Chelsea Clinton was a young teenager when she got her first taste of national fame, and it wasn't pretty. Growing up in the White House, people ridiculed her '90s adolescent style, Saturday Night Live made her the butt of one of their jokes, and the fallout from her father's affair rocked her family.
More than two decades later and Barron Trump is facing the same undue scrutiny. Donald Trump's youngest child became the target of internet trolls over the weekend for his apparently bored appearance at Saturday's inauguration ceremony. But his father's soaring unpopularity spilled over onto him, too; many made wildly inappropriate comments about Barron, a 10-year-old thrust under the international spotlight.
Having been at the receiving end of similarly crude comments for years, Clinton drew on her experience as the First Daughter to defend Barron in a brief statement on social media on Sunday.
"Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid," she wrote on Facebook and Twitter, while also making sure to state her political position. "Standing up for every kid also means opposing POTUS policies that hurt kids."
It's likely that Clinton is referencing Trump's nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, whom teachers and parents have excoriated. DeVos is a longtime Republican donor who has poured money into causes and organizations pushing for the privatization of America's school system. She also has limited experience with the education system at large, a point that Democrats highlighted during her testy hearing.
Politics aside, Clinton's tweet points to the ethics on criticizing politicians' young children: don't do it. But as someone who's gone through that experience, Clinton's defense of Barron is a reminder that kids, particularly those who are unwillingly plunged into the limelight, deserve be exempt from their parents' shortcomings.
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