It is funny to me that the buzz around Hillary Clinton-as-grandmother could be anything but positive. The Guardian sums up some of the snarkiest coverage.
I mean, isn’t a grandmother the most enduringly lovable creature ever? Didn’t Hillary Clinton have a likability issue in 2008? Uh, I think this will help. She just had a shoe thrown at her for goodness sake and who would throw a shoe at grandma, huh?
Having never met either one of my grandmothers (I came a bit late to the party) I someday dream of the awesomeness of my own fantasized grandmotherly ways. Having recently moved into a charming home in the leafy “suburb” of State College (that doesn’t seem quite right to say), we are surrounded by young families. Very friendly neighbors, upon hearing we have a college age daughter, have missed not one beat asking “does she babysit?” More than once I’ve said, “I think so, but if you are in a pinch, think of me as a resource.”
Kids are the best. They lighten every minute. I’ve been hoping to have some corny kiddy craft moments in the kitchen (did you know a milk carton makes an excellent bird house, gingerbread house, and teeny weeny dollhouse)? Images of Hillary Clinton doing those kind of grandmotherly things are going to be well received.
So, I’ll be surprised if Hillary Clinton’s impending grandmother role does anything but boost her in the eyes of all. And I can still see and hear her delivering her keynote address at the 1996 Democratic National Convention. Her motherhood was her rhetorical imperative– “I want to talk about what matters most — children and families” —and her image got a nice boost. She intoned that she wished she could be sitting around a kitchen table delivering her speech and, as Tipper Gore said in her introduction of her “she is a friend to children and families.” (See the great shot of Geraldine Ferraro in the audience!) Her book, It Takes a Village, outlined her own call to arms for raising children, citing the extended family of grandparents as a vital resource. And, what’s more, I think she is earnest about her desire to make the world better one child at a time.
So, watch my words, Chelsea’s “special delivery” will come just in time and become a major boost in candidate Clinton’s (and I do think she’s running) campaign.