Chelsea Clinton baby: Will Hillary Clinton be less likely to run in 2016?

Chelsea Clinton has announced that she is pregnant, setting off all sorts of speculation. With her mother seen as the clear front-runner for the presidency in 2016, it makes for interesting timing.

Andrew Kelly/Reuters
Chelsea Clinton and her mother, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stand onstage before a No Ceilings conversation at Lower Eastside Girls Club in New York Thursday.

The news that Chelsea Clinton is pregnant has triggered a royal baby watch, American-style.

Ms. Clinton, the only child of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, announced Thursday that she is expecting her first child. She was speaking at the Lower Eastside Girls Club in New York.

No word yet on when Clinton is due, or if she knows the sex of the baby. But we have to ask: How, if at all, might the news affect whether Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016? So far, she’s just thinking about running, but the pressure is fierce. Polls show she is far and away Democratic voters’ top pick. Political action committees have formed to promote a Hillary Clinton candidacy.

And now she’s about to get what she has long hoped for: a grandchild. Perhaps it’s sexist even to ask the question – how will a grandchild affect her decision – but until she announces either way, it will be out there. It must be noted that former President Clinton, too, has talked longingly about grandchildren. But as anyone who’s had children knows, there’s often nothing like the bond between mother and daughter when the first grandbaby is on the way. If we had to guess, we'd say that Hillary Clinton will be a tad less interested in running for president now that she's about to be a grandmother.

Last October, Chelsea Clinton told Glamour magazine that she hoped to have a baby soon with her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, whom she married in 2010.

“We want, God willing, to start a family. So we decided we were going to make 2014 the Year of the Baby. And please call my mother and tell her that,” Clinton said in Glamour’s profile of her in the November issue. “She asks us about it every single day.”

In January 2011, Bill Clinton was asked what he wanted to accomplish in the next decade, and being a grandfather was just about his first answer.

“I’d like to live, I’d like to be a grandfather. I have nothing to do with that achievement, but I would like it,” Clinton said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “I would like to have a happy wife, and she won’t be unless she’s a grandmother.”

“It’s something she wants more than she wanted to be president,” he added, alluding to her unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2008.

Hillary Clinton herself has said that “grandma” is “a title I would be proud to have.”

Of course, there’s nothing that says Hillary Clinton can’t be a grandmother and be president. In fact, being president in some ways fits better with family life than being secretary of State, which comes with constant world travel. Chelsea Clinton and her husband live in New York City – just a short hop from D.C.

Chelsea Clinton was speaking Thursday at a No Ceilings event sponsored by the Clinton Foundation and Microsoft. According to Politico, she said: "Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year and I certainly feel all the better, whether it's a girl or a boy, that she or he will grow up in a world full of so many strong young female leaders, so thank you for inspiring me and inspiring future generations including the one that we'll be lucky enough to welcome into our family later this year."

Then she made mention of her mom, adding: "I just hope that I will be as good a mom to my child ... as my mother was to me."

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