The jokes during the Clinton Global Initiative about Chelsea giving birth any moment were actually on target. Barely two days after the close of the 10th CGI, in which she played a huge part in discussing new initiatives, like one to save elephants and rhinos from poaching, and hosting and participating in panels, she announced a tweet at 12:32 am on Sept. 27, “Marc and I are full of love, awe and gratitude as we celebrate the birth of our daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.”
During a conversation with Fareed Zakaria for broadcast, concerning the Ebola crisis, she was asked about her decision not to learn the sex of her baby, but to wait until its arrival.
“There are very few mysteries in life where the outcome is good either way,” she said, adding that she and her husband prefer to enjoy the mystery.
There was no hint of her impending birth when Chelsea, the Vice-Chair of the Clinton Foundation, moderated the panel, “Valuing What Matters,” with Jack Ma of Alibaba, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, Darren Walker, President of Ford Foundation, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister, Federal Republic of Nigeria (and did not shy away from asking about the kidnapped girls), discussing the obligations and responsibilities of companies, governments and internet firms for safety, transparency and privacy.
But she referred to her baby often, as when she and her mother introduced announced the Elephant Action Network, which includes 21 different commitments made by 16 individual organizations, which reach 58 different countries and touch upon three programmatic pillars: Stop the Killing, Stop the Trafficking, Stop the Demand. “I can’t imagine my baby never seeing an elephant.”
And the new grandparents, President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, made clear how excited and delighted they were to become grandparents.
In a conversation hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta for broadcast on MSNBC about the impacts of early childhood on brain development and future physical, emotional and intellectual success, and how important it is for parents, the child’s first teacher, to talk to their infants no matter what language, Hillary Clinton, who has worked on these issues for 40 years, was asked, “Would you do things differently with your grandchild versus how you raised Chelsea?”
Hillary responded that on her book tour, where she shook some 70,000 hands, “more than half mentioned ‘grandparent’ and joked that it is so much better than being a parent, ‘If I had known, I would have skipped the first part.’ You have just a different perspective and are in a different time of life to enjoy a grandchild., Most of us when we have our children, we’re younger, striving, preoccupied about what happening You look back say , ‘I wish I had spent more time, I wish I were not so busy.’ Being a grandparent, you have that freedom – that’s what I’m told.”
(Though there were many of us in the audience who did a small calculation and factored in how being President would afford more time and less preoccupation with what’s happening.)
On Wednesday, CNN’s Erin Burnett posed two questions to President Bill Clinton, “The Matt Damon question:’ When will everyone be able to have the dignity of a toilet? And, how do you feel about becoming a grandparent.”
“I’m excited, I’m out of control ,” Clinton responded to the second question. “Every day get up and say, Remember whose child this is, do not interfere, be there when you’re welcome, be loving but not judgmental.”
And even President Obama, when he spoke to CGI about the importance of nurturing “civil society” – the nongovernmental organizations and the activists – noting the abysmal traffic in New York with the United Nations and his presenc3e, joked that “if Chelsea begins delivery while I’m speaking, she has my motorcade and will be able to navigate traffic.”
Karen Rubin, Long Island Populist Examiner
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