Just one month after announcing its hiring of Chelsea Clinton as a full-time special correspondent, NBC has aired her first contribution to its “Making A Difference” series, which highlights (you guessed it) people who are making a difference.
For her first segment, Clinton traveled to her native Arkansas to tell the story of Annette Dove, an educator who’s devoted her life to helping the disadvantaged kids of Pine Bluff. It’s a heartwarming story and Clinton delivered it perfectly, if a bit robotically; I found it especially endearing when the very New York-y looking Clinton’s Southern roots came out in a “yes, ma’am.”
Unlike The Washington Post, I do not take the segment as a damning revelation of Clinton’s utter lack of charisma; there’s only so much room to inject your personality into a news story about someone who is not you, and I’m sure she’d be criticized for being unprofessional if she had. However, if NBC is so desperate to convince us they did not just hire her because she’s Chelsea Clinton (after hiring Meghan McCain and Jenna fucking Bush), they should have treated her like any cub reporter instead of sitting her down and asking why she decided to take this job. (A job, need I remind you, that many seasoned journalists would kill for.) Then again, perhaps this type of special treatment is more honest, because we know Ms. Clinton, who has no previous journalism experience, didn’t have to apply or compete with anyone for this plum position.
The last observation I’ll make is how canned and polished her answers to the questions seem; she’s already talking like a politician, but not (yet?) a slick one like her dad. Still, what with all the public showings of philanthropy (she’s donating much of her salary to charity), emphasis on public service, and general profile-raising she’s currently engaged in, I wouldn’t be surprised if a run for office was in her future plans.