[AllPolitics - DNC '96 - Players]

Chelsea Clinton Bio


NAME: Chelsea Victoria Clinton
RELATION: Bill and Hillary Clinton's Daughter


Born on February 27 1980, and named after the 1969 Joni Mitchell song "Chelsea Morning," Chelsea Clinton is the first adolescent in the White House since Amy Carter, who was 9 when her father was elected president. Unlike Amy Carter, whose four years in Washington were covered heavily by the press, Chelsea was shielded from the media by her parents in hopes that her childhood would be as normal as possible. The Clintons even went as far as to exclude her from their Christmas photograph. UPI reporter Helen Thomas said in February 1996, "We have not laid a glove on Chelsea." But others have.


Early in the Clinton administration, Chelsea was compared in an unflattering light to Vice President Gore's daughters in a "Saturday Night Live" skit and called the "White House dog" by Rush Limbaugh. Later, in 1994-95, Chelsea was the center of a minor media hoax: a bogus rock recording of "Chelsea Clinton" taking swipes at Tipper Gore, Boris Yeltsin and Paula Jones. The recording was written up by several news outlets and Paula Jones' lawyer even tried to get a copy of the tape. Predictably, it was dubbed "Chelseagate."


The Clintons didn't expect Chelsea to be shielded forever. Hillary Clinton's best selling book "It Takes a Village", detailed a role reversal game she and Governor Clinton played with their daughter when she was just six years old. Her parents would take turns pretending to be a politician attacking Bill Clinton until Chelsea "gradually gained mastery over her emotions and some insight into the situations that might arise."


In April 1995, Chelsea made what some called a "debut" to the national media when she joined her mother on a highly publicized tour of the Indian subcontinent. The press gave her positive reviews, noting her intelligence and compassion (talking at length about the history of Islam and holding babies at Mother Teresa's convent). One Nepal AP reporter described her as a "poised junior diplomat."

By spring 1996, Chelsea had taken a second international trip with her mother, an eight day visit to Italy, Germany, Bosnia, Turkey and Greece. Again, she was widely praised in press reports. Reporters on the trip noted traits she shared with her father: they both jump from topic to topic in conversations and both have an exceptional ability to work a crowd. Also in 1996, Hillary Clinton informed national talk show hosts Regis and Kathy Lee that Chelsea "dates, but don't tell anybody I told you that."

& Hillary

Much has been written of how both parents dote on their daughter. They are both active in her school, Sidwell Friends, with Bill Clinton helping the school raise money by auctioning a chance to play golf with him. Bill Clinton is reportedly an enthusiastic father who would schedule time into his day when governor to talk to Chelsea and recently gave her driving lessons at Camp David. (Bill Clinton was also the first father ever to be allowed in an operating room to witness a Caesarean operation, according to the Palm Beach Post.) Hillary Clinton centered much of her book, "It Takes a Village" on Chelsea and reporters have noted how well they get along. The Washington Post wrote in March 1995 that Chelsea and Hillary are "respectful and attentive to each other and seem to genuinely enjoy each other's company."

Chelsea recently finished her junior year (she skipped the third grade) at the exclusive private school, Sidwell Friends. (Her enrollment in a private school caused some editorial griping.) Science and history are her favorite subjects. She has upset her father by giving up soccer and softball to concentrate on ballet -- she has performed the Nutcracker at the Washington School of Ballet. Chelsea also enjoys volleyball, cards, ping pong, shopping and movies. Chelsea is also a fan of science fiction and attends a Methodist youth group meeting once a week.

SOURCES: LA Times 2/28/96, Daily News 3/31/96, Palm Beach Post 6/16/96, Washington Post 2/27/96, 3/31/95, "Alt.Culture" by Steven Daly and Nathaniel Wice, USA Today 1/25/93

AllPolitics home page


Copyright © 1997 AllPolitics All Rights Reserved
Terms under which this information is provided to you