Former Rep. Ellen Tauscher and retired airline pilot Jim Cieslak, the man she introduces as the “love of my life,” married Saturday evening in the backyard of the bride’s Washington, D.C., home, in the company of 120 friends and family.
Moments after the bride and groom said their “I do’s” and kissed, Federal District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle announced a surprise second act.
Tauscher’s 18-year-old daughter, Katherine, held a bible while her mother was sworn in as the new undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security in the U.S. State Department.
The ceremony was held under a large, air-conditioned tent in the backyard of Tauscher’s Kalorama neighborhood home near the city’s famed Embassy Row. Guests then strolled across the street for a steak dinner in the garden of the Woodrow Wilson House before returning to the big tent for drinks and DJ music.
Tauscher, 57, is well-known in Washington as a skillful and gracious hostess and her wedding was no exception. The food was good and plentiful and the atmosphere festive, they said.
Among the best moments, they said, were the “emotional” and “pitch-perfect” toasts from Katherine and Kelly, Jim’s daughter, to their parents.
Among the guests were Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who spoke during the ceremony, as well as General Jim Jones, President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor and Tauscher’s close friend. Others in attendance were Reps. Joe Crowley, Jane Harman, Diana DeGette, Steny Hoyer and Carolyn McCarthy.
A number of folks from Tauscher’s East Bay district also made the trip out to witness the nuptuals, including her former staffer David Bowlby of Alamo and longtime campaign consultants Lisa Tucker and Katie Merrill.
The couple is honeymooning this week in Burmuda.
As a side note, one can only imagine the behind-the-scenes logistics in the days leading up to the wedding and swearing-in ceremony.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Tauscher’s nomination late last Thursday after a Utah GOP senator was persuaded to lift his hold on her name. Then Tauscher stayed on in the House Friday where Speaker Nancy Pelosi tapped Tauscher to lead the lengthy and contentious debate over the climate bill.
Tauscher cast an “aye” vote on the climate bill late Friday and was finally free to resign from Congress and focus on her wedding day.
Let no one say that Ellen Tauscher Cieslak lacks multi-tasking skills.