Is Tara Reid the latest thong-flasher to threaten the Clinton political machine? We hear Sen. Hillary Clinton has been in crisis mode ever since she learned her daughter, Chelsea, has been spending time with the nip-slipping party girl.

Clubland sources say the Clinton’s Stanford-and-Oxford-educated spawn first met Reid in Europe over the summer while the American Pie actress was filming her short-lived E! show, Taradise. After Chelsea broke up with her longtime boyfriend Ian Klaus, she and Reid became inseparable, we’re told.

“It’s almost like Chelsea dumped Ian for Tara,” laughs one New York scenester. “All of a sudden Tara was staying at Chelsea’s in New York, and they were going out to Bungalow 8 and Nobu every night.”

Sources say the unlikely friendship remained out of the spotlight until the two flew to Las Vegas together in late September to attend the star-studded opening of Tao at the Venetian hotel.

“I think someone e-mailed a picture of Chelsea and Tara together in Vegas to Hillary,” a Capitol Hill staffer tells us. “All I know is I hear Hillary went nuts. She’s getting ready to run for President and her daughter is hanging out with Hollywood’s biggest mess.”

Now insiders say Chelsea, who works by day as a consultant at white-shoe firm McKinsey & Company, has strict orders not be seen in public with Reid.

“Tara still says they’re friends, but I haven’t seen them together lately,” says a Reid pal. “Hillary has enough political liabilities on her lap as it is,” notes the Capitol Hill source, “the last thing she needs is her daughter running around with another one.” (Regardless of whether her mother has gotten through to her, Chelsea at least had a good reason to skip her buddy’s 30th birthday party last weekend at Hollywood nightspot Mood. The young diplo-in-training was in Israel with her parents for the memorial service of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.)

Reid doesn’t currently have a publicist—her boozy antics have worn through three reps this year alone­—and her manager, Danny Sussman, was travelling and could not be reached for comment. A staffer in Sussman’s office, however, said that she didn’t know if the star-crossed pals see each other that much any more, “since Tara’s in L.A. and Chelsea’s in New York.” Senator Clinton’s spokeswoman, Nina Blackwell, did not respond to detailed calls and e-mails, and Chelsea’s rep, Julie Goldberg, said, “We don’t comment on Chelsea’s personal life.”