Chelsea Center Stage « The Washington Independent
Denver–We’ve now had more than 12 hours to decompress since Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s pinpoint perfect address before her party’s convention. And as much as her calls for unity had everyone in town buzzing, as the hours passed a second story line seems to have emerged: the *official *arrival of Chelsea Clinton into American politics.
True, she didn’t say much. She simply narrated the pre-speech film that was part biography and part rock n’ roll video and then quickly introduced her mother. But what we saw in the daughter of the New York Senator and former President was a woman who had come into her own, someone who had come so far from the awful comments made about her appearance during her father’s time in office. She was a woman who had spent her formative years in public only to come out without having photos of her falling down drunk on the cover of the Daily News as the Bush twins did. She stood confident and reassured, the proud combination of two of the great political minds in living memory.
Her appearance was a true culmination, the end of a grooming process that began when, during the Democratic Primary season when she was said by MSNBC’s David Shuster, “pimped out” during the campaign (Shuster was later suspended for the remark). Taking leave from her post at a New York hedge fund, Chelsea seemed charged with the great responibility of addressing young people at a time when masses of first-time voters were swooning over Sen. Barack Obama. She worked tirelessly for her mother, speaking on her behalf and avoiding the gaffes one might expect, culminating with her appearance last night.
As a nation we like to think that we’re beyond political dynasties. Chances are no member of the Bush family will win the Oval Office, well, ever. Monday night, Sen. Ted Kennedy seemed to officially hand over the dreams and aspirations generated by his brothers Bobby and Jack to a man born without political connections to a Kenyan Father and a mother raised in Kansas.
But we are a nation of habit, one that craves familiarity. Since Obama stormed to the nomination, people have been writing off the end of the Clintons and their place within the Democratic Party. But if we’ve learned anything from Clinton’s campaign for the 2008 presidency, it’s they are a family of fighters, never willing to concede when everyone around them wants to declare them politcally dead. But their end has been greatly exaggerated. Through Chelsea, to paraphrase Ted Kennedy, their dream lives on.