Chelsea Clinton has been in the national public eye for a quarter-century now. And as the only child of both a two-term president and a two-time presidential candidate, the question has long been not whether she would get involved in the family business, but when and where.
Yet Clinton, 36, has never shown a real appetite for the day-to-day food fights involved in politics — never really seemed, well, like a politician. She's been a public figure, yes, but she has rarely weighed in on the heated debates of the day in anything close to a proactive way. She was a presence on her mother's campaign, but she's never really driven a political message.
In recent days, we've noticed a different Chelsea Clinton — one more than willing to speak out, often a bit bluntly. And she's speaking out specifically against President Trump, using his preferred medium: Twitter.
Her tweet Friday morning about Kellyanne Conway mistakenly citing the “Bowling Green massacre” was particularly biting in a way we have hardly ever seen from Clinton. It quickly went viral.
Very grateful no one seriously hurt in the Louvre attack ...or the (completely fake) Bowling Green Massacre. Please don't make up attacks.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 3, 2017
Update: And now Clinton has, arguably, her first real political fight. Conway hits back by citing Hillary Clinton's errant claim to having landed "under sniper fire" in Bosnia.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) February 3, 2017
It comes on the heels of a veritable tweet storm (by Clinton's standards) of politically charged tweets in recent days — most of them targeting Trump:
Yes. We will keep standing up for a country that matches our values and ideals for all. pic.twitter.com/yfVlX5sL3f
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) January 29, 2017
The tweets above include four of her 15 most circulated tweets ever, according to favstar, and they've all come in the past four days. They're all also weighing in on political issues: The Women's March on Washington, Trump's travel ban and his National Prayer Breakfast speech Thursday.
(Another of her most popular tweets: Her defense of Trump's son Barron when a Saturday Night Live writer made a tasteless joke about him two weeks ago.)
Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) January 22, 2017
Her other most-retweeted posts were basically all about praising her mother and her history-making campaign, the Obamas and announcing the births of her children. So the latest comments mark a striking change in tone for Clinton. See the contrast for yourself here.
It could be a Trump thing, or it could be a Chelsea Clinton thing. Maybe she is just that incensed by what Trump is doing. Or maybe now that her mother's political career is over, Clinton thinks it's the moment to step forward.
There has been plenty of speculation about what she might run for. The most oft-cited potential opportunity is running for 79-year-old Rep. Nita M. Lowey's (D-N.Y.) seat when Lowey retires. Hillary and Bill Clinton live in the district, in Chappaqua, and they recently purchased the house next door. Chelsea Clinton is registered to vote in Manhattan, where she and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, live in the district of 71-year-old Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.).
We'll see whether Clinton gets closer to a political campaign any time soon. But at the moment, she's definitely getting more political.