The media frenzy crushing the much-anticipated Saturday wedding of Chelsea Clinton in upstate New York might have been alleviated if the bride had called the last first family to marry off a daughter. That's because the Bushes would have suggested that the Clinton's tease the media with some details just like Jenna Bush did when she and Laura Bush told Vogue some of the most intimate details of Jenna's ceremony. [See photos of Bush's legacy.]
Instead, the media has camped out in Rhinebeck, N.Y., approaching the wedding of Chelsea and investment banker Marc Mezvinsky with speculation and helicopter photo shoots like they do secretive Hollywood nuptials of stars.
Associates of the Bush family are especially happy for the Clintons, of course, and think they've pulled off a victory in keeping the ceremony smallish, inviting mostly those who are close to Chelsea and Mezvinsky instead of making it a Washington mega event. Some Bushies give Chelsea and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton much of the credit for keeping tight control on wedding details, even up to the last minute when the wedding site was finally revealed to guests.
"They've done an extraordinary job at message discipline," says one former Bush aide. Another says: "It's wonderful how they've kept the wedding a family event."
Still the secrecy has pushed the press to the edge with reporters sweeping Rhinebeck to interview anybody who might know anything about the wedding and causing somewhat of a backlash against the media and the Clintons.
To chill out the press leading up to Jenna Bush's May 2008 wedding, she and Laura Bush revealed some details to Vogue, and afterward provided People with pictures. Vogue reported on Jenna's dress, the guest list, the food, and the setting, easing the press demands for information on the wedding which was held at the president's Crawford, Texas ranch.
Bush associates said that the Clinton's didn't reach out to the Bushes or Jenna. Had they, the Bush's would have suggested that the Clintons dish some information to the media like Jenna and Laura did. "It lowered some of the pressure in the press because after Vogue came the fight for the scoop on the wedding was over. Jenna scooped herself," says a former Bush aide. Another Bush associate says that by giving some wedding details in advance, "it eased some of that press interest and it took away the element of surprise."