Hillary Clinton

Chelsea Clinton's Lead Trial Balloon

Journalists try desperately to kick-start a political career that has no good reason to exist

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Chelsea Clinton and I have quite a few things in common. For instance, we both live in New York City (albeit in not-so-comparable digs). We both have appeared on NBC-family news programming, though her per-minute rate is roughly $26,724 higher than mine. And we both have had critical things to say about Donald Trump, though I'm not friends with the family.

Yet somehow I'm never impelled to issue wink-wink nudge-nudge denials about, you know, RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. "I clearly don't agree with our President but I'm not the right person to run to defeat him in 2020," Norah O'Donnell tweeted out this morning from a Clinton appearance on CBS.

As with the target of Clinton's critique, the full context here is considerably worse, starting with the real villain of the piece, CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King. "I feel like déjà vu with your mom all over again," King gushed. "Are you running, are you running, are you running?"

World Reader Pretend ||| WorldReader.org
WorldReader.org

"No. No, no, no," an aww-shucks who-me Clinton replied, before quickly turning the corner:

Um, but I do think it's important that we be talking about all the different ways that is possible to engage in the world. And I think being a citizen isn't something that just happens in an election year. I think it's something that kinda is a call to action for each one of us, Gayle, every single day. And I think there are lots of ways to get involved; clearly running for public office is one of those.

I think to run for public office, though, a few things have to be true. I think you have to have a clear vision of what you would do, kind of, in a given job. I think you have to have a clear sense that you're the best person for that job. And right now, you know, I'm really lucky—I live in a neighborhood here in New York City where I support my city councilwoman, I have a major, not-so-secret girl crush on our Public Advocate, Tish James. I support our mayor, I love my congresswoman, our senators. I clearly don't agree, you know, with our president, but I'm definitely not the right person to run to defeat him in 2020.

So right now, the answer is no. But I think we all need to be asking ourselves that question periodically. And I hope that a lot of young people are gonna use the election to think, "Wow, like, should I run for public office? Am I the right person for a given job?" Whether it's a school board or a senator.

This excruciating string of political banalities and verbal italics, delivered in support of Clinton's activism-for-kidz primer It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!, is even worse to experience audio-visually.

One hopes, despite all leading indicators to the contrary, that the absurdity of Chelsea Clinton answering presidential rumors with "So right now, the answer is no" will put an embarrassed stop to what Commentary's Noah Rothman has described as "the contrived, media-driven campaign to fabricate Chelsea Clinton into a figure of political and cultural relevance." But then again, Rothman wrote those words five weeks ago, and Clinton has been featured since then in at least 10 headlines at The Hill alone (sample: "Chelsea Clinton knocks ObamaCare replacement plan," "Chelsea Clinton plans new children's book: 'She Persisted,'" and "Chelsea Clinton fuels speculation of political run").

The nadir of this puzzlingly persistent genre came in this L.A. Times op-ed by Ann Friedman: "Just like her mother, Chelsea Clinton never gets a break." It's hard out here for a (generously compensated) board member of Expedia and IAC/InterActiveCorp!

I don't want to go full Jacobin mag here—I'm not quite prepared to sign off on Matt Bruenig's conclusion that "You could not put together a more unappealing force in the world than what Chelsea Clinton represents, personally or politically." But if enough foolish journalists are insisting on making Chelsea Clinton's political potential a topic of conversation, I feel duty-bound to add that she does have one longstanding public-policy obsession, on which she—very much like her mother—is as wrong as rain: free speech.

Close your eyes and try to imagine the single worst op-ed headline possible (I mean, aside from that L.A. Times bit above). Can it compete with this?

Is the Internet hurting children?

I'd like to meet his sprayer. ||| Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Those are the words atop this stinker of a CNN piece, co-authored by Chelsea Clinton and James P. Steyer, and described at the time by TechDirt's Mike Masnick as "silly and vapid," "problematic," and "paternalistic," for starters. Steyer, younger brother of Democratic environmentalist billionaire donor Tom Steyer, is founder of the great parental website and anti-great activist group Common Sense Media, on whose advisory board Clinton has long sat. Together, they start with an ominous-sounding yet almost soothingly familiar sense of vague technophobic alarmism….

The impact of heavy media and technology use on kids' social, emotional and cognitive development is only beginning to be studied, and the emergent results are serious. While the research is still in its early stages, it suggests that the Internet may actually be changing how our brains work. Too much hypertext and multimedia content has been linked in some kids to limited attention span, lower comprehension, poor focus, greater risk for depression and diminished long-term memory.

Our new world of digital immersion and multitasking has affected virtually everything from our thought processes and work habits to our capacity for linear thinking and how we feel about ourselves, our friends and even strangers. And it has all happened virtually overnight.

… and then finish it off with some glorious technocratic there-oughtta-be-a-law-ing:

The promise of digital media to transform our lives in positive ways is enormous. If managed well, technology can improve our schools and education, deepen social connectedness, expand civic engagement and even help advance our democracy. But for these positive outcomes to occur, we as a society must confront the challenges endemic in our 24/7 digital world.

We need legislation, educational efforts and norms that reflect 21st-century realities to maximize the opportunities and minimize the risks for our kids. Only then will we be able to give them the safe, healthy childhood and adolescence they deserve.

Retorted TechDirt's Masnick:

We've gone through this dozens of time. No, the internet is not perfectly safe for kids, but neither is walking down the street. In some cases, you don't let your kids walk down the street alone, but as they get older, you teach them how to have a basic sense of street smarts, and you give them more power. None of that required special "protect the children!" laws. It does seem clear that kids need to learn some "internet street smarts," but that shouldn't require legislation. We've already seen how "protect the children" legislation has backfired in a big bad way.

For example, we already have COPPA, which basically makes it very very very difficult for companies to offer services to kids under 13-years-old. But this artificial barrier means that parents lie to help get their kids online.

||| Reason
Reason

COPPA, or the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1998. Common Sense Media has been trying to toughen it up ever since, drawing alarm from civil libertarian and free-speech groups. The Steyer and Clinton families, in fact, have been collaborating for nearly three decades on restricting the technological frontiers of speech in the name of protecting the children. Common Sense was a key backer of California's ban on selling violent video games to minors, an almost exact nationwide replica of which was sponsored by then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, though it was eventually overturned on free speech grounds by the Supreme Court.

Chelsea Clinton isn't just some distracted rando casually lending her famous name to Steyer's life work—she was his "star student" as an undergrad at Stanford ("The No. 1 thing Bill and Hillary accomplished is raising Chelsea Clinton," he once said). Steyer drafted Clinton, at the precocious age of 22, to write the afterward to his 2002 book The Other Parent: The Inside Story of the Media's Effect on Our Children.

"Toward the end of class," she recounted there, "I got to know Professor Steyer better and was excited when he asked me to help him research a book he was preparing to write on kids and the media. My acceptance of his offer led to one of my most important academic and personal experiences at Stanford. Over the next year, I worked on compiling information about studies spanning everything from the way race is portrayed in the media, to the digital divide, to the ways in which violence in different media affects kids differently, to the ways in which commercialism affects both what media kids consume and how. The last topic interested me most, and it was to it that I devoted most of my time….As Jim helped reveal to me, media is everything and everywhere."

If all of this sounds familiar, that's because it's ripped from the same cloth as Hillary Clinton's three-decade crusade against the pernicious and all-pervasive effects of media and technology on children, a passion that has landed her on the wrong side of the Supreme Court's First Amendment jurisprudence a half-dozen times.

If Chelsea Clinton indeed inflicts her family values on our electoral politics, you can bet your iPhone that she will advocate heroically placing the government between technology and your children. Next time maybe Gayle King can ask about that.

NEXT: On Criminal Justice and Executive Branch Power, Neil Gorsuch May Be More 'Liberal' Than Merrick Garland

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  1. Webster Hubbel’s daughter is going to run for president?

    I’m sure she will be a stand-up, honest, forthright, morally incorruptible person. Just like her mother.

    1. If that twat ever dares to lecture me on “privilege”…

      -jcr

  2. If another Clinton, Bush or Kennedy gets elected to public office, we, the idiot voters, deserve every bit of the incompetence they will inflict upon us.

    1. It must be fun though for these scumbags to sit back and watch the results of their decades of brainwashing still hold relevant.

      I have little doubt she will take her place on the landscape soon to the delight of the average amercian idiot while the news channels fight like buzzards for a chance to kiss her ass. And the entire government sector/education sector/ et all. will drool with anticipation.

      Why? Because they are told to.

    2. Let’s not forget Obama.

    3. Who’s we, kemosabe? The idiots who can be persuaded to vote for [insert disaster here] may deserve what they get, but all of us will be suffering it regardless of our actions. This is why democratic elections are nothing more than a fig leaf of legitimacy for state power.

    4. Einsteins reputed description of idiocy.

  3. I literally lolled when Moynihan read that “can’t get a break” headline.

  4. Well how else are you going to keep the clinton foundation slush fund going?

    Also, Google’s equal pay bullshit at the bottom of chrome leads to an equally bullshit youtube view with, SHOCK, comments disabled!

    Leftists love to lecture but no one else can have a voice.

    1. No one else can have a voice.

      That must really kill you.

    2. Whenn when you are supposed to just shut up and listen and believe, then yes.

      They don’t even know the like / dislike counters for that video.

      Afraid people will see how unliked it is? Afraid to have comments because people would show in it how completely ridiculous is it? There’s a reason most prog sites and prog videos have comments disabled. Talk about cowards

  5. I don’t know, “Chelsea 2020: Silly, Vapid, Problematic and Paternalistic” sounds like it would appeal to a broad swath of the electorate.

  6. We need a Constitutional Amendment to apply the two-term limit not just a person who gets elected President, but also all persons within two degrees of consanguinity or affinity

    That is, if you’re the parent, child, grandparent, brother/sister, grandchild, spouse, parent-in-law, or child-in-law of someone who has served as President, their terms should count against the number of terms you may serve as President. If they served two, you’re just plain ineligible.

    1. Or perhaps prosecution of law breaking elected personnel. That would at least put a bad taste in the mouths of the sheep who routinely vote for proven scumbags.

      On that note, I love all of this peaceful transfer of power and thus our tendency to dismiss the crimes of former elected officials.

      That is one of the steepest slippery slopes that Obama orchestrated to perfection. Let’s face it, they are all guilty of some pretty horrifying shit.

    2. I was promoting this idea back in 1999 (but only to one degree of consanguinity/affinity rather than two) by pointing out that it should get bipartisan support in Congress because it would exclude George W., JEB Bush, and Hillary Clinton from running for office.

      1. I’d originally thought one, but siblings count as two, and I’d like to shut that off, too.

  7. Who is worse: Chelsea Clinton or people who obsess over Chelsea Clinton?

    1. All of them are equally moronic and full of shit at the same time.

      The question is who is worse?; the cognizant leftist who thinks their bullshit actually works or the political leftist who knows it does not work and is willing to steal and murder to retain that power(Clintons).

      The former will become the latter in due time.

    2. DanO., of course.

    3. I’m not sure. Why don’t you stalk the comments over at Glibertarians, let us know what they think about it, then report back and I’ll decide.

  8. I think at some point she will run and win the DNC nomination. Whomever the Republican running against her is, they will be literally worse than Hitler. If she loses it will be literally worse than the Holocaust and there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. There will be many sanctimonious speeches given and articles written.

    1. What’s your point? If a woman is not exalted above all other humanity just because, she was clearly a victim of male repression.

      Woman could hardly try harder to negate and otherwise delegitimize their strong woman meme. Woman should be embarrassed about the woman’s movement since it has simply engendered them to become frail weaklings.

  9. “Wow, like, should I run for public office?

    Like, fer sher! Totally!

    1. OMG! I know, right?

      1. Like, full on!

  10. Is the Internet hurting children?

    Yes it is and if you’ve seen the parkour fail videos on Youtube, it’s hilarious.

    1. Brilliant

  11. Our new world of digital immersion and multitasking has affected virtually everything from our thought processes and work habits to our capacity for linear thinking and how we feel about ourselves, our friends and even strangers. And it has all happened virtually overnight.

    I don’t think that this really is a controversial statement to make.

    HOWEVER…

    We need legislation, educational efforts and norms that reflect 21st-century realities to maximize the opportunities and minimize the risks for our kids.

    FUCK! OFF!

    1. I would argue that it has not happened “overnight”. It’s happened over a decade! Maybe to a politician it is “overnight” because that’s the kind of time scale collectivists think on, but to the rest of us its half a generation, or 1/8 of a lifetime, which is plenty of time to adjust to most anything.

      1. which is plenty of time to adjust to most anything.

        Without government intervention?!?!?

        Whenever they trot out shit like the second statement it’s clear that they believe they need to be in charge to manage every damn thing.

        1. Look, if you’ve got a better idea how to centrally plan the internet, they’re all ears. But until then they’re sticking with the tried and true method of using government intervention.

          1. But until then they’re sticking with the tried and true method of using government iterative, reactionary, and irrational intervention.

            FIFY, because they did centrally plan the internet.

  12. Oligarchs got to ‘Garch.

    Next steps:
    Celebrity Video begging her to run.
    Trump tweeting mean things about her.
    Constitutional Crisis!
    Named by Popular Acclaim as God-Empress of the Americas!

  13. “I don’t want to go full Jacobin mag here”

    Name-dropping a Trotskyite rag is not going to win you many fans around here.

    1. Yes, heaven forbid anyone should acknowledge that somewhat-intellectually-serious enemies of libertarianism exist.

      1. Don’t forget rule 1 of H&R: if you mention someone it’s because you agree with them 100%.

        1. The only other rule of Hit’n’Run is 34.

          1. Aren’t there the traditional pair of “you don’t talk about HnR” clauses?

          2. So you’ve read my Welch/Gillespie slashfic?

        2. That’s rule #1 of the whole internet.

  14. In more important news [since it appears we can comment again] – Hugo Nominations announced and
    “Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex” by Stix Hiscock got a nomination.
    http://www.tor.com/2017/04/04/…..announced/

    1. Looks like SJW activism is still alive and well in the Best Graphic Story Category.

      Also, what’s “Hidden Figures” doing in the Best Long-Form Dramatic Presentation category? I mean, I know ‘based on a true story’ leaves lots of room for artistic interpretation and fictionalization, but shouldn’t the tagline cut at least one way? That is, the story can’t be both virtuous for highlighting historical facts and considered as a creative work of fiction, right?

  15. Too much hypertext and multimedia content has been linked in some kids to limited attention span, lower comprehension, poor focus, greater risk for depression and diminished long-term memory.

    Plato literally said the same thing about reading.

    There is nothing new under the sun.

  16. Chelsea Clinton is just Monica Lewinsky without all the sass, an entitled bore. The good news (I hope) is that she’s too spoiled and lazy to do the heavy lifting necessary to win at politics. As Monica said, “I should not have to work for this job. It should be given to me.”

    1. Alan Vanneman is just Chelsea Clinton without any of the audience.

  17. Aside from the obvious givens of chances if cronyism and corruption to assiciste with the Clinton’s, just what is it that makes left leanin media types swoon over this family?

    How did this family become the patrician oligarchs the chattering class want?

    1. I think it’s just because Republicans hate them so much and they somehow escape every scandal almost entirely unscathed.

      1. They are the hagfish of the American body politic, only not as cute.

        1. Hey! Be careful there. I have a beautiful old pair of eel skin, Tomy Lama cowboy boots that I paid a pretty penny for and have come to love over the last thirty years.

          Only “eel skin” is a euphemism it turns out for hagfish skin.

          They may be brainless and ugly but, they make pretty boots.

          The similarities to the subject here are just priceless!

        2. Hagfish rocks yer lame ass!

    2. How did this family become the patrician oligarchs the chattering class want?

      Same reason Bushes keep getting stuck to the soles our shoes like so many turds – name recognition. Neither party has anything else whatsoever at this point.

  18. Please run Chelsea! Please run! Because that will guarantee a Trump win in 2020. GUARANTEE!

    1. I mean, do all those begging Chelsea to run not realize this? Do they think election are just about wishes?

    2. Uhm, that’s what everyone said of Donald Trump. “Please run! It’ll guarantee Hillary in 2016!”

      Shorter me: Everything I used to believe about politics is kind of upside down right now. Just, you know, FYI.

      1. John Oliver among others got a healthy heaping of crow for a diatribe begging Trump to run and offering to donate to his campaign.

  19. I’m going to channel a 1980s Valley Girl here and simply say:

    “Eww. Gag me with a spoon!”

    In all seriousness: this person and her ideas, not to mention her family, are all grody to the max.

  20. Her twitter feed is cringe-inducing. It’s pretty much the same focus-grouped, “I Speak Young Person,” uber-wokeness of her mom’s campaign, but it seems even more embarrassing when it comes from someone age appropriate.

  21. The Clinton-pus just won’t die

  22. The only place i’ve ever seen that book is on the floor where someone dropped it at Ollie’s.

  23. “This excruciating string of political banalities and verbal italics, delivered in support of Clinton’s activism-for-kidz primer It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!, is even worse to experience audio-visually.”

    Then for god’s sakes don’t read Hillary’s tweets. Examples:

    “Let’s not be distracted. Let’s continue to stand up, organize, resist, put forth good ideas to improve the existing system & peoples’ lives.”

    “Bill’s speech brought tears to my eyes. Wanted to share it. Watch if you want to be inspired today.”

    “Things I learned today.”

    “Let resistance plus persistence equal progress?here was my message to Democrats today.”

    “JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS.”

    “”She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” So must we all.””

    “I stand with the people gathered across the country tonight defending our values & our Constitution. This is not who we are.”

    1. I saw a “Nevertheless she persisted” sticker on a car the other day.

      Seems like a pretty idiotic slogan. There are so many contexts where that is not a good thing at all.

      1. For instance, the context of a whiskeydick 45-minute handjob sans lube.

      2. Including the McCarthyite racism by association smear that pablum refers to.

      3. “We must endeavor to persevere”
        Second greatest quote ever.

        1. Lone Watie had the right idea:
          “We thought about it for a long time, “Endeavor to persevere.” And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.”

    2. Watch if you want to be inspired today

      And by “be inspired,” of course, she means “bask in the glory of someone else’s perceived virtue.”

  24. She’s 37 years old! Why is still still using comic-sans on her book covers????

    1. Her parents are named Hill and Billy and you expect her to NOT be completely the trashiest person in Manhattan?

      1. Where does Crusty live?

        1. He lives in the back of a pet store outside Rochester. It is known.

  25. Chelsea Clinton and I have quite a few things in common

    Your mothers called you Diane?

    I support my city councilwoman, I have a major, not-so-secret girl crush on our Public Advocate, Tish James. I support our mayor, I love my congresswoman, our senators.

    Statism is the bomb diggity.

    1. Leviathan seems a lot nicer when you’re riding smooth on its back instead of having it stomp all over your shit.

  26. You know who else had a lead balloon?

    1. Jamie Hyneman?

    2. Nena?

  27. No more Clinton, no more Bush

  28. Well, since no one’s said it, I’ll throw it out there:

    I’m just glad Martin Short is still working.

  29. But I could say that idiots read articles like this, and that some people think idiots write them. And it would be true. Apparently you did not learn from The Fountainhead.

  30. “um” “kinda” “you know”

    Oy vey!

  31. Will we ever be rid of these people?

    1. I’m hard at work in my de-Clintonifier ray. It changes Clinton’s back into humans.

  32. If a journalist endeavors a social or political strategy, is he still a journalist?
    We think not.

  33. Tish James is from my neighborhood and used to be my councilwoman; I have talked with her personally many times. And she is the biggest grandstanding, opportunistic piece of shit in New York, which is saying a lot. Plus can we give a rest to this “man crush” and “girl crush” nonsense? You do not have a fucking crush on Tish James, Chelsea. You admire her, for some reason, or whatever.

  34. The clintons are like a slasher film: Just when you thought you were safe THEY’RE BACK…Be afraid. Be very afraid

  35. I have a homographic issue: It that a “lead” balloon, because it sure feels like a “lead” balloon.”

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