HANOI, Vietnam — Chelsea Clinton's big day may be half a world away but that hasn't tempered enthusiasm in Vietnam for her upcoming nuptials.
In Hanoi on Thursday for diplomatic meetings a little over a week before the July 31 wedding, mother-of-the-bride and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was given a wedding present — a white tablecloth — for her daughter by the Vietnamese government along with gemstone mosaic portrait of her and Chelsea during their 2000 visit to the country.
"Very nice," Clinton said when Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem presented her with the tablecloth and congratulated her on the marriage of her only child. "I'm very honored. I will be very pleased to give it to her."
Arriving at a hotel to speak to a luncheon hosted by the local American Chamber of Commerce, she was greeted by and posed glowingly for photos with a group of young American women holding a congratulatory sign reading, "Mazel Tov Chelsea."
Clinton, who is on the last leg of a four-nation tour that also took her to Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Korea, was introduced by chamber president Hank Tomlinson as "the first secretary of state to visit Afghanistan, Pakistan, Korea and Vietnam while also planning her daughter's wedding."
Clinton laughed and said jokingly that traveling while "trying to help organize my daughter's wedding is proof ... that I may be lacking in common sense." She said she was very focused on her trip but also ready to "return home and enjoy a most wonderful event and experience."