Chelsea Clinton as a White House Teen: State Dinners and Homework

Illustration for article titled Chelsea Clinton as a White House Teen: State Dinners and Homework

Only a few people know what Sasha and Malia Obama are going through as they grow up in the White House, and Chelsea Clinton is one of them. For her, it was both amazing and "normal."


In an interview with Marlo Thomas, Clinton says of living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

I was always deeply aware that I was living in history. I came home from school or ballet, and I would walk in through the Diplomatic Receiving Room, which, normally, as its name implies, is receiving diplomats. Not teenage girls. So I knew that was extraordinary.

Yes. Sounds very grand and kind of fun and not particularly normal. That said, Clinton remembers plenty of "regular" moments:

But I also had dinner with my parents every night, when they were in town, which thankfully was most of the time. And we ate around the kitchen table. So there was much about my life that was thankfully normal.

Thomas asked if she attended a lot of parties, and Clinton replied: "Not really… I went to Christmas parties, but otherwise, my parents strongly emphasized me having as normal a life as possible. And I think that was really good for me. I went to school, I went to ballet, I came home, I did my homework."

After some pressing by the curious Marlo Thomas, Clinton admitted that she went to two state dinners — one for Morocco — but insisted: "My parents were always very clear I had to get all my homework done." Man, kind of boring? At least Amy Carter was roller skating through White House rooms and having sleepovers in her tree house on the South Lawn. Maybe Chelsea Clinton is holding out. There have got to be some secret passageways in the East Wing, and midnight swims and 3 a.m. cookie dough situations happening for Sasha and Malia, right?


Images via Getty.



I am about Chelsea's age. This is what I remember about her years in the WH: The Press was horrible to her. She was the butt of mean jokes, and the word "awkward" was often used to describe her. The current media usually uses words like "sweet" and "pretty" for the Obama girls. Chelsea didn't get that. I remember my father saying, "That poor girl. She doesn't deserve this. She didn't choose to put herself in the spotlight." It was bad. That being said, she has grown up to become a lovely, accomplished woman. I love Chelsea! She's tough.