With Chelsea Clinton’s black-tie wedding at T minus 48 hours, answers are beginning to surface as to who exactly will mingle among the rich, the powerful and the Botoxed. Will the fairy-tale role of flower girl, played by a blond cousin in a white dress, be overshadowed by the controversies that have bedeviled the extended Clinton family? Will one of Chelsea’s bridesmaids be an openly gay man?
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“Now, that’s what I’m wondering,” mused one Washington, D.C., insider, who is among the 300 or so guests who will watch the poised Chelsea, 30, marry her financier boyfriend, Marc Mezvinsky, 32, on Saturday at a Beaux Arts mansion in Rhinebeck, New York. “They have the sense of humor to do this.”
• Claire Howorth: Chelsea’s Wedding Dress Dilemma • Rebecca Dana & Lloyd Grove: Bill and Chelsea’s Bond• Samuel P. Jacobs: Will Chelsea Change Her Name? • Gallery: Chelsea’s Former Flames• View Our Full Coverage of Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding That gay friend, the D.C. insider added, is dear to the bride, but also close to invitee Marc Lasry, the major Democratic supporter and billionaire hedge fund executive of Avenue Capital Group, where Chelsea briefly worked after completing degrees at Stanford and Oxford. (The ostensible bridesmaid also works in finance in Manhattan.)
The flower girl will be the young daughter of Tony Rodham, Hillary’s brother. Another brother, lawyer Hugh Rodham, Jr., will also be in attendance. (The frater-familias were known as “The Brothers Rodham” during Bill’s presidency for their high-stakes shenanigans involving presidential pardons and failed hazelnut export schemes.)
Tongues were wagging about the guest list last weekend at a bash for 250 at the East Hampton home of Washington lobbyist Liz Robbins and her husband Doug Johnson, a retired ABC-New York news anchor. Both Liz and Doug are close family friends and are on the list; the Clintons attended their wedding and were guests at their recently sold $15.5 million home; Chelsea regularly attends the couple’s annual Christmas party.
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Contrary to other reports floating around, The Daily Beast can confirm that media mogul Ted Turner, a Democratic supporter widely reported to have been on the guest list, was not invited, according to a spokesman for Turner Enterprises. Also not on the list: Robert Rubin, the former Treasury secretary during both Clinton administrations who was briefly the chairman of Citigroup; and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland who broke ranks with her usually unilateral clan in order to support Hillary in the 2008 election.
Chelsea’s guest list is winnowed to the bone—a coveted exclusiveness that has prompted some Democratic insiders to quietly let it be known that, yes, they’re on the A-list.
Who’s definitely in: Alan Patricof, a major Democratic fundraiser. “As you probably know guests are not discussing any plans for the event so I can't be hopeful [sic],” he wrote in an email. “Sorry.” Also on the list: the "Hillaryland" women, including Huma Abedin, Capricia Marshall and Minyon Moore, all close advisers to—and friends of—Hillary, and Doug Band, the adviser who is Bill’s Huma.
A question mark: producer and financier Steve Bing, one of the biggest donors (in the $10 million to $25 million category) to the William J. Clinton Foundation. Last year Bing loaned his Boeing 737 to Bill Clinton for his trip to North Korea to rescue imprisoned American journalists. Paul Bloch, Bing’s spokesman, said he had “no idea” if Bing had been invited.
Lynnley Browning is a frequent contributor to the business pages of The New York Times and is a former Moscow-based correspondent for Reuters, where she covered energy and commodities. She grew up in Tulsa, Okla., majored in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University, and is fluent in Russian. She lives in Hamden, Conn., with her son.