Chelsea Clinton doesn’t care about money as sincerely as her parents struggle to make ends meet.
In the latest Clinton money quote, the career first daughter pronounced in a Fast Company interview that she has “tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents. I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t. That wasn’t the metric of success that I wanted in my life.”
How indifferent is she to the lure of filthy lucre? Clinton is currently pulling down $600,000 per year for the kind of no-show job you probably thought had disappeared with the demise of the American mafia. She is officially employed as an on-air correspondent for NBC News even though she hasn’t appeared on NBC for the past four months. Clips of Clinton’s work for the Peacock Network are hard to find online, and one of the few accessible segments — her interview with the GEICO gecko — reveals that NBC’s coaching failed to improve her affectless voice, lazy delivery and absolute lack of charm, charisma or talent. According to Berkeley inequality specialist and Thomas Piketty collaborator Emmanuel Saez, an annual salary of $394,000 qualifies one to be part of the “One Percent” of wealthiest Americans.
According to Associated Press, NBC wanted to avoid an apparent conflict of interest as Clinton busies herself with outside work for her parents’ foundation. Would that all journalists could pocket $50,000 each month merely for not actively souring their employers’ good name.
Clinton is so unconcerned with money that she shelled out $10.3 million of the worthless stuff just last spring to buy a swanky pad near Manhattan’s Flatiron Building. Her 2010 wedding to Marc Mezvinsky cost an estimated $3.3 million.
Chelsea Clinton’s 5,000-square-foot apartment overlooking Madison Square Park features four bedrooms, five-and-a-half baths, oak floors, Italian marble bathrooms, a temperature-controlled storage room, and access to a key-locked elevator, the New York Daily News reported. Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez had been considering the residence before Clinton and Mezvinsky nabbed it.
And how does someone who doesn’t care about money spend twice as much on a wedding as the average American earns in a lifetime? You start with not one but two dresses by acclaimed designer Vera Wang, who attended the wedding. CBS News estimates the cost of the laser-cut organza-skirted gown she wore down the aisle to be $24,900. The price of the second Vera Wang dress, a Grecian-inspired gown for the reception, is unknown.
A trendy gardenia bouquet is a must-have for brides unconcerned with money. Six gardenias usually go for $85, and $500 is a pittance for a chic bunch of gardenias and white roses that will harmonize an understated ivory look. If you are consistent in choosing best-of-the-best designer flowers, it’s likely the total wedding flower bill will reach $500,000. To finish off the accessories, choose $250,000 worth of jewelry, consisting of diamond drop earrings and a small diamond bracelet.
Next, you call La Tulipe Desserts in Mount Kisco, New York and drop $10,000 on a 500-pound, four-foot Presidential Cake, complete with 1,000 edible sugar flowers. La Tulipe’s prices start at twelve dollars per slice, and the whole thing is gluten-free, to ensure that you’ll be paying all that money for a cake that doesn’t even taste good.
Dinner was also gluten-free, vegan, and—including hors d’oeuvres, the first course, and the entrée—around $125,000 for the 500 guests. This is in addition to a $250,000 rehearsal dinner at the historic Beekman Arms and Delameter Inn. If the $30,000 estimate for alcohol is correct, Clinton spent more on wine, cocktails, and champagne than the average American spends on the entire wedding. The couple saved on tents, however, which only cost Clinton about one year’s NBC salary. The New York Daily News budgeted tents at $600,000. These weren’t your standard tents, however. They were fitted with glass walls, flooring, and climate control.
Maybe the groom’s family pitched in. Like his bride, Mezvinsky is the spawn of a political power couple — two former members of Congress — who can’t be bothered to worry about money: convicted felon Edward Mezvinsky and serial schnorrer Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky.
But does Clinton care about money fundamentally? You don’t need to care about it fundamentally when you can spend it superfluously.
Celina Durgin is a Franklin Center intern at National Review Online.