It’s wedding bells for Rep. Ellen Tauscher

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, announced today her engagement to retired Delta Airlines pilot and widower James Cieslak.

Her office says Cieslak proposed to Tauscher over the holidays.  Tauscher’s sister Sally introduced the two at a family function in the fall of 2007.  Cieslak, a father of two, retired from the Marines after serving as an aviator with the rank of colonel.

No word yet on the wedding date or location.

Tauscher’s romance comes a decade after a painful and public divorce from computer company tycoon Bill Tauscher. She told me in late 2007 that the experience left her with little interest in marriage. Instead, she focused on her job as a congresswoman and on raising her now 17-year-old daughter, Katherine.

But Katherine is shopping for colleges now, and that leaves her mother with a little extra time for herself.

The reports on Cieslak are very good. Tauscher’s closest friends say Cieslak is highly supportive of his fiance’s high-profile career. More important, he is quietly self-confident and has no need to compete with his future wife for attention.

I’ve met Cieslak several times, most recently during my interview with Tauscher at the Democratic National Convention in Denver where the two held hands beneath the restaurant table. I was impressed with him. He is tall and distinguished-looking, as you would expect in a pilot. He pulled out my chair. He poured me a cup of coffee. At a later event, he brought me a diet soda and even offered to bring me food! (This might surprise you but the press isn’t used to such nice treatment.)

Best wishes to the happy couple.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen