By Sara Karlovitch
America doesn’t think much about Chelsea Clinton, former first daughter and daughter to Hillary and Bill Clinton. We know she’s there and does something with the Clinton Foundation, but most couldn’t tell you what. (While this is true, she is also a professor at Columbia and published author.)
She was active during her mother’s campaign for the presidency, but never held the same weight as Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of President Donald Trump. She never made headlines or did anything that would inspire any sort of controversy — or attention — for that matter.
Before the election, Chelsea Clinton was a wholesome, pure, kind of nerdy public figure who gave a good book recommendation (she loves to read murder mysteries). She was unpolitical, unlike her controversial parents.
However, after her mother lost to Donald Trump in November, Chelsea Clinton has made it her personal mission to be as outspoken and opposed to Donald Trump as she is able to.
This change is the most evident in her Twitter feed. Before the election, her tweets were bland, dry and uninteresting.
Did a little FaceTime with a student’s mom. Hope my kids will do this for me! pic.twitter.com/J5zLkPEf5f
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) October 27, 2016
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) October 21, 2016
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) October 19, 2016
Her tweets weren’t retweeted much, maybe a couple hundred times, or a thousand times on a good day. They were just too boring to repost. She was largely used as a PR-booster. Clinton was portrayed as the loving mother and devoted daughter. She put on the face of the quiet, mousy, intellectual with little interest in power or politics, a stark contrast to the popular opinion of her parents.
After the election, Chelsea Clinton’s tweets got sassy, a little snarky and a whole lot political. For example:
Because white supremacists & non-Muslim lone wolves less of a threat now? What evidence do we have that? Certainly not recent tragic history https://t.co/fvMrDmb9Vc
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 2, 2017
What???? Did he actually say “on both sides”?? And here I thought it was extremists of ANY background who pose a threat to ALL OF US…!!! https://t.co/pc939L6QQ1
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 7, 2017
Is it funny sad or sad funny that our Dept. of Education misspelled the name of the great W. E. B. Du Bois? https://t.co/egi6Nn15gp
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 12, 2017
Truly, is anyone surprised? https://t.co/FiDnxiVRqV
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 4, 2017
Her tweets have taken on a new edge. They’re shared a few thousand times each, not a few hundred. For the first time, the whole world knows what Chelsea Clinton is thinking. She’s unapologetic and fierce.
For the first time in her life, Chelsea Clinton has become her own person, not just a PR machine for her parents. She isn’t afraid to say what she wants anymore. Chelsea has spent her entire life her parents’ shadow. However, in recent months, her parents shadow has started to shrink. They are no longer the constantly large, imposing figures they once were.
Maybe, for the first time in her life, Chelsea Clinton has the opportunity to be her own person, to say something because she want’s to say it, not because she was prepped too. Maybe her mother’s loss will serve as a liberating experience and allow her to show the world who she truly is.
We’re rooting for you Chelsea. Your parents may be finished, but you sure aren’t.
Featured Photo Credit: Feature photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore on Flickr.
Sara Karlovitch is a freshman journalism and government and politics major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.