So what was the political effect of this exercise? Liberals quickly promised to make their daughters read them. Joan Walsh of Salon.com said they were "intensely humanizing," a "net gain" for the Clinton camp.
Two days later, Hillary's enablers at the Times were back at the task. At the top of the front page was a story on "Chelsea Clinton, Primed for a Second Stint as First Daughter." In a big color photo, Chelsea stood between two Hillarys, a smiling real one and a regal official painting. Reporter Jodi Kantor played them as two clones of Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.
Both mother and daughter were favorably described by ever-present "friends" of Hillary: Like her mother, Chelsea has the habit of "pre-empting questions by asking lots of them," the "passionate interest" in health care and the tendency to sound scripted. Both mother and daughter have used White House contacts to build careers, but "won over skeptical colleagues with their diligence and enthusiasm." Even now, Kantor rhapsodized, Chelsea is still "playing a more glamorous version of her lifelong role: model daughter."
Kantor betrayed a Clinton lover's romance with the idea of a Clinton dynasty that passes from Bill, to Hillary, to even President Chelsea. The story ends with a friend hearing Chelsea speak and thinking she's "going to go all the way." If so, she sure can count on The New York Times to deliver a complimentary verbal gift basket.
Chelsea's "a focus of public fascination," but co-workers find she has a "deeply admirable ability to yield focus." We're told that "people seem delighted just to watch her lips move and hear sound emerge." As Kantor described her Jewish boyfriend, she identifies Chelsea as "a Christmas-cookie-baking, churchgoing Methodist."
At least Kantor makes it perfectly clear that her piece gibes with the Clinton campaign, "which seeks to portray Sen. Clinton as a strong yet nurturing force, a friend to women and children, and a symbol of progress from one generation to the next."
With their reliably progressive palette of one color -- whitewash -- The Times could be easily described as Hillary's official Portrait Partner.
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