Dear media: Quit being idiots about Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy
Next fall, two people are expecting a baby. An upcoming blessed event for one couple and the prospective grandparents. Except if you pay attention to some inane reports in the Beltway media. To them, it’s all about how it affects Hillary Clinton’s possible run for the presidency.
The headline from the DC Decoder: “Chelsea Clinton baby: Will Hillary Clinton be less likely to run in 2016? (plus video).”
(Seriously. PLUS VIDEO!!!)
“But we have to ask: How, if at all, might the news affect whether Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016? … Perhaps it’s sexist even to ask the question – how will a grandchild affect her decision – but until she announces either way, it will be out there,” the website posts. “It must be noted that former President Clinton, too, has talked longingly about grandchildren. But as anyone who’s had children knows, there’s often nothing like the bond between mother and daughter when the first grandbaby is on the way. If we had to guess, we’d say that Hillary Clinton will be a tad less interested in running for president now that she’s about to be a grandmother.”
Oh, PERHAPS it’s sexist to ask. As if a prospective grandmother has nothing better to do than follow, dog-like, after a pregnant daughter. So from one ridiculous point of view, a grandchild makes it less likely for Hillary Clinton to run.
Let’s not forget about the “humanizing” factor. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin was quick to pounce, calling the arrival of a grandchild a 2016 “game changer.”
“Can we talk about the human drama that is Grandma Clinton? … I don’t want to be cynical and suggest that anyone’s having a baby for election purposes, but — ”
Luckily, the other guests on the show cut him off at that point. Still, he wasn’t finished.
“It’s going to change the dynamic of the campaign. … It’s a softening, there’s a compassion thing. You don’t think that over the next two years on the campaign trail this is gonna be part of the narrative? Come on. That’s interesting.”
So a grandchild will make Hillary Clinton “more compassionate.” And no doubt, the media will cover every last second. There will probably be a “baby-watch” frenzy as bad as that running up to the birth of little Prince George last summer, now fourth in line to the British throne.
On the right-wing side, the conspiracies started immediately. At Newsmax, Steve Malzberg speculated that the pregnancy was deliberately timed to benefit a Hillary Clinton candidacy.
“Pardon the skeptic in me, but what great timing! I mean, purely accidental, purely an act of nature, purely just left up to God. And God answered Hillary Clinton’s prayers and she’s going to have the prop of being a new grandma while she runs for president. It just warms the heart. It brings a tear to my eye. It really does!”
OK, so NOW the only reason for Chelsea Clinton to have a baby is to give Hillary Clinton a “prop” while she’s running for president? According to these conspiracy theorists, the upcoming bundle of joy makes it MORE likely for Hillary Clinton to run. (To Newsmax’s credit, it backed off the claim a few days later, calling Malzberg’s comments “clearly inappropriate.”)
Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, were married in 2010. It’s pretty logical that they would be starting a family by this point in their marriage. In an interview last fall, she told Glamour that they would like to have a child in 2014. But instead of just saying congratulations or mazel tov, the media turned the pregnancy into political fodder for 2016 presidential election watchers.
Do we even need to point out that hordes of male candidates regularly trot out their first- and second-generation progeny for the cameras? Think of the scenes at political conventions, with candidates surrounded by spouse, children, and grandchildren, with confetti or balloons falling around them. Often the grandchildren adorably bat at the balloons, which cameramen are only too happy to capture.
And let’s not even get started on the idiocy of polling this far from a presidential election. (Hillary’s ahead! No, it’s Chris Christie! No, he’s down…) No doubt that will be the subject of posts to come. Yes, we’ve got two and a half more years of this lunacy.