How Chelsea Clinton’s Baby Will Pave The Way For Hillary 2016
If it were a Senate confirmation hearing, we’d call it a “storking,” in honor of the late Robert Bork: Chelsea Clinton announces she’s enceinte and an argument ensues over whether the event is a blessing or a curse for the grandmother-to-be’s political prospects.
The blessing: becoming a grandmother humanizes Hillary Rodham Clinton in a Good Housekeeping cookie-baking way that’s long eluded her. The curse: it’s a reminder that the former Secretary of State (and before that: U.S. Senator and First Lady) is hardly a fresh face on the national scene – not to mention an odd duck for youth-obsessive Democrats. Mrs. Clinton will turn 69 two weeks before the November 2016 election. Only once in the last 140 years – John Kerry in 2004 – has the Democratic Party opted for a sexagenarian as a first-time nominee.
Here’s another way to look at the Clinton’s growing family: it’s the first in a series of events culminating with her election ad the nation’s 45th president.
That would include:
Fall 2014 – Chelsea Clinton and husband Marc Mezvinsky proudly welcome the arrival of daughter Virginia Nevada, named in honor of crucial swing states Bill Clinton’s sainted mother and her favorite gambling destination. “I’d rather look into this precious baby’s eyes than try to figure what’s behind Vladimir Putin’s eyes,” the doting grandmother tells People, Redbook – and the Des Moines Register. “I just pray that baby Virginia has access to preschool and the guarantee of the same wages for the same work as her future male colleagues.”
Winter 2015 – Wounded by his exclusion from the Mezvinskys’ au pair search, Bill Clinton announces that he’s embarking on a two-year Clinton Foundation mission to deepest, darkest Africa, with a return date of January 20, 2017, shortly before noon. “I don’t know why, but my wife thinks I’m a loose cannon,” the former president confides over wheat-grass shots with Ron Burkle, on his way to California to deliver a speech on income disparity and judge a Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest. Mr. Clinton takes a vow of chastity – political chastity, that is: no on-camera temper tantrums, no insulting of his wife’s opponents and no stepping on the candidate’s message as he did during Mrs. Clinton’s failed presidential run in 2008.
Spring 2015 – Mrs. Clinton announces the major accord that eluded her during her stay at Foggy Bottom: détente … with Maureen Dowd. In exchange for fawning “herstory” columns throughout 2016, the New York Times columnist receives assurance of a juicy second-term sex scandal that will net a second Pulitzer (her first coming in 1999, for columns on the Monica Lewinsky scandal). To seal the deal, Ms. Dowd receives assurance that Scarlett Johansson plays her in the HBO adaptation of Mark Halperin’s and John Heilemann’s discourse on the 2016 election.
Summer/Fall 2015 – Shortly before her mother formally kicks off her campaign, Chelsea Clinton announces the adoption of a baby boy – Fairfax Cuyahoga Pinellas. “We are the modern family,” beams the proud grandmother. “I just pray that little Fairfax and little Virginia grow up in an America where healthcare is a guaranteed right for all, and Jeb Bush, George P. Bush and their offspring fail in their attempts to outsource good paying union jobs.”
Spring 2016 – Hillary sweeps her way through an otherwise dull set of Democratic primaries, the one highlight being a spirited round of debates between the frontrunner and former California Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown’s “we the people” campaign, a resurrection of the anti-money crusade that dogged Bill Clinton in 1992, has its shining moment in New Hampshire. But the challenge soon falls apart and his resources dry up after Brown’s fundraising website crashes. Reports soon emerge that the site was run by the CGI Group, which in 2013 ran the federal Obamacare web exchange into the ground.
Fall 2016 – Mrs. Clinton is lined up for a landslide win after a third and final presidential debate in which Republican nominee Rand Paul spends 90 minutes awkwardly deflecting questions from Jon Stewart on legalizing marijuana, eliminating the Federal Reserve and doing away with influenza shots – i.e., Ron Paul’s greatest hits. A week later, Republican vice presidential nominee Jon Voight worsens matters by saying about daughter Angelina Jolie: “Maybe if I’d shown her the back of my hand once in a while, she wouldn’t have so many damn tattoos.”
November 2016 – The icing on the cake: three days before the actual vote, Mrs. Clinton makes a cameo appearance on “Saturday Night Live”. Accompanied by past Hillary impersonators Jan Hooks, Ana Gasteyer and Amy Poehler, the quartet belts out a rendition of the The Eurythmics’ “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves”. Unenthused millennials break the Democrats’ way in the final 72 hours of the election, giving Mrs. Clinton the benefit of doubt as to experience and sense of humor.
Election Night 2016 — Hillary Rodman Clinton is elected the nation’s first woman president, atop a Democratic tidal wave that results in a change of power on Capitol Hill. Soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls to congratulate the president-elect, as does New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the occupant of Mrs. Clinton’s old Senate seat. Gillibrand gets right down to business: how to engineer a palace coup in which she steps over her New York colleague, Charles Schumer, and supplants Harry Reid as Majority Leader, thus putting women in charge at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Who said inevitable had to be dull?
Bill Whalen is a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where he follows California and national politics.