By Carl Weiser
Enquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - A Cincinnati woman named Marisa accepted a marriage proposal in a most unlikely way Tuesday: in an online chat with first lady Laura Bush.
But that was only appropriate. Her fiance, Steve of Cleveland, had proposed in an earlier White House online chat.
It all started Friday during an Ask the White House chat, in which Americans can post questions for White House officials.
The Friday chat was supposed to be about economics because it was with the president's economic adviser, Greg Mankiw.
But that's not what "Steve from Cleveland" wanted to talk about. In fact, he was just using Mankiw to reach his Cincinnati girlfriend, Marisa.
"Hey Mr. Mankiw. Help me out," he wrote in his posting. "I told my girlfriend to watch today's Ask the White House. She's never seen it before, but she promised me she would log on."
"Anyway, I want to ask her a question. Marisa, I love you. I would move to Cincinnati if you marry me (but I will never be a Bengals fan). Please e-mail Greg your response."
Mankiw wished him good luck but offered this piece of advice: "I suggest you avoid using Ask the White House to negotiate future marital issues. But please do continue to tune in."
That seemed to be the end of it. Then Tuesday, first lady Laura Bush was the Ask the White House guest.
Her last question came from "Marisa from Ohio."
"Hello Mrs. Bush, It is an honor to speak with you. The other day my boyfriend proposed to me on Ask the White House. ... I didn't believe it until he sent me an e-mail and told me to check it out. Needless to say, I was unbelievably shocked to see it. And furthermore, I was very surprised to see that a lot of media covered it.
"I love Steve and I said yes. Thought you all would want to know about it. (I think you are a lovely first lady, by the way). Happy Holidays. Marisa."
Laura Bush congratulated Marisa, and noted that in the White House alone, more than a half-dozen staffers had met their spouses while working there.
"President Bush is quite the matchmaker," she wrote. "So, I am pleased that Steve used the White House Web site for his proposal. Congratulations to both of you and very best wishes."
White House spokesman Jim Morrell said they didn't have e-mail addresses for either Marisa or Steve; chatters just post their name and hometown or state.
But Morrell did know this: Since the White House launched the Ask the White House chats in April, "that was our first marriage proposal in Ask the White House history."
N.Ky. soldier thwarts attack
Ohioans to get drug discount
Golden Buckeye and Best Rx can aid seniors
Early test scores please educators
2 UC programs are tops in U.S.
IN THE TRISTATE
Parking restrictions narrowed
Young critics get a kick from 'Charlie Brown'
Angel Flight gets local baby home
Lines long at flu shot locations as supply dips
Jurors deliberate in shooting downtown
Ohio House comes out against gay marriage
Concealed-carry bill nearer
Mason city employees collect gifts for needy
Antiterror team suggests spending
Flynt fighting to open new Hustler store in Lexington
School projects ahead of schedule
Local news briefs
Loveland seeks funds to build skate park
Lebanon asked to rezone Main
White House chat links lovers
Highway shooter not contacting authorities
Owners must register pit bulls
Youths protest Taser buy
Animal rights group seeks to outlaw rodeos
Lakota budget in progress
Workforce Academy ready for business
Author makes a mystery from her life on the river
Suspect in trucking firm rampage insists he's sane
Board seeks tax increase
Ohio schools chief in Hamilton today
Crowley: 3 N.Ky. companies helped GOP group batter Chandler
Bronson: Why didn't the cops just hypnotize him?
Good Things Happening
John Crane, 73, watercolorist and arts leader
Michael Cassady, soccer coach, dad
Davis, GOP fund-raiser nets $32K
Independence library hunts for larger home
St. Pius X parish invests in school