It was supposed to be Hillary’s turn in 2008. She paid her dues as First Lady of Arkansas –mysteriously gaining, and then losing, a southern drawl along the way.
She paid her dues as First Lady of the United States, and expanded the power and profile of the position exponentially.
She paid her dues as a (carpetbagging) Senator in New York State.
Then Barack Obama jumped the line. So Hillary bided her time for eight years, and paid her dues as Secretary of State.
By 2016, it was finally her time. But then something shocking happened.
Donald Trump terminated the Clinton dynasty.
As the election results crept in, Hillary and her supporters realized they weren’t going to witness the symbolic breaking of the glass ceiling at the Javits Center in Manhattan.
Instead, a metaphor about people living in glass houses seemed more apt; Hillary chided Trump for his “locker-room talk” while supporting a serial philanderer empirically guilty of malfeasance.
With Hillary’s public-sector career essentially over, the media’s Clintonian obsession has turned to Chelsea. Bill-by-proxy didn’t work in 2008 or 2012, yet some people appear ready to double-down.
Chelsea, while intelligent and accomplished in her own right, appears to have inherited none of her parents’ charisma or political talent.
From a Vanity Fair article:
Unkind as it is to say, reading anything by Chelsea Clinton—tweets, interviews, books—is best compared to taking in spoonfuls of plain oatmeal that, periodically, conceal a toenail clipping:
“I wrote a letter to President Reagan when I was five to voice my opposition to his visit to the Bitburg cemetery in Germany, because Nazis were buried there. I didn’t think an American president should honor a group of soldiers that included Nazis. President Reagan still went, but at least I had tried in my own small way.”
Ah, yes, that reminds me of when I was four and I wrote to Senator John Warner about grain tariffs, arguing that trade barriers unfairly decreased consumer choice. At first glance, of course, Chelsea seems to be boasting that at age five she was interpreting the news with the maturity of an adult. But we should consider whether it’s instead a confession that as an adult she still interprets the news with the maturity of—well, let’s just submit that perhaps she thinks what other people tell her to think. Which brings us to Chelsea’s Twitter feed.
Since Chelsea has 1.6 million followers, we can only conclude that some people enjoy ideas like “Yes. Yes. Yes. Closing the #wagegap is crucial to a strong economy.” And maybe there’s no sin in absorbing and exuding nothing but respectable Blue State opinion. But it’s another thing to insist on joining each day’s designated outrage bandwagon. Did we need to slap down a curmudgeonly Charlotte Rampling, age 71, for griping about #OscarsSoWhite activists? Yes, and here’s Chelsea: “Outrageous, ignorant & offensive comments from Rampling.” Is gender identity not going to be included on the 2020 census? Here’s Chelsea: “This is outrageous. No one should be invisible in America.” Not that there aren’t breaks for deeper thoughts: “Words without action are … meaningless. Words with inaction are … just words. Words with opposite action is … hypocrisy.”
That is … beautiful. The crude conventional wisdom is that Bill Clinton craved adoration and Hillary Clinton craved power. But Chelsea Clinton seems to have a more crippling want: fashionability—of the sort embraced by philanthropic high society. So you tell The New York Times that your dream dinner party would include James Baldwin, Shakespeare, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Jane Jacobs, and Jane Austen, and discussion would be about how “people and communities can evolve to be more inclusive, more kind, have a greater and broader sense of solidarity, while still respecting individual liberties; what provokes or blocks those changes; and what stories might resonate today to encourage us toward kindness, respect, and mutual dignity.” You almost have to bow down before someone who could host Shakespeare for dinner and make the agenda wind up sounding like a brochure for the Altria Group. At least Kafka would be on hand to capture the joy of the evening.
With no more quid pro quo to offer, the Clinton Foundation has closed its doors. The jig is up. The party’s over. Time to go home.
But out of sheer desperation to resuscitate the moribund Clinton brand, the Democratic Party might turn to Chelsea to play role of savior.
Even if the DNC puts Chelsea up for a soft-target congressional seat, the election of Donald Trump proves the general public has grown tired of the Clintons.
The dynasty is over.