Chelsea Clinton is finally going to have to make peace with the spotlight. For years as one-third of one of the most talked about families in the country, the youngest Clinton tried to maintain “a private life in the public eye.” But in 2011, the former first daughter, who was declared “off limits” to journalists while growing up at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., expressly stepped in front of the camera as a special correspondent for NBC News. Soon after, she took on more responsibility at the Clinton Foundation, becoming vice chair. All chess moves in what would be the 34-year old’s new “purposefully public life,” according to a rare 2012 profile in Vanity Fair.
So it’s no wonder that Clinton would announce her pregnancy in such an intentional way. The baby news didn’t come via a politically parsed joint statement, or as a slip up at one of her recent late night appearances, but on stage at a Clinton Foundation forum promoting girls’ empowerment with her beaming mother just to her left. Surprise does not mean haphazard. It was a deliberate choice, a great photo op, and an “awww” moment worthy of the heiress apparent to the Clinton legacy. Consider this your cheat sheet on all things Chelsea Clinton.
Her gigs — In addition to her “special correspondent” job with NBC, Clinton is busy on the professional front, taking on a bigger role with her family’s foundation, including hosting the Clinton Global Initiative University at Arizona State, a confab for entrepreneurial do-good-ing young folks, in March. She’s squeezing in work on her Oxford doctorate — her father noted during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last month that when she completes it, his daughter will have four degrees. “That’s as many as her parents do — combined,” the proud pop humble-bragged.
Chelsea also was the executive producer of a documentary film, “Of Many,” which premiered last month at the Tribeca Film Festival, and according to a profile in Vogue last year, she sits on the board of seven organizations, including the School of American Ballet and Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp).
Her digs — Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky last year bought a sweet condo on Madison Square Park for a reported $9.2 million. The couple is often spotted walking their Yorkie, Soren (named after existentialist philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, of course), in the neighborhood. There’s plenty of room for the kiddo in the posh apartment — it’s got four bedrooms and nearly 5,000 square feet.
Their marriage — Not long after tying the knot in a storybook 2010 wedding, rumors began to swirl that the pair had separated. Mezvinsky took a break from his hedge-fund job to play ski bum in Wyoming, leading some to think that the couple’s geographic divide portended more. “None of it was true,” Bari Lurie, Clinton’s chief of staff (yep, she has one of those), told Vogue last year. “But what put a strain on them was that the stories were being written because none of us were paying attention to it. It was an eye-opening lesson. Chelsea realized, Maybe I need to get out there and demystify myself a little bit.”
Political future — After years of saying “no” when asked The Question (that is, of course, whether the scion of the Clinton political family would ever run for office herself), Clinton lately has been saying a coy “maybe.” Actually, her phrasing in a CNN interview was “not now” but maybe someday — and our colleague Aaron Blake helpfully put together a list of the elected offices that she could seek.
Oh, and that name — In her 2003 memoir, “Living History,” Hillary Clinton revealed the origin of her only child’s name. Chelsea Clinton has Judy Collins’s version of “Chelsea Morning” by Joni Mitchell to thank. The newly married Clintons were spending Christmas strolling through the Chelsea neighborhood in London when they heard that song. Bill then turned to Hillary and said, “If we ever have a daughter, we should name her Chelsea.” Talk about the stars aligning.
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