NBC Gushes Over Fmr. Correspondent Chelsea Clinton Being 'X Factor' for Hillary

After NBC devoted three full segments and over seven minutes of air time to promoting Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign at the top of Monday's Today, the network morning show offered another full segment at the top of the 7:30 a.m. ET half hour fawning over the 2016 contender, with co-host Matt Lauer proclaiming: "Let us begin this half hour, though, with more on Hillary Clinton's second run for the White House and what we can expect from her family this time around."

In the report that followed, correspondent Peter Alexander gushed: "...a lot of political analysts these days are intrigued by the role that Chelsea Clinton may play this time around and whether she, in fact, is the 'X' factor that could have a big impact on her mom's campaign."

Alexander fawned over Chelsea Clinton's activism on behalf of her parents:

In the new issue of Elle magazine, Chelsea discusses the importance of a first female president, saying, "When equal hasn't yet included gender, there is a fundamental challenge there that, I believe, having our first woman president – whenever that is – will help resolve."

That fight for full equality is one of Chelsea's focuses in her work as the vice chair of the Clinton Foundation and it's No Ceilings initiative. And the argument that her mother is the right candidate to achieve that equality is a message she's expected to make campaigning for her in the coming months.

He also declared that the former first daughter "could play a crucial role in softening the image of the former secretary of state, who this time around is also a grandmother."

A sound bite ran of Bloomberg Politics managing editor Mark Halperin announcing:

Maybe the best thing that Chelsea Clinton's given to her mother is a grandchild. It allows Hillary Clinton to be seen as a more normal American in touch with the everyday lives of everyday people. And you can bet you'll hear the name Charlotte on the campaign trail quite a bit out of Hillary Clinton's mouth.

Alexander wrapped up the puff piece by noting: "...as Politico describes it, quoting aides, 'There's little doubt the invisible hand of Chelsea shapes almost every significant decision that her parents make.'"

At no point did Alexander mention that Chelsea Clinton was a former NBC News correspondent that the network had reportedly paid $600,000.

Here is a full transcript of the April 13 report:

7:31 AM ET

MATT LAUER: Let us begin this half hour, though, with more on Hillary Clinton's second run for the White House and what we can expect from her family this time around. NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander has more on that side. Peter, good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Chelsea Clinton Back in Spotlight; What Role Will Former First Daughter Serve?]

PETER ALEXANDER: Matt, good morning to you. Hillary Clinton of course may be the one grabbing headlines, the former President Bill Clinton, the so-called "Secretary of Explaining Stuff." But a lot of political analysts these days are intrigued by the role that Chelsea Clinton may play this time around and whether she, in fact, is the "X" factor that could have a big impact on her mom's campaign.

Hillary Clinton's running for president, but she won't be doing it alone. Plenty of attention will be on the woman who may become America's first daughter for the second time around.

HILLARY CLINTON: Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion.

ALEXANDER: Soon after Clinton's announcement, daughter Chelsea was quick to tweet, "Very proud of you Mom!" It's the first of what will likely be many gestures of support from the younger Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

In the new issue of Elle magazine, Chelsea discusses the importance of a first female president, saying, "When equal hasn't yet included gender, there is a fundamental challenge there that, I believe, having our first woman president – whenever that is – will help resolve."

That fight for full equality is one of Chelsea's focuses in her work as the vice chair of the Clinton Foundation and it's No Ceilings initiative. And the argument that her mother is the right candidate to achieve that equality is a message she's expected to make campaigning for her in the coming months.

As a twenty-something she was frequently by her mother's side during the 2008 cycle.

CHELSEA CLINTON: Would I ever consider dating a McCain supporter? Well, I'm very proud to report that my boyfriend's supporting my mom.

ALEXANDER: But now as the thirty-five-year-old mother to her own daughter, Charlotte, she's stepped out of her parents' long shadow and some analysts say could play a crucial role in softening the image of the former secretary of state, who this time around is also a grandmother.

MARK HALPERIN ["BLOOMBERG POLITICS" MANAGING EDITOR]: Maybe the best thing that Chelsea Clinton's given to her mother is a grandchild. It allows Hillary Clinton to be seen as a more normal American in touch with the everyday lives of everyday people. And you can bet you'll hear the name Charlotte on the campaign trail quite a bit out of Hillary Clinton's mouth.

ALEXANDER: As for Chelsea's other parent, former President Bill Clinton, he says he'll take the role of backstage adviser. And at least for now, he's expected to stay out of the spotlight.

And as for Chelsea herself, as Politico describes it, quoting aides, "There's little doubt the invisible hand of Chelsea shapes almost every significant decision that her parents make." So even if you don't see as much of her in 2008 – of course she's a mom now, so he photo-ops may be fewer – do not underestimate the role that she will certainly play heading into 2016. Matt, back to you.

LAUER: Alright, Peter Alexander. Peter, thanks very much.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Liberals & Democrats NBC Today Video Peter Alexander Chelsea Clinton Hillary Clinton

Sponsored Links