Why Chelsea Clinton Came To Barron Trump's Defense

While U.S. presidents have been dominating American headlines and public discussion for the last few decades, their families are a different question. While some — mostly adult children — accept media attention as part and parcel of work they do on behalf of their parents, others, mostly younger children, tend to stay out of the limelight or at least try to. 

Both of these cases have applied to former president Donald Trump, whose four oldest children — Donald Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany — have not only consistently stumped for their father on both of his campaign trails, but, in the case of Ivanka, even had a position in his administration. Barron Trump, on the other hand, Trump's youngest son, was only 10 when his father entered the White House and 14 when he left. Naturally, the young Barron more or less stayed out of the spotlight. 

Given the undue amount of press coverage his father received during his campaign and presidency, however, it's natural that Barron may have been at the center of some stories he would have preferred to stay out of. And it was none other than Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former president Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, who came to his defense.  

Chelsea Clinton defended Barron Trump after an article attacked him

In August 2017, several months after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, Barron Trump — Trump's only minor child as well as the only one living with him in the White House — became the subject of much public scrutiny, including with regard to his dress code. The young Trump, who was then 11, had a habit of appearing in public in shorts and vanity shirts, causing the Daily Caller — a right-wing website co-founded by Tucker Carlson — to publish an article titled, "It's High Time Barron Trump Starts Dressing Like He's In the White House." The writer, Ford Springer, criticized the 11 year old for frequently appearing as though he were on a "trip to the movie theater," and that the "least he could do is dress the part." 

In response, Chelsea Clinton — also a first family child who was only 12 when her father became president — denounced the article, tweeting the same day, "It's high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves." Barron's mother, then-first lady Melania Trump, subsequently thanked Clinton in response to her statements, concluding with a hashtag, #StopChildhoodBullying.

This was not the first time Clinton came to Barron's defense, either. Shortly after Trump's inauguration, she tweeted that Barron "deserves the chance ... to be a kid." She added that "[s]tanding up for every kid also means opposing [Donald Trump's] policies that hurt kids."

Chelsea Clinton came to the defense of Donald Trump's other children

Barron Trump is not the only child of her mother's 2016 rival who Chelsea Clinton has come to defend. In April 2017, shortly before her defense of the then-president's youngest child, the former first daughter lashed out in response to journalist Yashar Ali's claim that some people were not supportive of Secret Service protection for Trump's children. "It makes me very sad to read this & to know that anyone would ever say this," Clinton wrote, adding that protecting the president's family "should not be politicized." 

Clinton's tweet came in light of reports that the U.S. Secret Service requested an addition of $60 million in funding for the president, which was in large part due to the his large family and frequent travel. In any case, there's no doubt that Americans will rarely see the Clintons and the Trumps unite like they have behind this issue. 

Chelsea Clinton was the subject of numerous personal attacks

It makes sense why Chelsea Clinton came to bat for Barron Trump and the Trump family once you know her own personal story. Many who remember the election of her father, Bill Clinton, to the White House in 1992 may also remember that she herself became the subject of numerous political attacks, despite being a child.

Perhaps the most notable attack against her may have been shortly after her father was elected president. According to Media Matters, right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh did a segment at the time comparing her to a dog. "Could we see the cute kid?" Limbaugh said on his show, in reference to the president's 12 year old daughter. "[Let's] see who is the cute kid in the White House." A picture of a dog then popped up on the screen, before Limbaugh hastily corrected it to a picture of Chelsea. According to The Washington Post, Limbaugh made a similar joke the following year. "Everyone knows the Clintons have a cat. Socks is the White House cat," he said on his show. "But did you know there is also a White House dog?" Limbaugh then showed a picture of Chelsea.

Naturally, given these personal attacks, it may be reasonable for the former first daughter to come to the defense of other presidential children. No doubt she hopes for a day, however, when that task becomes unnecessary.