Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chelsea Clinton goes public

Posted By on Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 7:52 AM

NOW ON FACEBOOK: Chelsea Clinton.
  • NOW ON FACEBOOK: Chelsea Clinton.
There's an extensive feature in today's New York Times on the public emergence of Chelsea Clinton, not just as a reporter for NBC, but as an heir to the family's considerable public franchise. She's been fire-tested, that's for sure. She's smart, engaging, well-educated, well-traveled. Though the article says political office is not part of her plan, I still don't think I'd necessarily rule it out. She's only 31.

Clinton was in Arkansas this weekend, the article says, to do a story for NBC on a Pine Bluff nonprofit organization doing good things. (See reader comments for where she was visiting.) The special is to air Dec. 12. She tallked about her new public role with the Times reporter.


Her move to television was a career shift she initiated, having her close advisers arrange interviews with top network executives and at one point working with the powerful Creative Artists Agency.

“For a multitude of reasons, she decided the time was right to more publicly own a responsibility she feels to serve in the public good,” said Bari Lurie, a former intern in the East Wing of the White House during the Clinton years, whom Ms. Clinton brought on as her chief of staff in September.

In an e-mail on Friday, Ms. Clinton wrote, “I hope to make a positive, productive contribution, as cheesy as that may sound.”

She added, “For most of my life, I deliberately led a private life in the public eye.”

But after campaigning for her mother’s presidential bid in 2008, Ms. Clinton realized that she liked speaking publicly about issues she felt strongly about. Her grandmother, Dorothy Rodham, gave her some advice. “She told me being Chelsea Clinton had happened to me,” Ms. Clinton said, “and outside of my advocacy work and campaigning for my mom, I wasn’t doing enough in the world.”

Chelsea Clinton is on Facebook now, too. Her page includes the photo below taken at opening of the footbridge by the Clinton Library,, when North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays announced that a street on the north side of the bridge would be named for Chelsea's grandmother, Virginia Kelley.

She's charting her own course. The article notes her advocacy for same-sex marriage and she is credited with bringing her father around on the issue. Her mother, the article says, remains opposed.

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