Maybe it's time to stop asking Chelsea Clinton if she's running

Prepare yourself for that familiar old sensation of déjà vu which probably sweeps over you whenever you see Chelsea Clinton in the news. Since it’s quite unlikely that’s she’s done anything of interest beyond either delivering a child or getting named to the board of another foundation to rack up some cash, you can bet that somebody in the media was bored and decided to ask her yet again if she plans on running for office. And as Bloomberg is reporting, that’s just what happened.

This time there’s a twist, however. It almost sounds as if even she is getting tired of having to answer this old chestnut and she instead suggests that everyone else should think about running for office.

Chelsea Clinton has been asked hundreds of times if she’s going to run for office. The first was when she was 3.

“That says something pretty powerful to me,” Clinton, 38, told an audience at the Bloomberg’s Business of Equality Summit in New York on Tuesday. “We expect you to at least consider to do something important and powerful.”

“Have you ever asked anyone whose last name isn’t Clinton that question?” she said she tells the inquisitor. “Did anyone ever ask you that question?”

Clinton, the vice chairman of the Clinton Foundation, says it’s incumbent upon the wealthy and influential in society to create the “expectation of engagement” for young people.

Talking about how often she gets asked is apparently old hat for the younger Clinton now and the timing of the question is curious as well. Perhaps it’s something to do with the seasons. Almost exactly one year ago, Ed wrote about the same subject where Chelsea was asked by NBC News and she said, “I’ve been asked about my political ambitions my whole life.”

As I mentioned above, this is one of the first times I actually wanted to applaud her answer. If she keeps saying no, the reporters who are asking her begin to look silly. And saying that she thinks other people (without the last name of Clinton) should get out there and run is great advice, though I’m sure the people she would prefer to see would be different from my own choices.

But there’s another reason to stop chasing her around and asking her about a run for national office. Perhaps we could pause and consider precisely who you are badgering about this and why in the world you would want her to do it. I wrote about this back in 2016 at the beginning of her mother’s primary chase. I was very clear about the fact that I had almost never even mentioned her name over the years (other than to tell others to leave her alone) because the children of elected officials should be off limits. It’s not their fault for being born into a political family. If they stick to their own private lives then we should respect their privacy.

But in 2016 Chelsea Clinton came off the bench and inserted herself into the political battlefield, campaigning for her mother, fielding questions and talking policy. At that point, she became fair game. And when it happened I outlined my major objection to seeing people pushing her to run. The woman simply isn’t qualified. She is a person of no substance who has virtually nothing to recommend her for the responsibilities of high office. At the risk of invoking the curse which afflicts people who quote themselves, I’ll reprint what I wrote then, answering the question of what she brings to the table:

In the case of Chelsea Clinton it’s an easy question to answer: nothing. A big, fat zero. Chelsea Clinton is a young woman of privilege with little or no accomplishments to her credit and no real substance to champion any cause. After high school she gained admission to a prestigious university (Stanford) which may well not have even given her a second look had her surname been anything else. She’s gotten a series of very well paying “jobs” in the media and with her parents’ foundation, none of which would have been possible without the strong arm of her mother and father. She had the world handed to her on a silver platter and really hasn’t had to work for a thing in her entire life. And now she wants to lecture all of the “hard working people” of America.

I have yet to see any evidence to change my mind from that opinion I posted more than two years ago. So if Chelsea Clinton is tired of being asked the question, I’m 100% onboard with her. Let’s just stop or you might regret getting what you wished for.

Jazz Shaw Jul 05, 2022 12:31 PM ET