From Las Vegas: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid branded Chinese President Hu Jintao a ‘dictator’ on a local TV talk show on Tuesday night…” I’m not used to this kind of clarity and honesty from Dingy Harry. He called Hu Jintao a “dictator.” “This is a remark likely to make the start of Hu’s first state visit to Washington, D.C., awkward for President Obama at a moment when the U.S. is trying to ease tensions with the [ChiComs]. Reid … was responding to a question from ‘Face To Face’ host Jon Ralston about the December compromise that extended the Bush-era tax cuts.
“The recently reelected Nevada senator veered off on a tangent intended to compare the American and Chinese systems of government to give a roundabout defense of the importance of legislative compromise.” (laughing) So in calling Hu Jintao a dictator he’s trying to compare the United States and the ChiComs! Then there’s this story from the Associated Press about Hu Jintao’s visit: “Feeling snubbed, slighted even, when he visited five years ago, Chinese President Hu Jintao is getting a do-over — plus the White House state dinner he sought back then but was denied.
“Wednesday’s opulent, black-tie affair with President Barack Obama — the grandest of White House soirees — will mark the first such event in China’s honor in 13 years and could help smooth tensions between the world’s two largest economies. Some big questions remain,” and these are the big questions in the AP story: “Who will cook?” Hu is not gonna cook! Hu is a guest! Hu is coming to dinner. Yes, Hu is coming to dinner, but Hu is not cooking. “Can the White House avoid mistakes like the ones that marred the reception when a protocol-conscious Hu arrived for an April 2006 summit?”
I had forgotten this, but this is kind of funny. Back in 2006 Hu Jintao showed up for the official greeting ceremony at the White House. Bush didn’t hold a lot of state dinners. Bush doesn’t like eating in a tuxedo. He preferred working lunches. Bush, I don’t know that he had five state dinners. Six? I don’t know how many. It wasn’t many. And, by the way, I don’t blame him. How many of you really enjoy putting on a tuxedo to go eat? (interruption) You do, Snerdley? You enjoy it? You enjoy putting on a tuxedo to go eat?
Yeah, I used to, but I got over it. I got over it 30 years ago. (interruption) No, I used to have to do it a lot. I don’t have to do it ever and I rarely do now. I hate it. What’s the point? It’s like, to me, going to bed in a tuxedo. Why do it? Anyway, I know: It’s a page from the glory days of the past. That’s just my personally. I know. Bush didn’t like it, either. So Hu shows up on the South Lawn of the White House, and do you remember some woman protesting the Falun Gong began shouting during Hu’s remarks?
Oh-ho-ho! We were watching this here at the EIB Network when this happened, and you could see Hu. He had hammers and sickles in those eyes. Hu was not happy, and Bush was not happy. Bush was gonna have to explain this because Hu, no doubt, thought that Bush allowed it to happen. Embarrass Hu this way, ChiCom leader? So Bush apologized after he and Hu went to the Oval Office.
“Compounding the insult, a White House announcer called China the ‘Republic of China,'” which it’s not. It’s the People’s Republic of China. All dictatorships are the People’s Republic of Whatever. That’s “the formal name for Taiwan,” which is a tiny island the ChiComs want to nuke if they can’t get it back. So Obama has a chance here to do it over again, and he’s doing an official state dinner for Hu tonight at the White House.