Chelsea Clinton choked when asked if she thought her mother showed weakness during the Monica Lewinsky business. Stalling, she said no one had ever asked her that in 70 college appearances, then the best she could come up with was, “I do not think that’s any of your business.”
Now, I’ve always liked Chelsea. After all, she had a cat named Socks until her parents gave him away.
But I think 9-year-old Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin, could have fielded that question with more grace and tact.
Chelsea missed a golden opportunity to turn the Lewinsky mess into a big plus for her mother rather than dodging it. Instead, she reminded us that Hillary would have done exactly the same.
Chelsea could have said, “I can’t begin to tell you how much I admire my mother for keeping her cool and holding our family together during what must have been an intensely embarrassing and painful time for her. The way she steered us through widespread disapproval and made our family even stronger shows that she has what it takes to do the same for this country.”
The student from Butler University who asked the question, Evan Strange, is a big Hillary supporter who later said Chelsea surprised him because he thought he was giving her an opportunity to put Monica-gate to rest for the cause.
But Chelsea chose to blow it.
Unlike Bindi Irwin, a media darling, Chelsea’s a public figure with an iron-clad policy of never speaking to the press. You’d think a 28-year-old woman who believes she’s mature enough to scour the country campaigning could handle the odd uncomfortable question – no matter who asks it. But, for some reason, the press lets Chelsea go around in a protective bubble, shooting her mouth off unchallenged.
Here’s my advice to Chelsea: The next time someone asks you a stumper, stop and ask yourself, “What would Bindi Irwin do?”