Bill, Hillary and Chelsea: The first family of networking

By Laurie Bennett

August 17, 2012 at 10:14am

In an interview with Vogue, Chelsea Clinton opened the door to a political future.

When asked if she would consider running for office, she answered, “Before my mom’s campaign I would have said no. Not because it was something I had thought a lot about but because people have been asking me that my whole life. And now I don’t know…”

Certainly, mom and dad want only the best for their only child. But there’s no question that the 32-year-old daughter of a former president and current secretary of state, born during her father’s first term as governor of Arkansas and just 12 years old when the family moved to the White House, has been groomed for an adult public life.

We wrote in 2010 that Bill Clinton was the most networked U.S. president in history.

Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton

Together, Bill, Hillary and Chelsea are the first family of networking. (See note below)

Chelsea, who married Marc Mezvinsky, the son of two former members of Congress, in July 2010, has forged important new connections in the last two years.

She became a director of Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp last November. She also sits on the boards of the influential nonprofit organizations started by her father - the William J. Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative.

She has worked as an assistant provost of New York University and a sometime correspondent for NBC News.

Like her husband, who was an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, Chelsea previously spent time in the financial sector, as an associate at Avenue Capital Group and McKinsey & Company.

In addition to the Clinton foundations, her links to the nonprofit world include director posts at the School of American Ballet and Common Sense Media, a group that works to improve children’s interaction with media.

Chelsea tells Vogue that it was the media frenzy surrounding her wedding that pushed her to embrace celebrity.

“Historically I deliberately tried to lead a private life in the public eye,” she told the magazine. “And now I am trying to lead a purposefully public life.”

Note: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt could certainly have given the Clintons a run for their money.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt

Not only did Eleanor have tremendous social reach as first lady, but several offspring had lesser political careers. Son Elliott was mayor of Miami Beach. Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. was a member of Congress and chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Son James was also a House member and an unsuccessful candidate for California governor.

Chelsea is outnumbered by the Roosevelt siblings, but probably has decades to make her mark. Franklin Roosevelt died in 1945, at the relatively young age of 63, and was not around to help manage his sons’ careers.

Bill Clinton turns 66 this week, and despite heart surgery in 2004 and 2010, appears to be in relatively good health. Hillary, 64, looks tired, as would any 30-year-old with her travel schedule. Yet hardly a day passes without someone at MSNBC floating the prospect of another Clinton presidential run in 2016.

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  • #1.   Me 11.13.2016

    Oh God, NO! NO more Clintons! PLEASE dear GOD!

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