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Carol Felsenthal

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The Bride at Every Wedding

Posted: 07/30/2010 1:55 pm

So Bill and Hillary did not invite Barack and Michelle to Chelsea's wedding. No surprise there. As the author of a book on Bill Clinton's post presidency that covered Bill's fury as Barack took the nomination from the woman Bill felt was entitled to have it, I strongly suspect that Bill doesn't much like the new President.

But also, Bill being Bill, he didn't want another "rock star" at the gathering who would draw attention away from what should, in a way, be Bill's day. Well, Chelsea's day, of course, but Bill's too. He's the one, after all, who came back big from impeachment and ridicule and, in his mind, poverty.

Some years ago, I wrote a book about Theodore Roosevelt's firstborn, Alice, and one of my favorite of Alice's many quips was aimed at her father.

On St. Patrick's Day 1905, Teddy's niece Eleanor married a member of the other branch (Hyde Park as opposed to Oyster Bay ) of the Roosevelt family. Eleanor's father, Elliott, had earlier died a scandalous death -- suffering an attack of delirium tremens in the apartment of his mistress -- so it fell to Teddy, then in his first full term as President, to give away his niece.

The wedding was held in the Manhattan home of a Roosevelt relative, and, as Alice noted, when Teddy entered the room all attention shifted from the bride to the President. "My father always has to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral," Alice later observed. After the ceremony, T.R. slapped the groom on the back -- "Well, Franklin, there's nothing like keeping the name in the family" -- and made a beeline for the dining room, the guests following, leaving Eleanor and Franklin standing alone.

T.R. loved attention, adulation, being in "the arena." Sound familiar?

Would the Obamas have attended? Probably not, because, as President Obama correctly told the ladies of The View, this is about Chelsea.

It is, trust me, also about Bill.


 
 
 
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