Chelsea Clinton makes her journalistic debut on ‘Rock Center’


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Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton made her journalistic debut on Monday night’s ‘Rock Center With Brian Williams’ with a story that hit close to home. In the inspirational segment, part of a series called ‘Making a Difference,’ Clinton visited with Annette Dove, a woman from Pine Bluffs, Ark. who runs an after-school tutoring and mentoring program called TOPPS.

Clinton also met with children from the hard-scrabble town. For them, Dove -- or ‘Miss Dove,’ as they call her -- acts as a surrogate mother and role model, making sure they’ve had something to eat and are keeping up with their homework. Dove has paid for much of the TOPPS program out of her own pocket, and is trying to secure more funding.


But the real question is: How’d Chelsea do? On camera, Clinton was poised but guarded, perhaps the residual effect of so many years spent avoiding the media glare. Her voice, which was almost startling to hear, is smooth and pleasant. If the journalism thing doesn’t work out, she may have a future in voice-over.

Clinton later joined Williams in the NBC studio, where, sitting perfectly erect, she explained her decision to step into the public eye. ‘For most of my life I did deliberately lead a private life and inadvertently led a public life,’ she said.

But encouraged by her late grandmother, Dorothy Rodham, Clinton recently decided to use her accidental fame to affect positive change. ‘She recently had been cajoling me and challenging me to do more with my life, to lead a more of purposely public life, that being Chelsea Clinton had happened to me and that I had a responsibility to do something with that asset and opportunity,’ she said.

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-- Meredith Blake