I am fascinated with U.S. Presidents and the Presidency, including those family members who come along for the ride when someone is elected President. Often, those people are children or teenagers, and can sometimes become a target of those who don’t like the President.
In the 2006 post I Heart Amy Carter, Danny Miller mentioned one such incident.
In 1993, Rush Limbaugh reached an all-time low when he said the following on his show: “Everyone knows the Clintons have a cat, Socks, in the White House. But did you know there is also a White House dog?” He then held up a picture of Chelsea. Can you imagine how vile a person would have to be to say that about anyone, much less a defenseless 13-year-old girl who was already struggling with typical adolescent concerns about her appearance?
Chelsea Clinton herself referred to the incident years later, when appearing on a panel with fellow Limbaugh target Sandra Fluke:
‘She and I actually have something in common. We’ve both have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh,’ Clinton said, adding, ‘She was 30. I was 13.’…
‘I’m grateful I don’t remember the exact phrasing,’ Clinton said during the debate. ‘Thankfully I had grown up in public life and knew that having thick skin was a survival skill.’
‘I do also believe if you have the right type of enemies you’re doing something correct,’ she added.
It appears that Clinton, unlike Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s kids, inherited the political views of her parents.
However, my pick for the best part of Chelsea Clinton’s experiences during her father’s presidency was her cameo role in a major motion picture. Because it was a non-speaking role, she didn’t have to memorize any lines. Because it was an animated role, she didn’t even have to show up.
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m referring to the Beavis and Butt-Head movie Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.
Beavis and Butt-Head were truly creatures of the 1990s, inheriting the “trashiest trash on TV” mantle from the Simpsons before passing it on to the kids of South Park. And considering the content of many Beavis and Butt-Head episodes, the insertion of Chelsea Clinton into the boys’ movie could have been disastrous. But when dealing with Clinton, Mike Judge – unlike Rush Limbaugh – showed restraint.
For those who haven’t seen the movie, I’ll set the scene. Butt-Head finds himself wandering around the White House, and while going around in the upstairs family area, he runs across Chelsea. Butt-Head, well-known for his amazing mastery of pick-up lines, proceeds to utter words to melt Chelsea’s heart.
“I see you have braces. I have braces too.”
MTV writer Nick Nadel then describes what happens next.
Naturally, she tosses him out a window.