It’s hard to grasp the point of yesterday’s front page New York Times article on Chelsea Clinton by wunderkind reporter Jodi Kantor. While it’s clear that Kantor intended her piece to reveal the “real” Chelsea, she admits at the outset that the former first daughter and her parents “turned down interview requests for the article, as they have for countless others on the subject.” So, how does Kantor remedy this lack? With received wisdom and banalities, naturally. Kantor helpfully informs readers that the young Clinton has strawberry blond hair and favors tasteful pantsuits, that she graduated in 2001 from Stanford, did a stint at McKinsey, and works at a hedge fund run by a donor to various Clinton causes. That’s hard-hitting reportage.
The only mildly interesting nugget in the piece was the paragraph near the end, in which we discover that Chelsea hopes to learn “more about Judaism,” the faith of her boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky. Clinton, a “churchgoing Methodist,” has, of late, been attending Sabbath dinners. Perhaps Judaism will reach the White House in 2008 after all.