In an interview last month with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Hillary Clinton “choked up” when relating how “her daughter’s presence on the campaign trail had been one of the ‘most incredibly gratifying experiences of my life.’” (Video available at the link via Don Surber.) That was one time I didn’t question the sincerity of the former First Lady’s emotion.
You see back when I lived in the Washington, D.C.-area in the 1990s, I briefly dated a guy who had served on a military detail which followed the then-First Lady. He reported that Mrs. Clinton was as cold and brusque as media reports indicated except when Chelsea was around. In the presence of her daughter, she warmed up, seemed genuinely concerned with her child’s wellbeing and even become more considerate of others around her.
Video clips of Mrs. Clinton and her daughter confirm his observation. She did seem more relaxed when she was campaigning with her daughter. Indeed, the most natural she seemed (at least from the clips and photos I watched) was when she appeared together in a forum with her mother and daughter.
This was quite a contrast from her attempting to imitate her husband’s gestures — or those of other politicians. She always seemed fake when pointing to someone in the audience or clapping during a campaign rally.
In reflecting on the warmth she showed when together with Chelsea, I wonder if Mrs. Clinton might have been better served in her unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination had she campaigned more regularly with her daughter.