- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Forget the big news that Chelsea Clinton is getting married in a few weeks at a swank New York estate, complete with a guest list that includes Hollywood stars and heavyweight politicos.

Bristol and Levi are back together. They’re getting married. Hurray.

Indeed, Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston announced Wednesday they are engaged, telling Us Weekly magazine they will soon become a traditional family unit after a yearlong separation. The pair reignited their romance during a meeting two weeks ago to discuss custody arrangements for their 18-month old son, Tripp.

“I really thought we were over,” Mr. Johnston said. “So when I went, I had no hope. I think we both just started talking - and then we took Tripp for a walk.”

There was no sex involved in the reconciliation - in fact, there won’t be any sexual encounters until after they’re married, the couple said.

“When he left that night, we didn’t hug or kiss, but I was thinking how different it was. He texted me: ‘I miss you. I love you. I want to be with you again.’ I was in shock,” said Miss Palin, who chose not to inform her mother, Sarah Palin, about the news beforehand, but was in high hopes that “Mom will accept us.”

She need not have worried.

“Bristol at 19 is now a young adult. We obviously want what’s best for our children. Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives,” Mrs. Palin said in a statement, also released via the national news media on NBC’s “Today Show.”

The handsome young couple - she is 19, he 20 - have struggled with their relationship since making a sudden public debut at the 2008 Republican Convention. They were often mocked, yet still closely chronicled by an unfriendly press.

After Tripp was born, Miss Palin took responsibility for herself, completing her high school education and founding a small public relations company. She signed on with a speaker’s bureau as an advocate of teenage abstinence; she appeared on a reality TV show playing herself - an unmarried teenage mother.

Mr. Johnston chose a more rambunctious path, posing nude for “Playgirl” and hinting to several publications that he knew of trouble in the Palin household.

The proverbial strife, however, appears to be over, judging from the cover shot in Us Weekly, which shows a very happy little family. Though no wedding date has been announced, the couple says they hope to tie the knot “as soon as possible.”

Press coverage of their announcement has been predictably sarcastic.

Comedian Kathy Griffin, who quipped often in the past few months that she and Mr. Johnston were a romantic item, also joined the fray.

“Oh y did I trust my heart 2 a 19 yr old ice-fisherman/babydaddy from Wasila? Like Britney I’m putting myself on a 5150 psych hold,” Miss Griffin said in a Tweet on Wednesday.

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