014 midterms.

“The phrase ‘limousine liberal’ will be poised for a big comeback this midterm season, and Democrats will have Hillary to thank for it,” writes Ed Morrissey Monday at “Hot Air.”

But we’d say that the vast majority of US voters already have their minds made up about Clinton’s personality, one way or another. She’s been in the public eye at the national level for, what, almost a quarter of a century? It’s both an electoral weakness and a strength that she represents a known political quantity.

It’s not a secret that the Clintons are rich. It’s also not a secret that Bill has a much easier time connecting with the middle class than Hillary does. It’s true that income inequality is far more of a lefty obsession today than it was when Hillary first ran in 2008, but Democrats have never had difficulty electing filthy-rich liberals to champion the working man and Hillary will do plenty of championing in the next two years. The reason her gaffes about money have caught on lately is because they give the left, which doesn’t trust her, a glimmer of hope that a true populist might emerge to challenge her, and they give the right a frisson of schadenfreude in seeing the presumptive Democratic nominee forced to dine on the same class-warfare slop that was fed to Romney in 2012. Whether any of this is shifting opinion among rank-and-file Democrats and the First! Woman! President! crowd, though, is a mystery. Romney was sufficiently unknown to most of the public when he won the nomination that Democrats could “define” him. Not sure the same is true at this point with Hillary. Anyone got a poll?

Actually, maybe we don’t need a poll. The fact that Bill’s now trying to change the subject by dealing with a different Clinton liability suggests that their team thinks these attacks are starting to bite.