Although Chelsea recently tried to quash rumors that she will seek Kirsten Gillibrand’s New York Senate seat if Gillibrand runs for president in 2020, that hasn’t stopped people from reading the tea leaves to predict what she’ll do next. Chelsea has been a vocal Trump critic, commenting on issues such as infant mortality and #SaveBigBird as well as racism in education and affordable healthcare. It has not gone unnoticed: A CNN headline last month read: “Chelsea Clinton embraces her Twitter sass.” She’s writing a children’s book. She’s joined the board of Expedia. The most minor details about her provoke outrage and inspire conspiracy theories.
The studious interest in Chelsea’s next move is understandable coming from the right, which has always hated the Clintons and no doubt welcomes the distraction Chelsea offers from the president’s dismal approval ratings and damning intelligence hearings. Bill, Hillary and Chelsea have long been enthusiasm-boosters for the Republicans, and they’re reluctant to give them up.
But the laser-focused Chelsea vitriol is perplexing when it comes from the left. Shouldn’t such first-daughter hatred be reserved for Ivanka? Wouldn’t their attention be better spent on potential 2018 and 2020 candidates who have already declared their interest? Aren’t there bigger battles to fight — and aren’t they glad that such a prominent Democratic figure is registering her dissent with the current administration?