Former first family gains a son as Chelsea Clinton gets engaged

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The Independent US

The suspense, such as it was, is over. Chelsea Clinton, the 29-year old daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, will marry her long-time boyfriend, investment banker Marc Mezvinsky.

The couple broke the news in an e-mail to friends last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in which they said they were looking at a possible wedding next summer. But it was not clear when the actual engagement took place. Rumours to that effect have been circulating for years. Indeed, in May Hillary Clinton was forced to deny that Chelsea was planning a summer wedding on Martha's Vineyard, the fashionable resort island off the Massachusetts coast where the Clinton family have become something of a holiday fixture.

One of the most haunting images of the Clinton presidency is the photograph of an 18-year-old Chelsea literally holding her parents together as they walked across the White House lawn to depart for Martha's Vineyard in August 1998, at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Chelsea, of course, is American political royalty. But the Mezvinsky side of the union is no stranger to politics – or to scandal for that matter. Marc is son of former Pennsylvania Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky and former Iowa Representative Ed Mezvinsky, both old friends of the Clintons. Ed was released from federal prison last year after pleading guilty in 2002 to charges of bank and wire fraud.

Chelsea and her husband-to-be became friends as teenagers in Washington, and both attended Stanford University in California. They now live in New York, where Marc works at Goldman Sachs and she attends graduate school at Columbia University's School of Public Health. Chelsea survived the fish-bowl experience of growing up in the White House remarkably well, as the media for the most part observed an unwritten rule that whatever the scandals that dogged her parents, their only child was off limits.

Even after leaving Stanford, she managed to stay out of the limelight. In 2008 she emerged in public, as a stalwart of her mother's presidential campaign, appearing at colleges and universities around the country, and winning praise for her composed and effective performance. However, she has always denied the slightest political ambition of her own.