Chelsea Clinton’s news: Not quite a royal baby announcement, but a pretty big deal

April 17
Chelsea Clinton speaks in A No Ceilings Conversation at Lower Eastside Girls Club in New York April 17, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Chelsea Clinton speaks in A No Ceilings Conversation at Lower Eastside Girls Club in New York April 17, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

When mere mortals become pregnant, they alert family and friends via phone, text, Twitter, Facebook and Skype.

Announce. Rejoice. Start thinking of names, and worrying about ways to pay for college.

When the daughters of recent ex-presidents–one a Democrat, the other Republican–discover they are with child, they go public. Big time.

On Thursday, Chelsea Clinton used a high-profile event in New York to reveal  that she and her husband, investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, are expecting their first baby.

The surprise announcement, during a Clinton Foundation forum promoting girls’ empowerment  at the Lower East Side Girls’ Club, went like this: “One more thing to say, very quickly. Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year. I certainly feel all the better, whether it’s a girl or a boy, that they’ll grow up in a world with so many strong female leaders.”

It was unstated but obvious that the “so many” included her own mother, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the jubilantly, self-tweeted “grandmother-to-be,” former secretary of state and possible repeat presidential contender in 2016.

Since losing the 2008 White House race, the former first lady, and to a lesser public extent, her husband, former president Bill Clinton, made no secret about wanting their only child to go forth and procreate.

But is it worth pondering and parsing what effect a next-gen Clinton might have on Hillary’s much-dissected political future, which she promises to address by the end of the year? Probably not, unless one thinks there is some electoral benefit to always having a kissable baby at the ready, or that granny-hood could, or even should, soften her image if she decided to run again.

George and Laura were likewise out of the White House when daughter Jenna Bush Hager told the world she was pregnant in December 2012 on NBC’s “Today” show, where she works.

“I’m nervous and so excited to say that Henry and I are pregnant,” said the daughter of former president George W. Bush and his wife, Laura. “Or I am pregnant.” Husband Henry Hager arrived on set with flowers, and her parents chimed in via speakerphone.

Chelsea Clinton announcement was big news. Several news organizations, including The Post, sent out alerts and Twitter was all atwitter:

A Clinton spokesman said the baby is due in the fall, so prepare for several months of paparazzi shots of Chelsea Clinton’s growing bump as she goes about daily life with Mezvinksy, the son of two former members of Congress. The two met as teenagers; both attended  Washington’s elite private Sidwell Friends high school and Stanford University. They married in 2010 and now share a $10 million apartment in Manhattan, with lots of room for children.

If Chelsea Clinton were a politician—which she concedes she may yet become—she just delivered on a promise announced last fall in Glamour magazine: that she and her husband would “make 2014 the Year of the Baby.”

And so they have.

Annie Groer is a former Washington Post and PoliticsDaily.com writer and columnist specializing in politics, culture and design. She has also written for the New York Times, Town & Country, Washingtonian and More, and is at work on a memoir. Follow her @AnnieGroer.
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