For months, most residents had assumed that Chappaqua would be boasting a second President Clinton. When Bill and Hillary Clinton first moved to their Dutch Colonial home on Old House Lane in 2000, the hamlet generally took pride in their new high-power political neighbors and the media attention they attracted. Hillary joked about “when the satellite truck ran over the Welcome Wagon.” Bill told a gathering that Hillary had convinced him to move to Westchester over Manhattan. “As is usually the case, she was right, and I was wrong.”
They soon blended into the community, remaining surprisingly present given their grueling schedules. The two take neighborhood walks, discreetly trailed by security. Bill frequents Starbucks, Lange’s Deli and chats with locals in town, where he shops at stores and sidewalk sales. Hillary marches annually in the local Memorial Day parade, even when State Department business had taken her to Pakistan the day before.
Many residents were tearful after Hillary — whom some call “our local hero” — lost her presidential bid last month. “My heart is broken,” said Dawn Dankner-Rosen, president of the local chamber of commerce, who described the Clintons as warm and wonderful neighbors.
Perhaps, when the dust settles, the couple will have more time to dine at Crabtree’s Kittle House, browse and shop in town, watch movies at the Jacob Burns Center in nearby Pleasantville and walk at the Rockefeller Preserve, all things they enjoy. Earlier this fall, they bought their neighbor’s house, which, some speculate, is for their daughter, Chelsea, and her family. As to Hillary, “We love her and welcome her back home,” says Dankner-Rosen.