Chelsea Clinton Debuts As NBC Correspondent
Chelsea Clinton, 31, made her debut as a "special correspondent" for NBC's "Making a Difference" series on Monday night, appearing on Rock Center with Brian Williams to report about the volunteer efforts of Annette Dove, an Arkansas educator who runs an after-school program for disadvantaged youth.
While the focus of the piece was meant to be on Dove and her outfit, Topps Inc., everyone's talking about how well Clinton did — or did not — perform on her very first day as a broadcast journalist for a major news network. The verdict is in and the former First Daughter is getting mixed reviews. "What was surprising to see on Monday night's show is how someone can be on TV in such a prominent way and, in her big moment, display so very little charisma — none at all," wrote Hank Stuever of the Washington Post. "Either we're spoiled by TV's unlimited population of giant personalities or this woman is one of the most boring people of her era."
Though few were wowed by the debut, many construed Stuever's assessment as unnecessarily harsh. "The former First Daughter appeared poised and well-prepared, though a bit nervous, delivering her report," Politico.com wrote.
"For most of my life I did deliberately lead a private life and inadvertently led a public life," she explained to Williams, albeit somewhat timidly, in a brief interview following the Dove piece. "I've always been incredibly proud of both of my parents. And proud of the work I had done privately as a person, and professionally and academically."
But, as Clinton has indicated before, the recent death of her grandmother, Dorothy Rodham, affected her deeply and made her re-evaluate her potential as a public figure. "She recently had been cajoling me and challenging me to do more with my life, to lead a more purposely public life — that being Chelsea Clinton had happened to me and that I had a responsibility to do something with that asset and opportunity," she said. "Telling stories through 'Making a Difference,' I believe, will be one way to manifest that, and I hope to make her proud."
Watch Clinton's segment here:
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