Invisible hand, or incompetent? Politico’s Ken Vogel calls it Chelsea Clinton’s “invisible hand,” a rather amusing and ironic reference to Adam Smith’s argument about the power of markets. When one considers the list of accomplishments, however, Smith’s conclusions about markets rather than monopolies becomes even more clear:
The message was clear: Hillary Clinton is running—and running right along with her is Chelsea. Indeed, two dozen interviews with friends and associates of the Clintons in recent weeks made clear that this once and possibly future daughter of a president is poised to become a major figure in the campaign and—if her mother makes it there—at the White House. …
However she does on the campaign trail, there’s little doubt that today, what some in the Clinton orbit call the “invisible hand of Chelsea” shapes almost every significant decision her parents make, according to multiple sources familiar with the family’s dynamics and their vast $2 billion philanthropy, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. They say she played a key role in the foundation’s now-controversial decision to resume accepting foreign contributions, for example, and that she was among the proponents of moving the family’s private emails—including the @chelseaoffice.com accounts—from the Clinton’s homebrew server to an outside IT firm. Both changes took place quietly soon after her Hillary Clinton stepped down as Secretary of State, but have become controversial in recent weeks as she prepared to announce her presidential campaign.
Chelsea Clinton herself acknowledges she’s right in the middle of all her family’s big decisions. “The benefit of having three family members is that you have kind of two candidates and a moderator kind of built in,” she told students last week at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “We talk about everything,” and “have had kind of a conversation about what we think the challenges, the opportunities, the solutions are—whether today or in the future—literally my whole life.”
This puts Chelsea smack in the middle of both scandals plaguing Hillary at her kickoff for 2016. Vogel mentions that both decisions “have become controversial,” but it’s not just controversy, either. The private e-mail server allowed Hillary to break the Federal Records Act and deceived both Congress and private FOIA petitioners. Accepting millions of dollars from foreign governments after Hillary left office might be controversial, but how involved was Chelsea in the decision to accept the cash during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State?
NBC’s Peter Alexander also profiles Chelsea’s role in the campaign in a profile featured on Today this morning. It takes an oddly unfeminist point of view, with both Alexander and Mark Halperin arguing that Chelsea’s status of mother might boost Hillary more than anything else, using grandmotherhood to soften her image:
If the “invisible hand” of Chelsea is behind the e-mail server, the foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation, and the “walk the Earth” campaign strategy, Clintonland will eventually have to confront the family approach. This does make one thing very clear, though. The Clinton dynasty has no intention of stopping at Clinton White House 2.0, so the need to put an end to the royal succession in 2016 is all the more clear. Otherwise, we may end up getting Chelsea for President in 2024, and Charlotte in 2048.