January 24th, 2008
03:26 PM ET
14 years ago

Chelsea Clinton steps up role

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/24/art.chelseaclinton.ap.jpg caption="Chelsea Clinton is stepping up her role on the campaign trail."](CNN) - For months, Chelsea Clinton was a silent presence on the campaign trail as her parents commanded center stage.

But since voting began, she’s begun to take tentative steps on the trail on her own, at events where she commands solo billing – without her mother, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, or her father, former President Bill Clinton.

She’s visited campaign offices and casinos, cafes and even a cosmetology school. Wednesday night, she campaigned for her mother at Spelman College in Atlanta, a historically black women’s college – at a time when her mother is in a critical battle for black women voters.

"I want you to think of me as your peer, even though I am 27," Chelsea Clinton told the college students. "I want to talk to you about why you should vote for my mom."

The younger Clinton – who has been a much more low-key trail presence than her famous parents – took questions on topics as varied the environment, health care, government spending and waste.

She discussed her own work experiences, saying "I work in finance, I am a numbers dork."

But she also ventured away from the safest topics, endorsing condom distribution in schools, and telling the crowd she was proud of her mother for fighting for over-the-counter distribution of the morning-after pill.

Black women are a key voting bloc in many upcoming Democratic primaries, and Hillary Clinton has been in a battle for their votes with her chief presidential rival, Barack Obama.

"I don't think you should vote for her or against her because she is a woman," but because she’s been "working on these challenges for more than 25 years."

"I think she came off very down to earth, she answered and welcomed everyone's

question and I really appreciated that." said Spelman junior Janelle Richards. The former First Daughter even made a stop in the school cafeteria, walking by tables and introducing herself to students as they were eating.

At a later stop at downtown Atlanta’s Luckie Lounge one supporter asked her to reveal something that nobody else knew about her. Chelsea responded that she’d love to - if all the cameras weren't around.

- CNN's Trisha Henry and Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Chelsea Clinton
soundoff (495 Responses)
  1. Jess

    Has anyone else been watching the republican debates. I am glad I switched to Independent today. I don't agree with very much of what the Republicans stand for, but you have admire their civility during the debate. Reagan was a political genius when it came to this kind of thing. The "11th commandment" was brilliant. Don't personally attack your own party. The democratic debate was like watching a Jerry Springer episode. These forums are much worse and I have to admit my share of guilt in that. At this rate, the Democratic party is truly doomed if this polarization continues.

    Perhaps if more of us were able to acknowledge why the republicans are such a strong party, the democrats would have a better chance. But that would be a stretch for too many people. Forget about dividing the party, what about the country. And if more of us were a bit more Independent, perhaps our politicians would have to work harder and be more accountable. I support Obama but urge ALL candidates to show a new level of civility in the next debate. Is that at least one thing we can all agree on? Or is that a bit too idealistic?

    January 24, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. Eva

    NY Times Endoreses Hillary Clinton:
    "Hearing her talk about the presidency, her policies and answers for America's big problems, we are hugely impressed by the depth of her knowledge, by the force of her intellect and by the breadth of, yes, her experience.

    We know that she is capable of both uniting and leading. We saw her going town by town through New York in 2000, including places where Clinton-bashing was a popular sport. She won over skeptical voters and then delivered on her promises and handily won re-election in 2006.

    Her ideas, her comeback in New Hampshire and strong showing in Nevada, her new openness to explaining herself and not just her programs, and her abiding, powerful intellect show she is fully capable of doing just that. She is the best choice for the Democratic Party as it tries to regain the White House."

    January 24, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    S Alexander January 24, 2008 11:17 am ET

    " Frankly, I’m tired of all the hatred towards the Clintons. It says more about those of you that HATE than it does of the Clintons.
    As for Obama feeling that he is running against 2. What about Oprah and Obama. You didn't hear the Clintons whining about the 2 of them. "
    Er... Oprah Winfrey talked about why she LIKES Obama. Bill Clinton spends the majority of his time not backing his wife but trying to defame Obama.

    Of COURSE the Clintons didn't whine. They weren't on the receiving end of a despicable smear campaign.

    All Bill Clinton talks about is how much he can't stand Obama (while making stuff up about him to pad the Clinton version of "facts").

    S Alexander... Get real.

    January 24, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  4. Tired of being moderated...

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

    Aw, would you look at the cute baby pander bear, just like it's papa pander bear and it's momma pander bear...

    January 24, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  5. TN mom


    January 24, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  6. rw

    Obama supporters, get thee to a church. You are so full of venom.

    And I would wager that 90% of those knocking Walmart shop there.

    January 24, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  7. charlotte

    We are being infiltrated by Republicans. Urging people not to vote or vote republican. I wish I knew who they were. It is hard to tell for sure, but I think only a republican could be as hateful as some of you are. I tried to teach my children it's okay to dislike someone, but hate makes you sick and ugly on the inside, and takes an awful lot of wasted energy.

    January 24, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  8. Angelina

    Respect where respect is due, however, this is a Democracy last time I checked. Now this looks more like Monarchy/Dynasty
    Clinton (Billary)
    Clinton (Chelsea)

    I am sure the young woman is nice. But hey she is also being used by her parents, like I said, Hillary andBill will do anything to get to power, to get back oto the white house, _ this is not about the people of the USA this is about getting back to power..

    hey if she is the nominee for the Dems,then the Republicans wins so so easily..........
    most of the country dis like her..

    January 24, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  9. M&Ms


    January 24, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  10. Larry for Chelsea

    wow ! what pricess,
    Bill and Hillary did a good job bringing her up
    If you don't like her, try to bring your kids up the right way and you'll like her.
    You go girl


    January 24, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  11. Pablo Aguilar

    I guess chelsea is getting ready to start her political career by taking Mummy's place as a NY Senator once she is in the White House... She has experience to be president too..she lived in the white house as a child and saw Daddy read the National security reports...that counts...

    January 24, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  12. kay. newport beach, calif.

    I was a Hillary supporter hands down...
    Now I'm up for grabs. Bill...way too aggressive, and three to one is not a fair fight!
    Out of control ambition will probably be your undoing. Here's one total Clinton supporter who is all turned off...and where will I go? It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out it won't be to a republican!

    January 25, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  13. Ann Aloha Independent Thinker,PA

    The Top Issue
    Especially after reading most of these posts.

    January 25, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  14. sunrise

    Chelsea, great girl!
    How brave and great to support mom!
    I work with my daughter, and it is great!
    All best for Hillary !

    January 25, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  15. Xetas

    Chelsea Clinton? Who cares what she thinks? She gets one vote just like the rest of us.

    January 25, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  16. sunrise

    We came here from Europe in eighties. We had nothing, I mean nothing, just us. I experienced hunger, sadness and all. It was hard.My oldest one was 10 then. She studied well- we have the thirst to learn and do things for this world. She went to Stanford University – had scholarship + loan. It was possible bc she is smart, intelligent, wonderful young woman. To me Stanford University is best in USA. Better than Harvard, Yale.

    Chelsea is smart, intelligent, well mannered. It was maybe easier to get well payed job ( due to good education, and personal knowledge, and whatever the employer needed) – but she has to be good to perform. Do not envy her, do not hate her, she does not deserve to be treated this way. Everyone has opportunity to make it well, it is just not easy for everyone, it is hard work . She is great daughter of her parents.

    It is for her protection to not to answer any questions – she is not the one who runs, she is just supporting her mom. It is up to her mom to answer questions.

    People, please, stop insulting them. Stop it. It is so petty and low to take your hate towards them. It takes the dignity away form the ones who use this hate.

    My motto is: if I work in workplace, I do not show someone I hate/do not like him/her because they do not deserve it, it is my private problem, and I go to work to work, to solve problems, to do something worth – and personal preference is not making it better. If someone is smart and capable of performing the work, follow or respect, do not hate. No need for hate, envy. These emotions are too strong, they drain energy to do something useful and good for world, people.

    Hillary is capable very well to be the president. My 100% support for her.

    January 25, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  17. Fuentes-Appleby Family

    The Clinton haters just expose how truly irrational they are when they go after Chelsea.

    Chelsea is a delightful young woman and shows how great her parents truly are to have raised such an authentic lovely daughter!

    We love you Chelsea!!

    January 25, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  18. Jake, California

    I am a handsome black man and I want to work in the white house, right beside Chelsea, when her mommy is president. If Chelsea agrees, I'll vote for her mom other wise I am voting Edwards or Obama!

    January 25, 2008 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  19. mandy

    "We are being infiltrated by Republicans. Urging people not to vote or vote republican. I wish I knew who they were. It is hard to tell for sure, but I think only a republican could be as hateful as some of you are. I tried to teach my children it's okay to dislike someone, but hate makes you sick and ugly on the inside, and takes an awful lot of wasted energy."

    I agree! I'm a Hillary supporter, but I don't buy that alot of the 'Obama supporters' who are being really nasty are genuine. They're probably Republican trolls trying to stir up trouble. Let's all keep it civil.

    Hillary for 2008! Obama for 2016!

    I'll be quite ready to vote for him once he has more experience, sorry, two years in the Senate just isn't enough.

    January 25, 2008 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  20. marie

    Mr. and Mrs. Clinton – you have a lovely daughter!

    January 25, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
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