You see, guys, it's hereditary. Wednesday, I traveled to Shepherdstown, W.Va., to report a Cllinton campaign event for The American Spectator. Both Hillary and Chelsea would be there, so I brought along two of my sons, Jefferson, 9, and Emerson, 7. Knowing these two young McCain men would be irresistible to the Clinton women, I strategically stationed them in the front row, next to the barricade:
I told Chelsea thanks for talking to my sons and she said (I quote): "Jefferson and Emerson? Oh, they're so cute!"
In all sincerity, I was impressed by the interest Chelsea showed in the boys. She leaned down to talk to them, and stayed there chatting for a minute, despite the crowd of other fans imploring her attention. She even remembered the boys' names.
Chelsea appears amazingly unspoiled by her circumstances. This event at Shepherd University had originally been scheduled as a solo gig for Chelsea, but at the last minute, her mom was added to the schedule -- a substitute media exposure after the Clinton campaign canceled Hillary's planned appearances on the morning news shows. Yet Chelsea didn't at all seem bothered by having to give up the spotlight for her mother, whom she introduced as "my Mom, the next president of the United States."
After the speech, there was what they call a "candidate availability" -- otherwise known as a press conference. Meet the press:They may look harmless, but don't be deceived. They were like pirhanas smelling blood in the water, and all their questions to Hillary -- as I explained at the AmSpec blog -- were variations on a theme: "Hey, lady, why don't you quit already?"
It's kind of embarrassing to watch. And anyone who looks at Hillary Clinton and sees a human being -- a pandering liberal human being, but still a human being -- cannot help but feel sympathy while watching her stand in front of a gang of reporters slinging hostile "gotcha" questions.
A painful thing to watch, and the pain is doubled when this arena bloodsport is being witnessed by the candidate's daughter. While Hillary fielded questions, Chelsea was standing off to one side, smiling politely. Imagine watching your own mother getting raked over the coals. I'd be tempted to start shouting: "You miserable little media twerps! Leave her alone! I don't care how many times you rephrase the question, the answer is still no. She's not quitting, OK? Now, shut up before I come over there, grab your laptop and shove it where the sun don't shine."
Yet Chelsea just stood there, mute and smiling. Amazing.