Sometimes it’s the little things that matter, and BDC Wire had a nice story this morning on how Chelsea Clinton stopped to help out a young mother at the airport. It seems that Chelsea was on her way to Cambridge to promote her book “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!,” when she saw a young mother traveling with her 4 year old from Philadelphia struggling with a stroller, car seat, and bags. A number of other people had just walked past the young mother, but Chelsea stopped to help, putting down all her things, and helping the young mother to get her daughter zipped up.
“She didn’t have makeup on, she looked completely like an average person. She was totally low-key, wearing jeans. She had long hair and a laptop bag,” the young mother later told People Magazine.
For some reason, I thought about this story in relation to a commentary that Eileen McNamara had published on Sunday about Speaker-to-Be Paul Ryan entitled “Paul Ryan Values His Family — Too Bad He Doesn’t Give A Hoot About Yours.” The title largely speaks for itself, but it was essentially about how Ryan had made it clear, prior to his upcoming election, that he will not be staying in Washington over the weekends but will be returning to his family in Wisconsin. At the same time. Ryan has recently voted “against paid family leave and subsidized child-care and for tougher work requirements that make it harder for moms on welfare to spend time with their children.”
As ironies come and go this is not a major outrage; it mostly reflect Ryan’s conservative fiscal values and belief that especially the poor and disenfranchised are already receiving too much help from the state. But it is a contradiction on it’s face, and McNamara was right to point it out.
As most of you know, it’s what people do, not what they say, that actually matters. This is a small slice of both Chelsea Clinton and Paul Ryan, but it does reflect interesting light on both of their characters.