Barf alert: 19 months of Chelsea in your face on the way
Chelsea Clinton is no longer the innocent teen she was when she lived in the White House and reportedly called the Secret Service agents guarding her family with their lives “pigs.” She has signed on as a key part of her mother’s campaign for the presidency, and now she is fair game. Although her God-given looks are not generally worthy of mention, the excesses of PhotoShopping are also fair game. As is so often the case, Iowahawk (aka David Burge) tweeted the best comment on her Elle cover: “The Hoover Dam of Airbrushing Projects.”
And while the discontinuities of the cover with more natural photos of the Clinton spawn are notable...
...even worse, if you think about it a moment, is the jarring contrast of her message with the bling she was pictured with. Byron York explains:
… a new photo spread in the trendy fashion magazine ELLE featuring Chelsea Clinton modeling high-priced clothing, jewelry and shoes while discussing equal opportunity — all of that made for a discordant note in ClintonWorld's big week.
One photo in the ELLE article featured this caption:
Chelsea Clinton in a Gucci dress, Mateo New York bracelet, Cartier bracelet, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring.
Another photo featured this caption:
Derek Lam blouse, Stella McCartney trousers, Bulgari necklace, Tiffany & Co. bracelets, Trollbeads bangle, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring, Brian Atwood pumps.
Cartier, Gucci, Bulgari — they are some of the most expensive names in the fashion business, and in this case they are the background to Chelsea Clinton's thoughts on equality of opportunity, especially for women. "One of our core values in this country is that we are the land of equal opportunity," Clinton told the magazine, "but when equal hasn't yet included gender, there is a fundamental challenge there that, I believe, having our first woman president — whenever that is — will help resolve."
In Politico, Kenneth P Vogel explains how important Chelsea will be to the campaign:
As her mother prepared to launch her second campaign for the presidency, Chelsea Clinton’s staff was compiling an email chronicling the former first daughter’s growing public profile and influence within the family’s sprawling global philanthropy (snip)
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.
A “self-identified progressive” who embraced gay marriage before her parents, Chelsea Clinton brings a deep appreciation for tools like data analytics and social media that dominate modern campaigns, and she’s being counted on to help her 67-year-old mom appeal to young voters, at a time when the increasingly frail-looking family patriarch, former President Bill Clinton, is being coaxed to the sidelines. But, while the expensive clothes and jewelry Chelsea wore on the ELLE cover are likely loaners from the magazine, they underscored the potential limitations of the Clintons’ only child as a political asset. As her mother opens a campaign framed around a pitch to the increasingly stretched American middle class, Chelsea is a child of privilege with a hedge fund manager husband, a $9.25-million condo in New York’s Flatiron District and a circle of extremely wealthy friends and associates who help feed the Clintons’ political and charitable juggernaut.
I am sorry, but I have no patience with Chelsea’s progressivism and its contrast with her hauteur, her luxurious lifestyle, her high-paying glamorous jobs brought her way by family connections, and her conspicuous lack of achievement or creativity in any of those jobs. Her debut as a $600,000-a-year rookie correspondent at NBC was downright embarrassing. She didn’t last very long in the offices of McKinsey & Company, where only the hardest-charging, brainiest associates survive.
But I am afraid that her mother’s need to portray herself as a grandma (grandmas are inherently folksy in the public imagination), and with-it parent of a flourishing and glamorous (really – they’re going to try to make this image stick, just you wait) daughter, is going to keep Chelsea in my face until November 2016.
It’s going to be a long 19 months.