A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up a post about my enthusiasm for Senator Obama and my “letter” to Chelsea about not choosing her Mom as my choice for the primaries. This morning, I got an eyeful from all sorts of vitriol seen in the Washington Post article on her coming into her own.
While I might be supporting Senator Obama over Senator Clinton, I have always been supportive of the Clintons, and been nothing but impressed with Chelsea. Back when she was a freshman at Stanford, she was dealing with the insanity of her father’s impeachment and the stress that bore on her at that time. She handled it with aplumb and grace that women twice their age could only dream of. In her sophomore year, when she was considerate enough to join me for a lunch, we had such an easy rapport that I felt nothing but awe in this woman who could grace world leaders with a smile, endear reporters and politicians with small talk and enjoy some co-op food with a graduate student who had simply danced with her at the Viennese Ball when an opportunity arose.
And, there is a funny story about the poise this woman had even before coming to Stanford which few have heard.
When I worked for the Stanford Dance Division (doing AV work and talking lessons), I happened to be completing some work on some videos that I needed to deliver to the director of the Dance Division at that time, just before heading out to work. I remember walking down the hallway and passing two very large, black-suited men who were standing in the hallway, but I paid them no mind as I headed to the Director’s Room.
I walked into the room, looking for Richard Powers, to hand him the videotapes, and watched as a young woman, who was evidentially asking questions about the program, suddenly stand up and look toward me as if I was an important person. I looked momentarily at her unknowingly and then handed the videotapes to Richard to make sure he had them for the purpose of the day. I left hastily since it was none of my concern, and as I walked down the hall, I began to realize I knew the face of the woman that stood up. Suddenly, I saw the two men, and noticed the tell-tale pig-tail in their ear and walked to one of them and asked, “Was that who I thought it was?”
The Secret Service Agent looked at me and asked, “Who do you think that was?” in a voice that left me thinking i should completely forget who was there. I said, “No one – nevermind.” and headed for my car.
As I opened my car door, Richard dashed out after me and said, “Sanford – do you know who that was in Suzie’s room?” And I answered, “NO – I have no idea who that was.” And headed to work.
Even as a young woman looking to graduate Stillwell and seeking her own path, she was looking afar from her family – taking a program that would be far different than her family before her.
At Stanford, during Rosh Hashana, I would often see her in the Hillel’s makeshift services where she was listening and learning about the Jewish faith. She was a sponge for new knowledge and a student of grace and style. As our paths have crossed in other locales, I have been nothing but astounded by her.
As a surrogate, Chelsea Clinton is a powerful advocate for her Mom and the vision her mother holds for America. Let this powerful woman support her Mom, as wives and husbands have helped other their family in the past.
You go Chelsea. Make a difference.