While Hillary Clinton lays relatively low and Michelle Obama kicks back in an island paradise, Chelsea Clinton has become a relentless, vocal critic of President Trump and his policies.
With a signature mix of mild sarcasm and exasperation, she routinely serves up sharp commentary on the 45th president to her 1.5 million followers on Twitter.
Clinton, like both of her parents, must carefully balance her resistance against the risk of appearing like a so-called sore loser. Indeed, #MAGA supporters love taunting Clinton with reminders of her mother's defeat. If the trolling irks or intimidates Clinton, it doesn't show.
Instead of getting embroiled in Twitter fights with egg avatars, Clinton focuses on her targets for the day, like fighting the refugee and Muslim ban, answering the global gag rule executive order with scientific research and writing the verbal equivalent of a face-palm response to Trump's incoherent speech at a Black History Month gathering.
One would think he would have thought of an answer since yesterday. Here's one: There's no place for any bigotry, ever, in America. https://t.co/XBtcgFnRxd
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 16, 2017
On Thursday, following Trump's bizarre press conference, Clinton helpfully supplied him with an answer to a question about rising anti-Semitism after he struggled with it for the second day in a row. "One would think he would have thought of an answer since yesterday," she said. "Here's one: There's no place for any bigotry, ever, in America."
This is new territory for Clinton. Even though she campaign for her mom, her tweets were typically mild, with stories on global health, scientific research and child development prior to the inauguration. Maybe she was, like her mom and the Obamas, trying to respect a peaceful transfer of power, or felt some deference toward her friend, and the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump. Whatever held her back, however, doesn't seem to matter anymore.
Here's how she's pulling off the high-wire act:
1. The rhetorical question is your friend.
Clinton doesn't need lengthy threads or tweets that push the 140-character max. She instead tends toward pithy questions that make a dramatic point about Trump's behavior and decision-making.
2. A little sarcasm goes a long way.
Clinton knows how to lean into sarcasm and irony without leaning so hard that she looks bitter or humorless.
3. Take on Trump's actions and policies, not just him.
Clinton rarely says Trump's name. Instead, she includes tweet links that do mention his name or explain the impact of his policies, and builds her commentary on that.
4. Smart retweets.
Clinton's retweet game is strong. She clearly carefully chooses which voices to amplify with her sizable platform.
5. Tweet about good people.
Clinton's Twitter feed would be pretty bleak if it only took on Trump and his administration. Instead, she utilizes the value of good counter-programming, particularly when it involves good people inspiring others, and doing the right thing.
Clinton is only three weeks into challenging Trump and his administration, but she's becoming what Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama can't be yet: a woman who doesn't hold office but possesses both political power and the ability to speak freely about threats to American democracy.