While US Presidents have dominated American headlines and public debate for the past several decades, their families are another matter. While some, mostly adult children, accept media attention as an integral part of their work for their parents, others, mostly younger children, tend to stay out of the spotlight, or at least try to.
Both cases involve former President Donald Trump, whose four eldest children — Donald Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany — have not only consistently stumbled for their father on his two campaign paths, but in Ivanka’s case, even held a post in his administration . Barron Trump, on the other hand, Trump’s youngest son, was just 10 when his father entered the White House and 14 when he left. Of course, young Barron more or less stayed out of the limelight.
However, given the excessive press coverage his father received during his campaign and presidency, it’s only natural that Barron was the focus of some stories he would have preferred to stay out of. And it was none other than Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, who came to his defense.
Chelsea Clinton defended Barron Trump after an article attacked him
In August 2017, a few months after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, Barron Trump — Trump’s only minor child and the only one living with him in the White House — became the subject of much public scrutiny, including over his dress code. Young Trump, then 11, had a habit of appearing in public in shorts and makeup shirts, prompting the Daily Caller – a right-wing website co-founded by Tucker Carlson – to publish an article entitled “It’s High Time Barron Trump starts dressing like he’s in the White House.” Writer Ford Springer slammed the 11-year-old for frequently looking like he was on a “movie trip” and saying that “at least, what he could do is put on the role”.
In response, Chelsea Clinton — also a first-born who was only 12 when her father became president — condemned the article, tweet Same day: “It’s high time the media and everyone left Barron Trump alone and gave him the private childhood he deserves.” Later Barron’s mother, then First Lady Melania Trump thanked Clinton in response to her comments, closing with a hashtag, #StopChildhoodBullying.
This wasn’t the first time Clinton had defended Barron, either. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, she tweeted that Barron “deserves the chance… to be a kid”. She added: “[s]Standing up for every child also means fighting back [Donald Trump’s] Policies that harm children.”
Chelsea Clinton came to the defense of Donald Trump’s other children
Barron Trump isn’t the only child of her mother’s 2016 rival that Chelsea Clinton wants to defend. In April 2017, just before defending the then-president’s youngest child, the former first daughter lashed out at journalist Yashar Ali legal action that some people didn’t support Secret Service protection for Trump’s children. “It makes me very sad to read this and know that anyone would ever say that.” Clinton wroteadding that protecting the president’s family “should not be politicized”.
Clinton’s tweet came amid reports that the US Secret Service had requested an additional $60 million in funding for the president, in large part due to his large family and frequent travels. In any case, there is no doubt that Americans will rarely see the Clintons and the Trumps united as they did behind this issue.
Chelsea Clinton has been the subject of numerous personal attacks
It makes sense as to why Chelsea Clinton came to fight for Barron Trump and the Trump family once you know her own personal story. Many who remember the election of her father, Bill Clinton, to the White House in 1992 may also remember that while still a child, she herself was the subject of numerous political attacks.
Perhaps the most notable attack against her came shortly after her father’s election to the presidency. According to Media Matters, right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh made a post at the time comparing her to a dog. “Can we see the sweet child?” Limbaugh said on his show in reference to the president’s 12-year-old daughter. “[Let’s] See who the cute kid in the White House is.” An image of a dog then popped up on screen before Limbaugh hastily corrected it to a picture of Chelsea. According to The Washington Post, Limbaugh made a similar joke the following year. “Everyone knows the Clintons have a cat. Socks is the White House cat,” he said on his show. “But did you know there’s also a White House dog?” Limbaugh then shared a picture of Chelsea.
Of course, given these personal attacks, it may be reasonable for the former first daughter to defend other presidential children. However, she is no doubt hoping for a day when this task will become unnecessary.