Chelsea Clinton political future sparks media excitement, despite denials

When President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in November, many pundits assumed the so-called Clinton dynasty was over.

Fast forward just a few months, and media outlets are apparently #ReadyForChelsea – despite the former first daughter’s carefully worded denials about eyeing public office.

The rumor mill has been kept busy, it seems, thanks to little more than an uptick in social media activity by Chelsea. Within 24 hours last week, three major pieces were published about her.

The New York Times published in its style section: “Now on Twitter: Chelsea Clinton, Unbound.” In covering her social media commentary, the article asked in a tone more akin to “Sex and the City's” Carrie Bradshaw – “can a tweet ever be just a tweet?”

“I am not running for office.”

— Chelsea Clinton

The piece noted that while those close to her furiously have denied a political run is in the works, “Ms. Clinton is still a Clinton.”

“She may be her own person — a 37-year-old mother of two, an activist — but she remains the only child of President Bill Clinton and Mrs. Clinton, the first female presidential candidate of a major political party,” the article said.

They persisted.

On the West Coast, the Los Angeles Times published an opinion piece the same day by Ann Friedman called, “Just like her mother, Chelsea Clinton never gets a break.” The article noted that “although Chelsea recently tried to quash rumors that she will seek Kirsten Gillibrand’s New York Senate seat if Gillibrand runs for president in 2020, that hasn’t stopped people from reading the tea leaves to predict what she’ll do next.”

Focusing on a recent controversy over the awarding of an "impact award" to Clinton by Lifetime, Friedman said Clinton is treated poorly and much worse than current first daughter Ivanka Trump.

“But Chelsea, like her mother, never gets a break — unlike Ivanka and her father,” Friedman said of Clinton – who once earned a $600,000 salary as a special contributor for NBC News.

A day later, Vice News published an article titled: “The Agony and Ecstasy of Chelsea Clinton Fans,”  featuring a mock-up of Chelsea as a Catholic saint. The article interviewed Chelsea "fans," including Texas resident Nick Stevens who said: "Hillary is Queen, Bae, Beyoncé—you get it. Chelsea is the prodigy—2.0, if you will."

This is not a new phenomenon. Earlier this month, Clinton tweeted out a picture of her spinach pancakes she was making for Pancake Day. BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, ABC News (and yes, Fox News) all covered this event.

(And yes, the writer of this article is aware that, by covering the coverage of Chelsea Clinton's non-run for non-office, the writer is also contributing to said coverage.)

Some outlets have gone further than others. Diligent Twitter user neontaster, meanwhile, drew up a list of all the stories The Hill had written about the former first daughter, and found 70 times the D.C. outlet had tweeted about Clinton.

After a pause of six days, neontaster declared victory.

Thirty minutes after his tweet, The Hill put up a story about the award from Lifetime.

Not all media voices are keen on Chelsea’s buzz, and a blog post for The Washington Post last week argued, “The best thing Chelsea Clinton could do for her political future is to disappear.”

Additionally, some of her tweets have met with a resounding thud. Earlier this week, Clinton asked if a Twitter image featuring President Lincoln wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap was photoshopped, leading to some mockery from conservative tweeters.

As for Chelsea herself, she offered a typically Clintonian non-denial denial. Speaking to Variety magazine, she said: “I am not running for office.” After the apparently definitive statement, she noted that she loves the New York city councilwoman, congresswoman, and both senators in New York. Then she added:

“If someone steps down or something changes, I’ll then ask and answer those questions at that time. But right now, no, I’m not running for public office.”