It will be interesting to watch this drama play itself out. Michelle Obama is perfectly sensible in looking to the former First Lady for sound advice on rearing children with privacy and dignity within and without the walls of White House. I don’t think even the fiercest critics of Mrs. Clinton--at least as far as what the public record reveals about her capacities in this regard--could ever accuse Hillary of anything but careful and dutiful attention to Chelsea while they were residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And by all accounts and factoring in all considerations of scandal brought on by her father and pathos brought on by the complicated relationship of her parents, Chelsea Clinton appears to have grown into a healthy, happy and successful young woman.
But there is more to the story of motherly advice offered and motherly advice sought. There is also the story of the promised and not yet delivered assistance to Mrs. Clinton from the Obamas for her sizable campaign debt to vendors (and don’t even get me started on that topic!). This all adds yet another interesting dimension to the story and one wonders whether Mrs. Clinton would be equally eager to assist Mrs. Obama were such assistance not so desperately required. But one must assume that humanity would, in the end, prevail. Still . . . it makes for a different dynamic when one’s hand is outstretched.
Make no mistake about it: there must be something delicious for Mrs. Obama in seeking out this advice from Mrs. Clinton on the subject of being First Lady and raising kids in the White House when, according to every expectation of a year ago, it was to be her husband who would be coming to Mrs. Clinton (some time in the distant future) for advice about being President in the White House. How ironic (and also sad) that in the fullness of time, Hillary is to be regarded as expert in the one capacity for which she has demonstrated any real competence but for which she has voiced, on more than a few occasions, a not-so-veiled disdain. This one episode may illustrate the tragedy of Mrs. Clinton’s life: her burning ambition will serve to make her dissatisfied with the one thing that ought to be her glory and her epitaph: she has been a good mom.