Yo, Chelsea, it’s time to step up

JUSTIN SULLIVAN/Getty Images News Being a political operative for a major presidential front-runner means talking to the media. Public scrutiny is part of the package. That’s just the way it works. That is, unless you are Chelsea Clinton. As Hillary’s numbers have declined in national polls, and as youth voters have shown a 3 to ...

596595_chelsea_05.jpg
596595_chelsea_05.jpg

JUSTIN SULLIVAN/Getty Images News

Being a political operative for a major presidential front-runner means talking to the media. Public scrutiny is part of the package. That's just the way it works. That is, unless you are Chelsea Clinton. As Hillary's numbers have declined in national polls, and as youth voters have shown a 3 to 1 preference for challenger Barack Obama, the Clinton campaign has increasingly called on Chelsea to act as a political operative, reaching out to youth voters on behalf of the candidate.

Once a silent figure who stood behind Bill and Hillary, Chelsea now delivers speeches and holds rallies, all by her lonesome. Today, she is holding two events in Lincoln, Nebraska. She even privately lobbies members of the media on behalf of the candidate. Yet, she repeatedly refuses to answer questions on the campaign trail and declines offers for interviews. Asked to answer questions on December by a 9 year-old reporter for Scholastic News, a children's publication, Chelsea responded:

JUSTIN SULLIVAN/Getty Images News

Being a political operative for a major presidential front-runner means talking to the media. Public scrutiny is part of the package. That’s just the way it works. That is, unless you are Chelsea Clinton. As Hillary’s numbers have declined in national polls, and as youth voters have shown a 3 to 1 preference for challenger Barack Obama, the Clinton campaign has increasingly called on Chelsea to act as a political operative, reaching out to youth voters on behalf of the candidate.

Once a silent figure who stood behind Bill and Hillary, Chelsea now delivers speeches and holds rallies, all by her lonesome. Today, she is holding two events in Lincoln, Nebraska. She even privately lobbies members of the media on behalf of the candidate. Yet, she repeatedly refuses to answer questions on the campaign trail and declines offers for interviews. Asked to answer questions on December by a 9 year-old reporter for Scholastic News, a children’s publication, Chelsea responded:

I’m sorry, I don’t talk to the press, and that applies to you, unfortunately. Even though I think you’re cute.”

Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg, speaks to the media. So do Meghan McCain and Sarah Huckabee. Ditto Cate Edwards, back when her dad John was in the race. Sorry, Chelsea, but if you didn’t want to face public scrutiny, you should have stayed in the private sector. It’s time to step up. And if you’d like to start with a discussion of Hillary’s foreign policy, we are available.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.