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Rumblings about Chelsea Clinton running for U.S. Senate

March 19, 2017

So the rumor mill is going gaga over Chelsea Clinton running for the U.S. Senate.

Is she qualified? Will she actually run? Could she win?

First, let’s start with the qualified part first: technically, yes, she is qualified as the Constitution states there are only three qualifications to be a U.S> senator:

They must be at least 30 years old.

They must have been citizens of the United States for at least the past nine years.

They must be inhabitants of the states they seek to represent at the time of their election.

So, Clinton is qualified technically, but what about politically? I don’t know. These days, anyone can run for public office, without having any prior political experience, as noted by our [current] president and scores of others who have used their already established celebrity to run for an office that many before have climbed their way to.

Al Franken of “Saturday Night Live” [fame] never held office before occupying the office of U.S. senator from Minnesota, and the same for Hillary Clinton who had two stabs at becoming president. So it does not really matter that Chelsea has no prior experience. In fact, these days, it might be a plus.

Could she win? In New York; yes she can win pretty easily if the current Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand decides to step down to run for president against Donald Trump in 2020. If Clinton was to run, I suspect the primary would be cleared for her and she could have that seat for life.

After all, New York state, and that seat in particular, has always been the “celebrity seat” with New Yorkers being comfortable electing “larger than life” figures to represent them. Chelsea’s mom represented the state and before her, Robert F. Kennedy.

Nationally, there would most likely be “Clinton fatigue” since both her parents ran for the presidency and have been in the spotlight for nearly 30 years, I can’t imagine there being a national appetite for a Clinton for Senate run, but it may not matter.

From all I gather from Chelsea Clinton’s personality and temperament, she is not a press seeker and I suspect that if she became a senator she would be more of a “workhorse” rather than being a “showhorse”.

But is this good for democracy? I’m not sure. I am not a fan of family dynasties where family members run for the same seat, or for higher office using the familiar name of their forebearers to gain office. I think it’s unfair advantage for the people who running against the “famous name” that is almost impossible to overcome.

Edward McCormack, who ran against Ted Kennedy during the election of 1962, said, “The office of United States senator should be merited, and not inherited.” He said also that if his opponent’s name was Edward Moore, not Edward Moore Kennedy, his candidacy “would be a joke.”

Chelsea Clinton’s candidacy for the Senate would not be a joke; in fact, it would not come as a surprise since she has spent her entire life in public policy and most likely has a calling for public office like both her parents did.

To be clear, she most likely will get a blessing from the establishment to be a senator, but unlikely for president. Let’s see what happens in 2020.