Presidential children's weddings are, in modern history, terrifically ho-hum affairs. Sometimes the presidents in question seem to seek attention for their daughters (never particularly for their sons), but it is seldom given. The Nixon daughters' weddings were particular examples of their father trying to muster some reverence and awe and getting a lot of rude jokes instead. Harry Truman couldn't get much respect for his daughter Margaret. The Johnsons fell flat with Lucy and Linda. Amy Carter, if memory serves, got married uneventfully. The Bush twin wedding hardly caused a ripple. Caroline Kennedy summoned a bit more interest -- but then Jackie was her mother.
So what's with the tizzy over Chelsea? This isn't even an in-office wedding and it's a news blowout.
Surely, it's not her personality. Chelsea Clinton seems as beside the point as any presidential child has been -- a specific Clinton White House accomplishment, in one sense. She's curiously generic -- her hick Arkansas father and hick Methodist mother produced a cookie-cutter urban sophisticate. Admirably, perhaps, she's kept her mouth shut (she really seems strikingly to have nothing to say). A management consult-investment banker type, she's achieved perfect yuppie blandness. (This may be the first celebrity wedding of a management consultant-investment banker type.)
Nor is it likely that the fuss is because her mother might be expected to throw a wedding that will be a model of fantasy and splendor. Despite the reports of millions being spent, the choice of Rhinebeck, a low-rent Hudson River town -- now festooned with homemade wedding banners and bumper stinkers -- probably indicates a clunky, more granola than royal, affair (as well as a wedding on the cheap - -no way you can spend serious dough in Rhinebeck).
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