Why Chelsea Clinton Spent Weeks Apologizing To The Secret Service

Being a twelve-year-old girl can be challenging for countless reasons: puberty, crushes, cruel peers, middle school awkwardness, etc. But imagine being a twelve-year-old girl whose father just became President of the United States. Suddenly, you might go from being nervous about standing up in front of the class to realizing you are about to be thrust into the spotlight in front of an entire nation, perhaps the entire world.

That's a lot of pressure on a young kid, and it would be understandable for a child of that age to push back or to rebel against all of the new constraints being put on her life. After all, the child of the president needs to be protected at all times, and therefore cannot enjoy the same freedoms an average American child might. Further, everything you do or don't do might be discussed widely by the media, so you would be expected to be on your best behavior always. Again, a lot of pressure for a kid. 

When Chelsea Clinton's father, Bill Clinton, took office in 1993, however, twelve-year-old Chelsea demonstrated a maturity and concern for all those around her that many might consider surprising for a child of her age.  

How Chelsea felt about the Secret Service

In a recent interview, Chelsea Clinton discussed what it was like spending her teen years under the close watchful eye of the Secret Service (via People). While the Secret Service members tasked with keeping her safe must have been fully prepared for anything, Chelsea commented that she was grateful nothing serious ever actually happened to her.

"Thankfully nothing that dramatic ever happened to me," she said on a recent episode of the "PEOPLE Every Day" podcast. She went on to explain that the unusual life she lived led many people to ask her how she coped as a young child with all of the pressure and the constant presence of the agents whose job it was to protect her. "I used to be asked all the time, 'Did you ever run away?'" she said. "No, I never ran away ... I respect that they had a job to do. I wasn't going to make that job harder for them, and I wasn't going to stress out my parents like that. Just never even occurred to me."

But there was one time when she felt she gave Secret Service a tough time, albeit by accident. 

Why Chelsea felt so bad about her mistake

Chelsea shared that, "I once was driving with my best friend from high school and we went through a light and like the Secret Service got caught behind the other light and we pulled over immediately of course, and waited for them" (via People). 

While she had done the responsible thing by pulling over so that she did not lose the agents in the car behind her, she still began to worry she had done something wrong. She continued, "I was like, 'Oh my God, like I'm outside of their immediate line of sight for like two minutes.'" 

While many might feel it would be understandable for a teenager to want to lose the watchful eye of secret service agents tailing her when she is just trying to enjoy a day out with a friend, in Chelsea's case, her sense of responsibility clearly overrode whatever desire for freedom she might have felt. "I think I apologized for two weeks. I felt so horrible," she said.