Grandmother-in-Chief? How Becoming a Grandma Changed Hillary Clinton
The potential "grandmother-in-chief" has shown a new side since Chelsea gave birth
Becoming a grandmother changed Hillary Clinton – and she’ll be the first to tell you.
“It will affect my being, not just my thinking. I hope grandfathers feel the same way, I know my husband does,” the presidential candidate, 67, told PEOPLE last year, shortly before the arrival of her first grandchild, Charlotte. “Having that next generation right there and thinking about everything you want to do both personally but in our cases, publicly and professionally, to give that child the best chance in life to be all he or she can be, that is profoundly moving to me.”
The former secretary of state’s image as potential “grandmother-in-chief,” following the September birth of granddaughter Charlotte – which left her with “a grandmother glow,” as Hillary told once told a supporter – set everyone buzzing.
Some wondered: How would this affect her public persona? Others asked: Wasn’t it sexist to assume it had to affect her public persona?
Hillary herself seemed to chime in on that conversation, when she Tweeted her opinion on the vaccine debate earlier this year.
“The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let’s protect all our kids. #GrandmothersKnowBest,” she wrote.
“It’s really sweet how my mom is just so clearly happy being a grandma and I know she’s going to be a great grandma, whatever other choices she makes in her life,” daughter Chelsea told PEOPLE earlier this year.
Hillary said her goal in her new role as grandmother is much simpler than the debate surrounding it: Be like mom.
“I want to be – I hope, it’s a little presumptuous – I want to be for my grandchild what my mother was for her grandchildren,” she said. “She was challenging, she was emotionally supportive, but she also was clear in setting expectations. Like, ‘I think you can do that’ or ‘Why are you worried you can’t do that?’ or ‘I thought you did really well, you tried hard.'”
• Reporting by SANDRA SOBIERAJ WESTFALL