During Variety’s Power of Women luncheon in New York City on Friday, former presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton responded to a pointed joke from comedian and veteran Saturday Night Live cast member Vanessa Bayer, taking an awkward moment and putting a positive spin on it.
Clinton was in attendance as an honoree, alongside Gayle King, Jessica Chastain, Audra McDonald, Shari Redstone, and Tina Knowles, but that didn’t stop Bayer from lobbing an awkward joke her way. After introducing each woman by name, the host let it fly.
“And they all have one thing in common,” Bayer said. “None of their moms are president.”
The line wasn’t exactly met with a warm reception, as the assembled crowd made an uncomfortable groan. Needless to say, in the heart of a traditional Democratic bastion like New York City, reminding everyone of the Donald Trump presidency was a risky choice. Especially during an event in part honoring the daughter of the woman he defeated, by way of one of the most vitriolic and sexist campaigns in American political history.
In short, it was a loaded moment that didn’t seem to go over very well.
When it was her turn to address the audience, Clinton offered up the following, altogether un-joking response. “Vanessa,” Clinton said, “we may be able to say in this room today that no one’s mother is currently president, but someday, someone’s will be.”
The line drew applause from the crowd as Clinton exited the stage. For her part, she’s denied any interest in running for office, although her increasingly outspoken tact in the aftermath of her mother’s general election loss has stirred speculation over whether she might get into politics someday. And based on how she responded to this slightly thorny crack at her mother’s expense, it seems like she’s no stranger to giving a political response.