Why I Won't (and Can't) Shame Chelsea Clinton for Missing the First Day of School (Hint: DNC 2012)

Why I Won't (and Can't) Shame Chelsea Clinton for Missing the First Day of School (Hint: DNC 2012)

Recently a story made its away across conservative media outlets about Chelsea Clinton missing her kid’s first day of school to campaign for her mother (I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Hillary Clinton is running for President). She was scolded and derided for choosing politics over an important day for her child.

The response bothered me greatly, as a mother and as a political activist. I know what a lot of people who don’t work in this industry know – sometimes you miss big days for the story.

I missed my daughter’s first day of school 4 years ago. Some of you may even remember that day. While my daughter was heading to school for the first time in her life, I was doing this:


As a rookie blogger and activist I felt it was important not only for the election but also for my career that I be at the Democrat National Convention that summer. I felt it was important that black voices who did not support Obama’s agenda be heard.

I was devastated to miss my baby girl’s first day. I lamented for days about it, but many fans and readers (many of whom are reading this post right now…thank you for all your support all these years!) told me what I was doing was important. They eased my mind and thanked me for making the sacrifice to represent conservative values in a hostile environment.

And boy was it hostile. My friends and I narrowly avoided being picked up by Secret Service and the story went viral, bringing the stooges at MSNBC a tiny bit of embarrassment…if they’re even capable of such a thing these days.

I’m lookin’ at you, Chris Hayes.

My point is that while I enjoy taking the piss out of the Clintons like any other normal, red-blooded, black, intelligent, attractive, accomplished, humble American I balk at the idea of Chelsea missing the first day of school as a legitimate criticism. Not because its something I did myself and I want your pardon, but because as a mother I know sometimes it just happens.

My daughter was not alone on her first day of school. Her dad took her and I talked to her on the phone and we prayed together about school before I left for the DNC. She was loved and many pictures were taken, I heard about every detail and saw all the pictures that very night.

Even though Chelsea was raised by the real-life Claire and Frank Underwood, I don’t doubt she loves her daughter just as fiercely as I love mine. I’m sure she talked to her, and made arrangements for her to be loved on and adored that day. I don’t doubt she had at least one moment of heartache knowing she was missing a special day for her child. I also don’t doubt that she feels as duty-bound to help her mother’s presidential hopes as I did to thwart the presidential hopes of her predecessor.

My daughter is 9 now and doesn’t even remember her first day of school. Even if she did, it wouldn’t have scarred her for life. I’ve been there for dozens of first days of all kinds of things since. I’m home when she gets back from a long day at school. I’m here to put her to bed and I’m one of the first people to say “Good morning” to her every day. Those are the things that count – not just the moments, but the collection of moments – creating that environment for a child to know she is treasured and important.

I’m happy to shame Chelsea for claiming to “not care about money” while living in a $10 million dollar condo in the most expensive place in America.

Don’t I wish I could not care about money like that!

I’m agreeable to shame Chelsea for championing her mother as a defender of women’s rights while pretending her dad isn’t a rapist and a scoundrel.

I’m happy to come at Chelsea and the rest of Hillary’s surrogates for all their absurd defenses of who might be the most corrupt candidate we’ve seen in decades.

These are all valid points of attack.

However, I’m unwilling to shame a mother for missing one day out of all the days she’s already been present for her children so she can go be something other than a mother for a few hours. I don’t think its fair to rake her over the coals for that.

Let’s stick to fainting spells, emails and shady meetings on tarmacs. The Clinton Circus gives us enough ammunition on a daily basis to make a compelling case against them. We don’t need to bring the parenting decisions of their children into play. It makes us look petty. Let’s keep all the pettiness on the left.

*This is my first post as a Contributing Editor for Redstate. I’m honored to be writing here and I hope you’ll continue to follow and enjoy. Check me out at @RealKiraDavis on Twitter.

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