Chelsea Clinton:Front and Center

After avoiding the spotlight for so many years, the former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is taking her place on the national stage. Today, she will begin a three-month position as a contributor to the NBC network. Her first project will cover a children’s charity in Arkansas, where she grew up while her father was governor.

Sudden Change of Heart

Why is she suddenly stepping out of the shadows and into the spotlight? Apparently, a conversation with her late maternal grandmother, Dorothy Rodham, has helped her to stop “pretending she was not Chelsea Clinton”.

As she told The New York Times, “I took what she [her grandmother] said seriously – that I had led an inadvertently public life for a long time and maybe it was time to start leading a purposely public life.”

Impact of Her Mother’s Words

Mrs. Rodham’s words had a strong impact on Chelsea. While her grandmother died last month at the age of 92, she gave Chelsea strong advice. As Chelsea explained, “She told me being Chelsea Clinton had happened to me, and outside of my advocacy work and campaigning for my Mom, I wasn’t doing enough in the world.”

While dodging paparazzi, getting her master’s degree in public health at Columbia and her doctorate (which she is still pursuing) in public policy at NYU, it has been her grandmother’s words that have helped her the most. As she said,

“As with every decision, I talked to my grandmother about it, and she told me what she had always told me that life is not about what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you.”

New Plans

As a result, she has become part of the NBC News team as a contributor to the Making a Difference series. President George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna also has a role at the network as an occasional correspondent.

No decisions, however, comes without criticism. Some raised eyebrows with Clinton’s appointment to the network, at a time when jobs are being cut in the newsroom; and Clinton has been hired with no journalistic experience. In response, NBC News president Steve Capus said,

“Chelsea is a remarkable woman who will be a great addition to NBC News. Given her vast experiences, it’s as though Chelsea has been preparing for this opportunity her entire life.”

Photo by REX.

Dan Kazan

Dan Kazan has had years of experience writing for some of the largest newspapers and magazines in the USA. He was one of the first pioneers in bringing the news online and has focused most of his recent energies into making Left Justified the high quality online news and opinion site which it is.Dan can be reached at dankazan(at)

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