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

  • Bernie Quigley

    Will there be a pre-nup?

  • RR


  • John W.

    Happiness to both of them. Enjoyed your comments about the courtesies extended to you, a member of the working press, by the fiance. But what really gave me a chuckle was your observation about the gentleman being tall and distinquished looking, “as you would expect in a pilot.” Even though Chuck Yeager also fit your description, I didn’t realize the “right stuff” for being a good aviator included being tall and distinquished-looking.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    You are right, it is a bit of a silly stereotype, isn’t it?

    I’m sure there are plenty of highly competent aviators who are not tall nor distinguished-looking!

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    A pre-nup? I’ll ask …

  • Bernie Quigley

    It’s benn suggested that Obama might appoint Ron Dellums as Ambassador someplace in Africa. Please push Rep Tauscher and Pelosi to move that one along. It would be a blessing to the suffering citizens of Oakland to wish Ron a bon voyage.

  • RR

    Ron Dellums ought to be ambassador to West Oakland

  • Lisa,
    Rep. Tauscher was a possible cabinet member for the Hilary Clinton administration, a big change from small California suburban congress member. Obviously events took another direction.
    Now another big change is on the horizon, with wedding bells in the future.
    What other potential changes lay ahead??
    A run for the Senate if Diane goes for Gov?
    Or do you think the status quo seems more likely?

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen


    I haven’t heard anyone say that Feinstein is serious about a gubernatorial race. But if she did run, Tauscher would stand a very good chance of receiving Feinstein’s support for a U.S. Senate bid; the two women are allies and friends.

    At this point, I see Tauscher continuing her current path.

    But as you know, anything can happen in politics!

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Happy New Year, Ellen & Jim!