Clinton says toddler granddaughter Charlotte cheers her on

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Hillary Clinton says she has had a secret weapon in her debate prep: her 20-month-old granddaughter.

Clinton told a group of women gathered at a campaign event Saturday that her granddaughter, Charlotte, cheered her on before debates at the urging of her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and her son-in-law.

“Before debates they would coach her. Before she could talk, she’d hold up a sign, ‘Good luck, Grandma,'” Clinton said, adding that as Charlotte got older she would say the words. “It just lifted my spirits. It was just the best.”

Being grandmother to her is “like falling in love all over again,” said Clinton, who said she loves talking over FaceTime. “We’ll have a long, sometimes hard day and my phone pops open and there they are.”

Clinton joked that her daughter and son-in-law tell her that Charlotte asks for her and “of course I believe it every single time.”

Clinton said the family is looking forward to the birth of Charlotte’s sibling. Chelsea Clinton, 36, announced in December that she was expecting her second child.

“So we are wondering how this very independent, very assertive little girl, Charlotte, how she’s going to adjust to the new baby. That will be our next adventure,” Clinton said. “We talk to her about it. She seems to be less interested in that than she does in Elmo and other games and toys.”

Chelsea Clinton is married to hedge fund manager Marc Mezvinsky, the son of former U.S. Rep. Edward Mezvinsky and former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky.

Chelsea Clinton campaigned for her mother earlier in the year, but the entire family has not appeared at any events. Hillary Clinton often talks about her granddaughter, citing Charlotte when she talks about the need for a bright future for the nation.

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