The rumors that Chelsea Clinton is being groomed for political office, possibly congress, are not completely unfounded. For most of her life, she has stayed out of the public’s eye and remained relatively unassuming and flown under the radar.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, her social media exploded into the spotlight. Some would argue that she was promoting the release of her books (a couple receiving mixed reviews and one a little more negative); others might think she was taking advantage her parent’s platform to increase her audience and simply make more money–securing positions like her job at NBC that gave her an annual salary of $600,000.
As it usually happens, it’s probably a mix of all of the above. But as Nita Lowey heads closer to retirement, a spot in New York City’s 17th Congressional District will open up, a perfect opportunity for Chelsea Clinton if she continues to throw her name out there. You can see how the circumstances begin to align in her favor.
Political leanings aside, there is always a distinct advantage when the family member of a president runs for any level of political office. It’s an incredible leg up–blood relatives have helped each other stay in power since the dawn of time, a mixture of family preservation, the hunger for power, and simply doing the one thing you know best–politics. The dynasties of China, the Julio-Claudian dynasty of Rome and royal families of England would fight everywhere, from political back channels to the open battlefield, just to keep their own in power.
This has been expected in many nations throughout history, but America is quite a different story. Maybe it’s because, as a country, we are recently emerging from such rule just over a couple hundred years ago. Regardless of the political pull their families might have, when running for office they have to play the same old game, projecting an image of the “every man” to the U. S. public. Who, me? Sure, maybe I came from money and prestige, but somehow I’m just like you.
Imagine running for presidential office now. You, specifically. Where would you start? If the road to success is a ladder, most of us would be starting at the very bottom rung in terms of the presidency. Plenty of American presidents have come from humble backgrounds and made their way up, but I can imagine it must have been quite the climb.
There have been a couple father-son presidencies in the United States. The most recent pair that comes to mind is George W. Bush and his father, George H. W. Bush. If you rewind a couple hundred years, you’ll find John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams as the second and sixth presidents respectively. Both the younger Bush and Adams won by electoral college, not popular vote. Another notable example would be Benjamin Harrison, America’s 23rd president, who was the grandson of William Henry Harrison, the 9th president.
As Chelsea Clinton’s fame and fortune grows, it grows on the back of her family’s undeniable power and influence. Perhaps she will be met with similar competition akin to the Harrison’s–some more distant relative will use their family’s power as a tool to grab at the highest level of office in American politics. Blood has been an advantage used by those who seek power since the beginning of time, and it would seem that the U. S. is no exception in this regard.
Featured images from Wikimedia Commons.