Correction appended, Oct. 6
The grandparents look cute: loving, smiling, doting. The grandchild looks–well, it’s hard to see her face, but newborn babies are always cute. It’s a typical hospital scene, with a typical hospital chair and one of those red-white-and-blue-striped blankets every hospital uses. But it probably goes without saying that when Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky entered the world on Sept. 26, she did not join a typical family.
The grandfather reaching for the infant used to be the leader of the free world. The grandmother cradling her was a First Lady, then a U.S. Senator, then Secretary of State; she might be the next leader of the free world herself. For so long we’ve watched this family live through infidelity and impeachment, victory and defeat. We know them, or we think we do.
But Charlotte is a blank slate, a miracle like the more than 10,000 other American miracles born that day, though probably the only one whose grandparents have a Secret Service detail. The world begins anew with all of them, and maybe some of them will help repair it. So yes, we know that Charlotte is the biggest city in a swing state, and no, we have no clue what Charlotte means for 2016. Who cares? Babies are cute. And grandparents with Secret Service details get to enjoy them too.
Correction: The original version of this story misstated the capital of North Carolina.
This appears in the October 13, 2014 issue of TIME.
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