Hillary's infant granddaughter a star in campaign
23 April 2015, 10:34
Des Moines - They don't make power suits in her size. If asked for political insights, she might just respond with a goo or a giggle. And her campaign vehicle of choice is a stroller.
But Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky is playing a significant part in Grandma Hillary's 2016 presidential bid.
Since her birth in September, the daughter of Chelsea Clinton and husband Marc Mezvinsky has been a political star, photographed while cradled in the arms of Bill and Hillary Clinton and name-dropped by her grandmother as a newborn during the 2014 midterm elections.
Today, little Charlotte remains a topic of conversation for Clinton as she begins her second race for the White House. Indeed, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state mentions Charlotte much more than she does husband Bill, the former president.
Clinton says the birth of her first grandchild has been transformative. She credits the bundle of joy with inspiring her to stay in political life and uses her as a touchstone when she speaks about policy.
"Luckily, my daughter and her husband are obviously well educated, they work hard, they'll provide everything Charlotte needs," Clinton said at a house party during her New Hampshire campaign swing this week. "But what about all the other kids who were born on September 26 in 2014 in this country who deserve the same opportunities?"
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Not that it's all about policy. In a new epilogue to her book Hard Choices, Clinton waxes poetic about becoming a grandparent, talking about rushing to the hospital for the birth, helping during the first days and weeks and playing on the floor with Charlotte.
"It's probably the world's best job," Clinton writes. "You get all the happiness of doting on a tiny child as she begins exploring the world, but without the responsibilities or anxieties of being a parent. I love every minute of it."
It's quite a contrast to how Hillary and Bill Clinton dealt with Chelsea when Bill ran for president in 1992. They kept Chelsea in the background for most of the primary season, before the Democratic convention put the shy 12-year-old in the spotlight.
Clinton is now the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. On the Republican side, early attention has focused on former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.