Last Saturday morning I noticed on the New York Times web site that Chelsea Clinton had given birth to a baby girl named Charlotte. This prompted some jocular notice by friends and relations on my Facebook page because five months back, my daughter - named Hilary - gave birth to a baby girl - named Charlotte.
Over the years, regarding my daughter, people would sometimes say, “Oh, you named her after Hillary Clinton.”
No. First of all, Hillary C. has two L’s in her name, and my Hilary has one. We just thought it was a nice-sounding moniker.
More to the point, my Hilary was born in the mid-80s when Hillary and Bill were still in Little Rock and he was an obscure governor of Arkansas. I was dimly aware of Bill because he was starting to get attention in political circles and I had a journalist’s interest in politics. I had no knowledge of Hillary. Shoulda, coulda, woulda heard of her - as Hillary C. might say - but I hadn’t.
As for the new Charlottes, well, when my granddaughter and Bill and Hillary’s granddaughter enter college as members of the Class of ‘36, there are going to be a bunch of Chars on campus. According to the Social Security Administration, the name Charlotte is trending like all get out. In 2013, it was the 11th most popular name for a girl. Up stratospherically from 289th in 2000. Who knows? Maybe it was Kristin Davis’ classy, hard-working and dutiful character, Charlotte York of “Sex and the City,” that planted the name’s flag in the Gen Y zeitgeist. There was a lot to admire in Charlotte York.
The Charlotte trend was all unaided by the turbocharge that the name will get now that it is attached to the granddaughter of one of the most famous women on the planet. Imagine how much more popular it will become if, in January 2017, little Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky starts padding around the West Wing and napping in the Lincoln Bedroom.
Postscript: We did not name our son after either Bush. He had two great-grandfathers named George.