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Chelsea almost surely will run for office

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As the old Tammany Hall saying goes, Chelsea Clinton seen her opportunities and took 'em, and who can blame her?

She's taking off part of her senior year at Stanford University to keep her father company in the White House and campaign for her mother in New York. Those chores won't look too shabby on her resume.

Her entry into public life will end an informal bargain the president and first lady made when they came to Washington: They wouldn't exploit Chelsea politically and the press would leave her alone. It worked, and Chelsea, now 20, went through high school and entered college in relative privacy.

The celebrity mags and TV tabs have eight years of pent-up demand for Chelsea photos, gossip, tidbits and trivia. The poor kid will have no private life to speak of, but she knows what she's getting into.

Chelsea went to Stanford with plans of going into pediatric medicine, but the exposure to elective politics may change all that. The Clinton political DNA may be overwhelming.

Her father has run for office 11 times and openly yearns to run for a third term as president, an option barred by the Constitution. The president may not have been entirely joking when he said he might run for school board when he leaves the White House. Hillary Clinton, his partner in nearly a quarter-century of campaigns, left a cushy deal as lame-duck first lady to take on a brutal, uphill run for the U.S. Senate in New York.

If chromosomes are destiny, the question is not whether Chelsea eventually runs for office, but where and for what.