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I just can’t stand it

If the endless “Will she? Won’t she?” speculations about Hillary Clinton running for the presidency in 2016 were not bad enough, we now have the ‘big news’ that her daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant. I saw it on news headlines of practically all the news sites that I visit and it received some comment on many blogs as well.

I could not believe that so much media attention was being given to the fact that the child of prominent parents was having a baby. Who cares? Well clearly some people in the media care a lot, but does that mean the public at large cares? This strikes me as one of those situations where political insiders are so wrapped in this kind of gossip that they project that interest onto the rest of us.

Of course, part of the fascination of media gossip-mongers is the question that is their main source of interest and that is what an event, anything at all, implies for the next US presidential election. This topic is their bread-and-butter. And the question is whether becoming a grandmother is an advantage for her (because it ‘softens’ her image) or whether it is a disadvantage (because it adds to the perception that she is old) is one that allows for endless fact-free speculation, the thing they love most.

I dread the thought that Hillary Clinton may be the Democratic nominee for many political reasons. The idea that if she does run we will drown under endless discussions of the electoral implications of being a grandmother and a woman and close scrutiny of her clothes and hair and looks just adds to my foreboding.

Of course, the blatant gender bias inherent in such speculations is obvious. I don’t recall ever reading how a male candidate’s image and political chances would be affected merely by his child becoming pregnant. I am also well aware of the irony that by simply writing about this absurdity, I am adding to the media scrum about this non-event. But I just had to get it off my chest.

Comments

  1. AnotherAnonymouse says

    I think a lot of attention is being paid to Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy out of right-wing projection. Sarah Palin faked a pregnancy of a DS infant in order to establish her anti-choice creds with a certain low-information, low-intellect segment of society; therefore Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy has to be pointed out. Sarah Palin used the underage pregnancy of her unmarried, ill-educated, low-intellect spawn…therefore the right-wingers have to point and hoot at the pregnancy of Chelsea Clinton, a fully-grown woman who holds multiple degrees, works fulltime, and married well.

  2. Al Dente says

    Chelsea Clinton has been married since 2010. Why is it of any interest to anyone outside the immediate family that she’s pregnant? That’s something that married women do without controversy.

  3. lanir says

    Nah, I figure it’s probably for people who believe in strange, mythical nonsese about half the species. This story is for them so they know Chelsea Clinton will not be running for president in 2016.

  4. says

    I really do not understand why political insiders would care about this, it seems to be much more relevant to mindless gossip and celebrity pages. I really, really do not care about the lives of celebrities and well known people. World news sources are bad enough with this kind of thing, but I find it especially common on US news sources, which is one of the reasons I rarely look at them.

  5. says

    I could not believe that so much media attention was being given to the fact that the child of prominent parents was having a baby.

    The ci-devant Clintons are on the way to becoming hereditary aristocrats!

  6. says

    But I just had to get it off my chest.

    Thanks – you have saved me the trouble of consciously processing it.

    Although, honestly, I’d love to have thousands of avatars of myself become the editors/producers for news outlets everywhere. The avatars would wait around with a cheap wooden meter stick, and rap the knuckles of those bringing forward such ridiculous stories for publication, yelling THIS IS NOT NEWS in a way that sounds all-caps other-worldly in a special effects sort of way. Just because.

  7. AsqJames says

    The ci-devant Clintons are on the way to becoming hereditary aristocrats!

    They’ve a long way to go considering the fawning over Kate Windsor’s pregnancy & progeny…BREAKING NEWS! Prince George tries to walk…more details as we get them.

  8. Nick Gotts says

    Does anyone have a reference or link for the proportion of American national or state politicians whose parents or other close relatives also held prominent political positions? Off the top of my head, since WWII the Kennedys, Bushes, Clintons (if we count spouses), Romneys, Pauls spring to mind. How would the USA compare with other long-established electoral systems?

  9. sailor1031 says

    Those Clintons will do absolutely anything for publicity. A married woman getting pregnant! whatever next?

  10. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    I could not believe that so much media attention was being given to the fact that the child of prominent parents was having a baby. Who cares?

    Well, for starters I’d say Chelsea Clinton, her husband, her family and friends.

    There’s always people who care – and for the wider public seeing them as celebrities, yeah, lots of people do. Maybe not a lot, maybe some more than others but, meh, not so sure I see why there’s anything wrong with that. Assuming no one goes too far and makes too big a deal of it which I guess is a subjective line.

    I dread the thought that Hillary Clinton may be the Democratic nominee for many political reasons.

    I forget if I’ve you this before, but why? What’s so wrong with the prospect of Hilary Clinton as POTUS? I think the USA could certainly do a lot worse and its interesting to speculate on what could’ve been had she not Obama won the nomination for the Democratic party in 2008.

    @3. lanir :

    Nah, I figure it’s probably for people who believe in strange, mythical nonsese about half the species. This story is for them so they know Chelsea Clinton will not be running for president in 2016.

    May not be very likely but no reason to rule it out -a pregnancy is only nine months long after all! By 2016 Chelsea Clinton’s kid will be, what about two or so. Plenty of family help to raise it too.

    Chelsea Clinton as POTUS eventually – probably not in 2016 or for for some elections to come but eventually? Don’t see anything too wrong with that idea either

  11. colnago80 says

    Re Nick Gotts @ #8

    Not to forget Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York whose father also held that office. Congresscritter Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, whose father Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., was a mayor of Baltimore and a congressman from Maryland. Her brother was also a congressman from Maryland.

  12. colnago80 says

    Re Nick Gotts @ #8

    Also California Governor Jerry Brown whose father, Pat Brown, once held that office.

  13. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    I could not believe that so much media attention was being given to the fact that the child of prominent parents was having a baby.

    Be glad you’re not in the UK in the Royal breeding season.
    On the other hand, having only one Royal family, there’s far less fuss about other people’s children.

  14. astrosmash says

    “Who cares? Well clearly some people in the media care a lot, but does that mean the public at large cares? ”

    Mein Herr Proffessor! Ve Vill MAKE zem care! Mitt all der uber-coverach 24/7! …CNN vill now abandon der Malaysian aeroplanen kerfuffleschmatz und chasen der chelsea-clinton-baby-unicornen auf die ents auf die globen. All vier korners auf it forcryinoutloud!

  15. machintelligence says

    @8 If you are willing to count lesser national political offices:

    The Udall family is a U.S. political family rooted in the American West. Its role in politics spans over 100 years and four generations. Udall politicians have been elected from four different states: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oregon. If viewed as a combined entity, the Udall-Hunt-Lee family has been elected from six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah.

    From Wikipedia.

  16. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ sailor1031 :What about him? Don’t tell me he’s pregnant somehow now too!

    (Could be one of his daughters I ‘spose.)

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