Love at White House; Bush staffers to wed


Published: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 3:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 3:49 p.m.

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine -- The White House's many influences apparently extend to the power of love, as two staffers plan to get married this weekend with President Bush among their guests.

The groom, Chris Ellis, is the son of the president's cousin and worked on coordinating logistics for the president's frequent travels. The bride, Rachel Williams, is White House counselor Ed Gillespie's assistant.

They met on the job and are scheduled to marry Saturday in this summer resort town, a Bush family retreat for more than a century.

A large white tent with multiple peaks has been set up on the rocky coastline overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the family compound at Walker's Point. The property is owned by former President George H.W. Bush, who hosted several world leaders there during his presidency and recently was visited by Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting John McCain.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said a reception is planned for the late afternoon, with several family members and White House staffers in town for the occasion, including the president.

Bush spent Friday morning on a bike ride and apparently came back rougher for the wear. Video taken by the television cameras showed the president limping a little as he returned to Walker's Point. Perino declined to say what happened, but said he might be left with a bruise after "a good, tough bike ride, just the kind he likes. He's fine."

Perino also said Bush made a surprise call into Rush Limbaugh's radio show to congratulate him on 20 years on the air.

It is likely to be the president's last visit to Kennebunkport while in office. He visited his parents and other family members here several times during his eight years in office, and it's not the first time a young couple has committed themselves to each other during his time in town.

The president's daughter, Jenna, accepted a proposal from then-boyfriend Henry Hager during a visit to Kennebunkport last August, and they married last May at the presidential ranch in Crawford, Texas.

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