By Naina Rao
MI First Election
On March 7, the day after Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated in Flint, Chelsea Clinton stopped by East Lansing’s Red Cedar Cafe to discuss further on her mother’s plans & policies as president of the United States.
The debate covered topics such as race in America, gun control and the ongoing Flint water crisis. The candidates were also asked how they would improve the economy to provide jobs and better standard of living for residents.
At the Red Cedar Cafe, Chelsea Clinton spoke on why voting for her mother matters to her and why it matters for citizens, too.
“We have to find a president that can find common ground, especially when working with Republicans,” said Chelsea Clinton. She outlined how her mother’s experience as secretary of state helped her learn to cooperate with people who have extremely different viewpoints than herself.
Chelsea Clinton said the Republican campaigns have been dangerous. She stated that if we wanted to question the values that are at stake in this election, “we just need to watch the Republicans on any given day.” The normalization of hate speech and anti-immigrant rhetoric being argued on the Republican debates leads Clinton to believe that “it’s important for us to not only have a president that can find common ground, but also is able to stand her ground.”
Clinton said “companies that have more diverse employees are more likely to be profitable over time. Groups within institutions such as corporations and universities that have leaders that look like the community tend to do well.” She said the importance of this does not only reflect how “it feels morally right, but also is proven in the research for this to be economically smart.”
Chelsea Clinton said her mother’s campaign team, with people of different backgrounds “looks like our country,” supporting her stance on diversity.
An event attendee, Lisa Cook, an economist, said the event satisfied her. “What we know from research is that… the more diversity, the better off the economy is. The better the decision making for the economy is. I was just asking, just as an interested observer.. Just how diverse her mom’s team was, with respect to economic policy. As an economist, that was not the only thing that interested me but mainly the thing that interested me.
Chelsea Clinton was asked whether she might one day run for office. She said, “I’m not sure. It’s not really certain, and I don’t plan on running yet.”
She’s currently a professor at Columbia University and lives in New York with her husband and child.