Chelsea Clinton fuels speculation of political run

Greg Nash

When rumors started swirling after the election that Chelsea Clinton was considering her own foray into politics, it was met with eye rolls even from staunch supporters of the family.

“Think we can let the dust settle a bit before we start talking about another Clinton race?” one former adviser to Hillary Clinton said after the New York Post reported in November that the former first daughter was being “groomed” to run for Congress, possibly replacing 79-year-old congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) “It’s exhausting.”

{mosads}But that skepticism is starting to fade.

Last month, a separate report in the New York Daily News said that Clinton could potentially run for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) seat, should the senator decide to run for president in 2020.

Clinton has only stoked the rumors further, particularly on Twitter, where she has repeatedly gone after President Trump and his associates since Inauguration Day. On Sunday, she also took the opportunity to rail against Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for racially charged comments about immigrant babies.

“Clearly the Congressman does not view all our children as, well, all our children. Particularly ironic and painful on Purim,” she wrote on Twitter, in reference to the Jewish holiday this week.

That fiery approach has some in Clinton World thinking she’s serious about a run for office — maybe not imminently, but in the future.

“She’s never denied that she has an interest in running for office, and that leads me to believe that one day she will,” said one former aide to Hillary Clinton. “And she’d probably be successful.”

Yet many caution that the time might not be right for another Clinton to enter the political scene.

Longtime aides, donors and supporters of the Clintons are still reeling from President Trump’s victory. With feelings still so raw, the timing might not be right for Chelsea Clinton to make the jump.

“Even if it’s a year or two or three from now, I still don’t think the timing would be right,” said one former aide who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and has spoken to the Clintons since. “I know that’s not fair to her, but nothing feels right about it. It feels too forced.”

Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons said while the Clintons are “always thinking about campaigns and elections,” he said the Democratic Party needed to spend time looking for new leaders “and investing in them.”

“It’s time to look forward,” Simmons said.

Those close to Chelsea Clinton say there aren’t any plans for a political campaign.

“She is not running,” said Bari Lurie, who serves as Clinton’s chief of staff, her only aide at the so-called “Chelsea office.” (She has yet to replace a spokesperson who left after the presidential campaign ended.)

The youngest Clinton is still grappling with her mother’s election defeat and plotting her next steps.

In the meantime, the mom of two small children has a full schedule: She’s vice chair at the Clinton Foundation, where she works several times a week, and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where she teaches a global health governance class.

She’s promoting the global health book she co-authored in the U.S. and in Europe and will be focused on the release of the paperback of her book “It’s Your World.” She’s been spotted around town in New York, recently attending a Fashion Week show and out to dinner.

And while Clinton has taken to trolling Trump on Twitter, people close to the Clintons deny that her social media voice has changed. They say she’s simply reacting to a president with whom she profoundly disagrees.

Clinton has also engaged in sharp-edged politics before. On the campaign trail last year, she dialed up the attacks on her mother’s primary campaign rival Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) position on healthcare.

But she dialed those attacks back for the rest of the campaign, often trying to personalize her mother, as she did at the Democratic National Convention.

Those around Clinton know it’s only natural to wonder about the former first daughter’s future, given that both her parents are unlikely to run for office again.

And while they’re ruling out a run for office — at least for the time being— those close to Clinton say she’ll likely have her hands in various roles going forward.

“Her life will always be about doing lots of things, not just one thing,” said one Clinton associate. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton Kirsten Gillibrand
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