Is Chelsea Clinton really an accomplished woman or is she just a degree jockey?

At National Review, Katrina Trinko has a nice post about the media’s palpitating desire to see Chelsea Clinton run for office, despite the fact that Chelsea, so far, hasn’t seemed that interested.  Trinko focuses on the media, not on Chelsea, and Trinko clearly has no intention of attacking Chelsea.  Indeed, she makes the point that Chelsea is “accomplished”:

Clinton is no doubt an accomplished woman: She graduated from Stanford and has since obtained master’s degrees from both Oxford and Columbia; she is currently working on a Ph.D. in international relations. She is the co-founder and co-chair of the Of Many Institute for MultiFaith Leadership at New York University.

Reading that laundry list of degrees, it occurred to me that Trinko is either being generous or sarcastic when she calls Clinton “accomplished.”  In fact, Clinton has done exactly nothing with her life if the only thing that she can put on her resume is one academic degree after another.  (We’ll be polite enough to ignore Chelsea’s laughable stint as an occasional feature reporter for NBC.  After all, not everyone is blessed with media charisma.)

The only thing Chelsea’s little resume shows is that she has the money to remain a perpetual student.  She was raised in a rich liberal bubble, and she’s been content to live her entire life in precisely that same rich little bubble.  Academia is not real life and, in the old days, before Hollywood gave up any pretense of being nothing more than an elite socialist shill, the movies could still make some fun of that fact:

Just saying….

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  • jj

    No, Chelsea Clinton is not “accomplished” in any sense of the word – unless while I wasn’t watching it’s become a lot more broadly defined than I ever knew it to be.  (Always possible, I suppose.)  Sitting in a variety of classrooms on someone else’s nickel is not an accomplishment, and doesn’t become one by virtue of repetition.  (If you were paying for it yourself it could said there’s an actual accomplishment in there somewhere, but in her case: no.)
    Like magpies, liberals love shiny new toys.  This is the latest.  Hopefully she won’t infest the body politic for the next thirty years, as her mother has done and clearly plans to continue doing – but I don’t know if we’re that lucky.  Given the nature of, and awe-inspiring simplicity of the left side of the aisle, I doubt it. 

  • Gringo

    I doubt that Chelsea Clinton has the obsessive drive to succeed that both her parents have.  By age 33, which is how old Chelsea is now, her father was Governor of Arkansas. As shown by her degrees, Chelsea Clinton has a work ethic, which is to her and to her parents’ credit. Like her parents, she is bright. As this post points out, having a bunch of your letters after your name by age 33 is not the most exceptional accomplishment  in the world. In and of itself, the accumulation of a bunch of letters after your name by age 33 is rather mundane.
    Q. Would we hear anything about Chelsea’s accomplishments if her last name were Jones?
     A. No, no. A thousand times no.
    I am reminded of the push to get Caroline Kennedy Whatever into the Senate seat of her late uncle. A video of her utterings of “you know…um…like…[rinse and repeat]”  soon put paid to whatever aspirations she may have had for a Senate seat. I doubt that deep down, Caroline Kennedy Whatever had any aspirations for the Senate, Her life was comfortable enough without a Senate seat of her very own.

  • Michael Adams

    I think you might have meant “palpable”, or maybe “palpitating”? Palpating desire conjures too many really uncomfortable images to those of us who have palpated things, and have, perhaps, a too-vivid imagination.

    • Bookworm

      Thanks, Michael Adams. I made the correction.

  • Libby

    Ugh, we don’t need to create royalty here in the U.S.. Reminds me of her mother’s resume:a lot of fancy job titles and awards (or as SoS, a lot of travel and meetings) without any results. Anyone who has ever had to hire can spot the difference between titles/degrees vs. results/accomplishments.

  • Ymarsakar

    Silver spoon. Trust fund baby. What they called Mit Romney or Sarah Palin, was only ever true of a Leftist degenerate.

  • Ymarsakar

    We don’t need to create royalty because the Leftist aristocracy Is Already Here.

  • David Foster

    The credential obsession drives great waste of human capital, and unfairness to countless individuals.
    Somewhere this week, there was a hard-working and intelligent bank employee who wasn’t promoted to Branch Manager because she has only a 2-year college degree.
    Somewhere there was an excellent Branch Manager who didn’t get the Region Management job she wanted because she did not have an MBA.
    And somewhere there was someone who would have made a great Investment Banker, who DID have an MBA, but didn’t get hired because her MBA wasn’t from a “top school.”
    Credentialism is one of the primary inhibiters of social mobility in America today. Academics speak about their concerns about “inequality,” meanwhile they batten on the tolls that they collect to increase this inequality in particularly harmful ways. Academic administrators, in particular, are blamable for selling endlessly-increasing college populations while doing nothing to ensure reasonable quality of education after the sale takes place.

  • Charles Martel

    In Italy, almost everybody who has an advanced degree insists on being called “Dottore.” As we begin our descent down the same road that the ludicrous Europeans are now traveling, it would not surprise me a bit if Chelsea and her ilk start insisting we insert “Doctor” before their names.
    When that happens, there will be a whole lotta pukin’ going on.

  • Danny Lemieux

    It really is a guild system, whereby individuals have to pay the university guild beaucoup bucks in order to be allowed to play in society’s playpen.

  • Mike Devx

    Libby said
    Ugh, we don’t need to create royalty here in the U.S.
    And I think she nailed the basic problem going on here.  Chelsea Clinton would be unnoticed and unnoticable except for her pedigree, her “royal status”.  The same goes for the Kennedy family on her side, and for the Bush family on the GOP side.
    And we don’t need all this stinkin’ royalty.  On either side.

  • Sgt. Mom

    What Mike Devx said. Down with the hereditary aristos! Viva the republic of talent and experience!

  • Spartacus

    “In Italy, almost everybody who has an advanced degree insists on being called “Dottore.” As we begin our descent down the same road that the ludicrous Europeans are now traveling, it would not surprise me a bit if Chelsea and her ilk start insisting we insert “Doctor” before their names.”
    Yeah, some people are sensitive about that.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Ha! Spartacus, I thought that your link was going to be to “Dr.” of education, Jill Biden. Apparently, she gets very huffy about it.

  • JKB

    David Foster,
    Credentials is all they got.  And they are certainly going to use the government to ensure none of the riff raff get uppity with their commonsense and practical skills.  I remember when the DOE tried and probably succeeded to say that what’s his name Ph.D who is/was Secretary solve the problem of plugging the oil well leak.  Well, there was another report of a commercial plumber who said it looked a lot like his idea he’d submitted.  
    Now think about what Physic Ph.D.s do, especially ones who’ve branched off into lab management.  What are the odds they’d come up with the practical application that would solve a huge fluid dynamics problem using existing piping equipment?  I could believe a experienced petroleum engineer, but I can really believe a guy who works day in and day out with large piping systems with significant pressures.  Nothing against Herr Doctor but let’s get real about who would have the local knowledge.
    There are two kinds of students these days, those learning to be of some use to other and Liberal Arts/Social Science majors.  
    BTW, what are the chances the institute Chelsea “founded” and “directs” was her idea?  What about it becoming a reality if she couldn’t go “Daddy, I need a charity to found.”

  • JKB

    BTW, the whole schooling accomplishment and credentials is really just media hype.  Not surprising since that is about all the media types have.  
    Historically, those that have improved the lot of mankind, have worked in obscurity.  And they didn’t work in politics or social science.  Run charities or write treatise, intelligent or not.  No, they just do that capitalism thing of working to make small improvements, to make things cheaper, more reliable, beter
    Why Capitalism Is Awesome | Cato Institute

  • Charles Martel

    How is it that the daughters of Democratic presidents tend to be dimwits? First Caroline Kennedy, then Amy Carter, and now Chelsea Clinton. All of them are highly credentialed/connected, and none of them would be able to carry on an intelligent conversation with an informed conservative for more than two minutes without their heads bursting.
    I’m giving the Johnson girls a pass. Daddy wasn’t charismatic, so the media never fawned over them and they were never overtly statist in the aftermath the way the three other cretinettes have been.

  • jj

    Martel, actually, and perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, I kind of like Amy Carter.  Haven’t seen her or heard a word from (or, really, about) her in about twenty years, and that’s fine.  But, I will always have a soft spot for her, dating from when she was living in the white house and endured a q & a session one day, which ended with me blowing corn flakes out my nose.  Some self-important hack – probably from NBC, which would be at least in part why the moment remains golden to me – asked her one of those multiple-clause questions.  It went, as I recall, down a list of who she was, where she lived, what her father did, his aspirations, her mother’s aspirations, what an example she herself was to American youth, what she wanted to, etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah – and ended with: do you have anything to say to America’s youth?  And Amy, bless her heart, instantly achieved deathless immortality in my personal pantheon with her answer, the entirety of which was: “no.”  I about fell on the floor.  I thought to myself right then: “kid, you’re a winner – you shouldn’t be wasting even half your time with these idiots!”  I’ve seen no reason to change that opinion.
    You’re right about the others, though. 

  • shirleyelizabeth

    To follow on David Foster’s comment, my husband, who has been working in the industry for six years now, cannot sit to test for a CPA license because he did not complete his degree (we had babies and couldn’t afford it). BOGUS. I’ve recently been taken on by a company to fix everything their Bachelor/Master/CPA messed up. As it all stands, my capable husband could never make the same as that schmuck that screwed the company over pretending to know stuff.

  • Ymarsakar

    A guild would actually get a job for a licensed person. The universities? They don’t even give you jobs.

  • JKB

    I disagree.  Many of those holding degrees in the more useless areas of the Liberal Arts and Social Science would never have had a paying job if if weren’t for being hired on at the university administration.

  • Spartacus

    Being tired and cranky today, and in no mood to accept responsibility for my own thoughts or actions, I have decided that this is your fault.  Prodded by your reminder, I now dimly remember something about Jill Biden being DOCTOR Biden.  (I’m actually kind of sympathetic toward anyone married to Joe Biden seeking something else on which to hang their self-identity… poor gal.)  But I thought maybe we should get DOCTOR Evil and DOCTOR Biden together for tea sometime.  But then I thought, “Why stop there?  Why not get all of the aristocracy together?  What would that look like?”  And what I came up with was this.
    Remember, it’s your fault.

  • lee

    I am still mystified as to how she was able to graduate in four years and “with highest honors” after skipping out all the time to travel with mummy and daddy. Lord knows had pretty much any other student who did not have the advantage of being the child of someone famous missed that much classroom time, they would never in a million years had been able to graduate on time. But then, if you can turn in papers where you interview the POTUS as one of your source materials, the profs get all weak in the knees…
    I am also mystified about the MPH. She got a BA in history, and an M.Phil. in “International Relations.” I would just loooooooove to read the “personal statement” from her application. And now she is pursuing a PhD in “International Relations,” huh?
    She is a degree jockey. All she has ever done is school–she hasn’t held a real job for very long.
    And lucky to have found a fairly talented plastic surgeon.

  • Spartacus

    lee — Somehow, despite a very demanding schedule as a senator, JFK managed to write Profiles in Courage.  Barack, despite a very demanding schedule as an adjunct lecturer on first-year constitutional law, managed to write Dreams From My Father.  Who knows?  Chelsea may also be one of these hyper-productive people whom the rest of us can only admire.

  • Charles Martel

    Stanford is considered an Ivy West school, but still has a wee chip on its shoulder being so far from the center of Excellent Power. So getting Chelsea was a plum. The Prexy’s very own daughter tooling around the tony environs of Palo Alto! So, is it possible that on occasion she could have turned in a cocktail napkin with doodles on it for a class assignment and still received full credit?
    Nah. That’s the the cynical sexist hater in me asking. After watching her charismatic performance on NBC, it’s obvious that she has thoroughly deserved and earned every credential, accolade, and job she’s ever acquired.

  • Gringo

    Who knows?  Chelsea may also be one of these hyper-productive people whom the rest of us can only admire.
    Given that Ted Sorenson did most of the work on Profiles in Courage, and there are some doubts regarding how much Barack wrote of Dreams, I assume your statement was tongue in cheek.

  • Spartacus

    Exactamundo, Senor Gringo.

  • era

    Every one of you sounds… jealous. If it was your kid who earned the degrees you would be… proud. If you were the parents who helped achieve that you would be … proud.  Why are you picking on someone just because you don’t like her parents? If someone picked on your kid or refused your kid a job just because they didn’t like you, it would be outrageous. Same for anyone else.