By Andrea Karen Hammer
Fans of powerful mother-daughter duos have followed Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton navigating their high-speed book tour with complete composure. Inevitably, their appearances promoting The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience have raised questions ranging from the current presidential impeachment inquiry to others about courage.
Balancing Forthrightness and Diplomacy
During recent discussions on Good Morning America and at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Hillary Rodham Clinton balanced her signature forthrightness with diplomacy. The skilled public figure directly and indirectly commented on the impeachment inquiry, which she also described as a “constitutional crisis.” With public relations finesse, Hillary also emphasized her confidence in a “thoughtful” investigation that would carefully examine critical issues.
As someone who faced similar scrutiny during the impeachment process reviewing the actions of former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton also responded directly to a question about her own “gutsy” choices. After a thoughtful pause, she openly referred to her decisions to stay in her marriage and run for president as the top two in her personal and professional life, respectively.
Gazing With Admiration and Laughing During Mother-Daughter Dance
Chelsea Clinton, gazing with admiration at her mother, was momentarily at a loss for words after this response. After catching her breath, she said that efforts to be a good mother to her three children involve some of her own “gutsy” choices.
During this in-step mother-daughter dance, the book collaborators described a “fun” process, which frequently resulted in laughter. Of note, Chelsea Clinton poked at her mother gently and humorously because of her preference to write in long-hand, which Hillary freely acknowledged.
Recognizing Public and Personal Heroes
During the Good Morning America appearance, Hillary pointed to public figures in their book including Betty Ford who raised awareness about breast cancer and consequently saved hundreds of lives. Expanding the well-deserved recognition, Chelsea Clinton also pointed to personal heroes like her mother and grandmother.
This observation was a particularly welcome one because many women in “smaller” circles deserve equally enthusiastic applause. Countless numbers quietly cope with the ravages of illness and other challenges with grace, dignity and even humor. Far from the public limelight, “gutsy women” in our families and neighborhoods have handled these and other tragedies with remarkable fortitude.
Honoring Courageous and Resilient Models
Many years ago, a special friend said that if she ever had a daughter, the primary trait that she hoped to instill was courage. Take a moment to think about the person who encouraged you to develop “pluck,” along with the strength to get through and bounce back after experiencing tough times.
Who are some of these people, and why do you consider them gutsy? How did they demonstrate, instill and encourage you to develop resilience? How can you honor their presence or memory by showing and modeling similar courage?