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The 'dish' Boehner will miss

Political pundits have been abuzz in recent days over John Boehner's decision to skip President Obama's state dinner for Chinese president Hu Jintao. Did Boehner really decline, as departed RNC spokesman Doug Heye told Politico, because he's just not fond of "all the pomp and circumstance of Washington?" Or is this some broader snub to President Obama? Is he trying to shore up his credentials with Tea Party members by avoiding glitzy expensive Washington events? Does he want to look tough on China? Or does he just like to go to bed early?

The questions may seem inconsequential to some, who see this as much ado about little more than an RSVP to a social event. But it also says a lot about Boehner's leadership style. What it says, of course, depends on how you look at it. While some may see a principled leader who doesn't partake in fancy insider events just because of tradition, others may see a leader who's putting politics first, and ditching a critical opportunity to better get to know the leader of one of the world's most powerful countries.

It's not entirely clear why the Speaker is skipping the event, which marks the third time the Republican leader has skipped a state dinner during Obama's administration. But Heye's rationale that Boehner doesn't believe in Washington's pomp apparently didn't stop him from attending a 2007 state dinner for Queen Elizabeth II during George W. Bush's presidency. The white tie dinner for more than 100 guests included caviar, champagne and dover sole.

Some etiquette experts have looked aghast at Boehner's decline. Politics Daily quotes Anita McBride, chief of staff to former First Lady Laura Bush, as saying that "you really have to be sick, dead or dying to regret a state dinner invitation." Meanwhile, Letitia Baldridge, who was social secretary to President Kennedy, had even sharper words. She told the same reporter that Boehner's decision was "short-sighted and a failing of his duty."

If Boehner truly is uncomfortable with Washington glitz--and isn't trying to send a bigger message through his absence--he should deal with it for an evening. Leadership requires that people do things they don't like all the time, whether it's attending a fancy dinner or negotiating on thorny issues with opponents.

A leader at Boehner's level should actually want to take every opportunity to present a unified front to other countries--no matter how much we may disagree with some of their practices and policies--and to improve relations with someone who leads a country fast becoming this nation's largest global rival. Yes, Boehner is meeting with President Jintao later this week. But a social setting like Wednesday night's event offers unique opportunities for leaders to find commonalities, get to know each other as people and engage in additional dialogue. And the only way to grab them is to be there.

Also in On Leadership:

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Leadership panel: Advice for President Hu on improving US-China relations?

Revealing Apple's succession plan?


Diving into Davos: An interview with the head of the World Economic Forum

By Jena McGregor

 |  January 19, 2011; 10:11 AM ET |  Category:  Bad leadership , Federal government leadership , Foreign Affairs , Government leadership , Leadership skills , Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Perhaps he wanted nothing to do with an event that is factually the 2009 peace prize winner hosting the jailer of the 2010 peace prize winner. Hey lets do business!!!!
Posted by: permagrin | January 20, 2011 10:41 AM
___________________
Big words. Check the label on your underwear, your pants and your sneakers. Perhaps you're prepared to walk around naked rather than "doing business." I doubt it. Hypocrite.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | January 21, 2011 10:57 AM

Come on folks - From Bloomberg.com:
"House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are taking a pass on the black-tie event at the White House. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, a critic of China’s human-rights policy, plans to go to the state dinner, the first for a Chinese leader in more than 13 years.
All three no-shows, through their aides, cited scheduling conflicts. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, and Reid, a Nevada Democrat who has called the Chinese president “a dictator,” are to meet Hu at the Capitol tomorrow."
What's with you un-informed jerks?
_______________________
Well said, particularly since reopening relations with China was a priority for several Republican presidents past, from Nixon on down. Apparently, the GOP could give a hoot. Perhaps they were shopping at Walmart for a new Chinese made suit and didn't have time to stop by the White House for dinner.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | January 21, 2011 10:55 AM

There were some really good comments on this blog about the Boehner's obvious snub of the President and his equally immature behavior in matters of national interest. It was totally counterproductive and continues to demonstrate just how low these people will go to show their arses in favor of political ideology. Clearly, the GOP has no intention of working with a duly elected president, one who will be with us for at least 2 more years whether you like it or not, to get things done for the American people -- Tea Party, GOP, Democrat or none of the above. Petty, petty, petty.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | January 21, 2011 10:53 AM

This is one more indication of his incomtence, given the extent of his problems, to do his job. Republicans with clout should be considering how to get him help for his alcoholism and leadership that can function in that position. Are we going to watch him continue to decline and cry his way through the next two years?

Posted by: withersb | January 21, 2011 10:03 AM

Boehner is afraid of the "Tea Partiers", as are most GOP politcians.

Catering to the "Tea Party" is going to bring about the downfall of the Republican Party

Posted by: WESHS49 | January 21, 2011 9:06 AM

Come on folks - From Bloomberg.com:

"House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are taking a pass on the black-tie event at the White House. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, a critic of China’s human-rights policy, plans to go to the state dinner, the first for a Chinese leader in more than 13 years.

All three no-shows, through their aides, cited scheduling conflicts. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, and Reid, a Nevada Democrat who has called the Chinese president “a dictator,” are to meet Hu at the Capitol tomorrow."

What's with you un-informed jerks?

Posted by: KevO2 | January 21, 2011 8:44 AM


Read your own comments, hundreds of them of which the vast majority are essentially the answer to:


Why do we have elected leaders who make choices that are opposed to the will of the people and intentionally damaging to the Democratic Republic.

You, the Democrat party and Democrat elected Representatives along with all the RHINOs are the answer; as your comments have so eloquently displayed!

Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | January 20, 2011 7:22 PM

Boner doesn't like state dinners because the booze isn't served and replenished fast enough,
which eventually ends up in a (surprise) crying jag.

What a classless jerk.

Posted by: daveque | January 20, 2011 6:41 PM

Maybe he doesn't want to add another dime to the taxpayer's bill.

Why should the American taxpayer's dollars support Obama and Hu's dog-and-pony show, (BTW which one is the pony?) which ultimately provides for no one except the Chinese and provides nothing for the average American Joe and Jane?

You think Boehner is being petty? Where are your dollars of support for Obama and Hu's charade?

Posted by: txoh | January 20, 2011 6:10 PM

Can't decide to be flippant or serious so I will be both. The serious side sees the Speaker of the House not participating in the governance of this country on at least two occasions (the dinner and the service for the dead and wounded in Tucson) as well as numerous rejections of invitations to meet with, dine with and otherwise rub elbows with the President. I find it objectionable and behavior that is beneath the office of Speaker. You are Speaker of the House not the minority leader Mr. Boehner. How about acting as the Speaker of all Americans and not just your party and the Tea Party. Now the flip comment is what on Earth do you expect from a guy whose role models included Marge Schott?

Posted by: army164 | January 20, 2011 4:55 PM

The lights in the White House are not bright enough for Boehner to work on his tan....

Posted by: UrbanEndeavors | January 20, 2011 4:28 PM

Let's get the facts straight. It's obviously a 'spray-on' tan instead of from a tanning booth.

However, as an added bonus, all I have to do is think of Boehner crouching into a tanning booth and my own, um, boner shrinks inside my abdomen like a naked Inuit's... maybe there is something about this repub abstinence thingy

Posted by: lambcannon | January 20, 2011 4:20 PM

As someone else noted, Boehner is THIRD in line for the White House. And, as the article noted, he had ZERO problem with pomp and circumstance when he attended a white-tie state dinner while Bush was in office. That fact makes it pretty clear that Boehner's rejection was a partisan statement.

This was not just some stuffy, snobby event. US relations with China are of paramount importance and that transcends partisan politics. That relationship affects ALL Americans equally. The third most powerful politician in the country should have been present at the first state dinner for China in 14 years.

Boehner and this GOP-controlled Congress are playing on thin ice and apparently have forgotten the lesson to be learned from the 2008 presidential election. Barack Obama's favorability ratings are the highest they've been in a while and that's based really on two things: the BIPARTISAN tax deal and his handling of the Tuscon shootings. Both of these events constitute both parties temporarily setting aside partisan bs and COMING TOGETHER.

If Congressional Republicans want to use their position find any way to thwart or insult Obama, that may very well energize their base but it will come back to bite them in the rear later. They will be sending the message that the partisan thwarting of Obama is more important to them than working together for solutions to the nation's problems. Party moderates and independents are going to run in the opposite direction...just like they did in 2008, handing Obama the keys to the White House.

Posted by: linz2 | January 20, 2011 2:56 PM

Sadly, this is such a lack of class and lack of understanding of diplomatic ethics -- if John the Unsympathetic to the Poor Crier wants to be in the lead he needs to learn how to be a leader. My God, even George Bush got it!!!!!!

Posted by: beaone | January 20, 2011 2:34 PM

Why can't we just say what the snub by boehner really reflects. It signals a speaker who has minimal minority staff members, a speaker who would rather appear with Nazi sympathizers than appear with the President of the United States (who just so happens to be a minority). His absence plays to a much larger audience. We must now all accept the fact that it appears Ohio has sent the country a bigoted racist. Let's just call it for what it is. This man and Cantor, Spence and the rest of the crew plays for a different and dying crowd...

Posted by: dcn8tive | January 20, 2011 1:17 PM

Come on he had a booze party to go to cut him a break , where else will he get his courage but out of a bottle.

Posted by: ro555555 | January 20, 2011 12:52 PM

As usual, the Tea Party chowderheads are out in force, delighting (with typical and predictable shortsightedness) that Boehner's deliberate snub angers "libtards". Of course, it doesn't matter how stupid or childish anything is that Republicans do - the goal is to infuriate libtards. Quite the admirable objective for those who aspire to lead what used to be a mature democracy, and still claims to be the leader of the free world.

Every time the GOP loses power, it comes back less civil, stupider and meaner than it was before it was defeated. And considering the state it was in under G.W. Bush, that's quite a stretch. Normally people who are that socially inept, stupid and mean are restricted in their interaction with others.

I don't suppose it occurred to Boehner, while he was snorting and giggling with his cronies over his one-upmanship cleverness, that he deliberately insulted - along with the president he refuses to recognize - the leader of the country that could call in its notes any time and complete the destruction of the American economy. Do you even know how much money you owe China? At a point where the U.S. was faced with a choice of increasing the allowable debt ceiling, or defaulting on its debt for the first time in history?

China is already well on its way to overtaking the U.S. as the world's largest economy. Carry on with your clever plans to anger libtards, while they become the only superpower as well.

Posted by: marknesop | January 20, 2011 12:43 PM

Speaker Boehner is 3rd in the line of succession. He should have been there. This is political and it's rude. So much for civil discourse.

Posted by: djp636 | January 20, 2011 12:22 PM

No class.

Posted by: maryacarroll | January 20, 2011 12:11 PM

It is an insult to the American people. Also, it is an insult to the Presidency and China. The GOP should ashamed of him!

Posted by: kildare1722aolcom | January 20, 2011 12:01 PM

Speaker Boehner is too emotional to attend the State Dinner. He would have cried repeatedly when stared at dry steaks and thoughts came across his mind: “when I worked in my dad’s dinner, I tried to find every rotten sausages to wolf down, wahhhhhhh.”

Posted by: shawnp220 | January 20, 2011 11:42 AM

Speaker Boehner is too emotional to attend the State Dinner. He would have cried repeatedly when stared at dry steaks and thoughts came across his mind: “when I worked in my dad’s dinner, I tried to find every rotten sausages to wolf down, wahhhhhhh.”

Posted by: shawnp220 | January 20, 2011 11:41 AM

Certain jobs require "networking". If you don't want to participate in "pomp and circustance" don't take the job. There are lots of people who would love to be Speaker of the House.

Posted by: rlj1 | January 20, 2011 11:31 AM

My 14-year old daughter skipped her friends sleepover cause one of the girls there likes my daughter's boyfriend....

This sounds kinda like the same thing!?

Grow up John.

Posted by: bussman24 | January 20, 2011 11:20 AM

Boehner is either a jerk or in the office of Speaker of The House is in way over his head or both.

Posted by: WESHS49 | January 20, 2011 11:11 AM

Why wasn't Harry Reid there?

Posted by: ncdob1 | January 20, 2011 11:11 AM

Boehner is rude and impudent to not attend the dinner. He may seem big in some minds by blowing off the president, but the world is looking and this behavior is small and very very impolite in a world where manners count. He will regret not treating the Chinese head of state with decorum and respect. Hope he can keep from crying when he finally decides to meet Hu.

Posted by: wendystevens | January 20, 2011 11:08 AM

Boehner is rude and impudent to not attend the dinner. He may seem big in some minds by blowing off the president, but the world is looking and this behavior is small and very very impolite in a world where manners count. He will regret not treating the Chinese head of state with decorum and respect. Hope he can keep from crying when he finally decides to meet Hu.

Posted by: wendystevens | January 20, 2011 11:07 AM

The Republicans, and Boner personally, ran up the debt with two totally unnecessary wars and sat in mute silence as American careers were replaced by burger-flipping jobs. And just when they had his meal specially prepared on a cadmium-laced dinner plate just like your kids use, he hasn't the integrity to face Hu. Darn. Maybe next time.

Posted by: Byrd3 | January 20, 2011 11:03 AM

Well, as the nation mourned the Tucson shooting tragedy, he also skipped the memorial for Gabby Giffords to go to a cocktail party.

What a guy.

Posted by: monk4hall | January 20, 2011 10:51 AM

The question really is "Do the Republicans want a civil discourse?"

I am not even sure they want to be civilized.

This "Kill the bill." tells me a lot.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | January 20, 2011 10:48 AM

Perhaps he wanted nothing to do with an event that is factually the 2009 peace prize winner hosting the jailer of the 2010 peace prize winner. Hey lets do business!!!!

Posted by: permagrin | January 20, 2011 10:41 AM

Duuhh....It's all about strategy, posturing & maneuvering. Everyone knows that.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | January 20, 2011 10:38 AM

As the GOP go about their strategy to deny and dismiss this President, they dismiss and minimize themselves. Over and over again.

Posted by: nana4 | January 20, 2011 10:35 AM

To my understanding, Boehner has refused or declined every social invitation extended, from early "cocktail" get togethers in the WH, to the State Dinners, to the memorial in Tucson. I gave him a pass for Tucson, believing he had to stay in DC because the VP was out of country and the Pres in Arizona. However, he was at a fundraiser and always attends the fancy fundraisers.

It is sheer partisanship. It may also be that he doesn't think he can stop with all the wine flowing freely, if what he hear about his indulgence is true.

Whatever it is, it is part of his job as Minority/Majority Leader of the House to do some things he does not like to do. There is nothing to admire about this small minded, stubborn, mindset. There is a huge "lack" in this man; his emotions rule and that is NOT a good thing, especially in the presence of a job so demanding of so many skill sets. The GOP in Congress has shown nothing but "sour grapes" with this new Administration. Disgusting. Petty. And questionable Leadership. The only way they will do their job is if they are in power. What is that?

Posted by: nana4 | January 20, 2011 10:31 AM


This childish pique cannot be tolerated. Boehner has responsibilities, whether he likes it or not. My three-year-old grandson is more mature than Boehner.

Posted by: gkam | January 20, 2011 10:28 AM

While I don't particularly like Boehner or his politics, I would have refused too. The Chinese poisoned and killed my cat. I received no apology. The cat suffered needlessly. Careless bullies deserve no respect or acknowledgment.

Posted by: CalmTruth | January 20, 2011 10:24 AM

Running Away and not participating in joint discussion is just POOR Leadership! If it were a golf outing with Lobbyists then John Boehner would be there. How do you solve any problem by running away from it?

Posted by: MikeV2 | January 20, 2011 10:19 AM


.

It just shows exactly how petty, insecure and small the guy really is—just like 99.99% of all his republican cohorts.

Completely unacceptable and short-sighted.

But what else is new from the wingnuts of either party, but especially the republiCONS, CONServatives, tea partiers, birthers, etc.

Boneheaded indeed.

L.O.S.E.R.

.

Posted by: demsRwimps | January 20, 2011 10:17 AM

At least we won't have to view video of him crying during dinner. Maybe he don't like asparagus.

Posted by: djmolter | January 20, 2011 10:16 AM

He was probably afraid he'd cry.

Posted by: SirPelleas | January 20, 2011 10:16 AM

He had a tanning booth session he was loath to miss.

Notice the name calling by the teabag folks, no thinking going on - Questions Boehner motives - We are disloyal, retarded, etc.

The blood of the the recent Arizona murders are on your hands teabag party people and, Mr Boehner's for his hate speech.

Posted by: googleer | January 20, 2011 10:15 AM

Cincinattirick wrote: "We here in southwest Ohio know John well. He is a modest man without pretense...the antithesis of your Messiah.
He knows his limitations and his role."
--------
I am not questioning Mr. Boehner's modesty or his personal foibles which others have cited, as I do not know him personally. But when he chose to run for elected office, and for speaker of the house, he chose to assume a position of leadership. With that position of leadership come responsibilities that have nothing to do with modesty but with actively representing Ohio, and as Speaker, the United States House of Representatives. Frankly, if his 'limitations' are such that he is unable to see the importance of attending a state dinner with a Chinese delegation(I am sure the state of Ohio has business with China), then he is not serving his state or our nation well. Further, if his definition of his role as Speaker of the House does not include diplomacy, then perhaps he should step aside and let another Republican take the helm. The United States does not exist in a vacuum but in a vastly interconnected and complicated world and our leaders need to understand that.

By the way, I would feel the same about a Democratic speaker refusing to attend a state dinner in a Republican White House. Governance of our country is too important for petty playground politics.

Posted by: UpstateNY1 | January 20, 2011 10:13 AM

Ahem, "President Hu," not "President Jintao."

Having said that, John Boehner accurately represents his Republican legislative colleagues for the national embarrassment that they are. It proves what most of us have known for some time: Republicans are phony patriots. They pretend to be patriotic when convenient for their extremist ideology.

Posted by: jdsher00 | January 20, 2011 10:12 AM

And I was just dying to know who he would be wearing.

Posted by: beansforbob | January 20, 2011 10:05 AM

The next time someone asks you what the word oxymoron means, tell them it is like using the word leadership in the same sentence with the name John Boehner.

Posted by: wrw01011 | January 20, 2011 9:57 AM

I love the way the libtards work themselves into a frenzy over every move by a Republican. Face it, Speaker Boehner had something else he wanted to do and did not think that attendance was manditory.

Posted by: jjlj | January 20, 2011 9:54 AM

Remember: This guy is number three in line to be President of the United States of America. He absolutely should have been there to learn as much as he could about who is who in the Chinese leadership. His refusal to attend was a gross dereliction of duty.

Posted by: PeterIII | January 20, 2011 9:47 AM

Comments supporting Boehner's refusal to attend a state dinner sound exactly like highschool adolescents talking and thinking about subjects beyond their ken. Boehner is a child (of sorts) who has risen in a shallow pool to a level above his competence.

Posted by: paulco | January 20, 2011 9:41 AM

If Boehner was really concerned about the US economic condition he would have been there. He just upset that his efforts to repeal the Healthcare law is not getting much press because of Hu's visit. I think it was a smart move by Obama. Boehner needs to suck it up and do his job. I've never seen someone so hopelessly tied up in the GOP (Game of Politics).

Posted by: Politicked | January 20, 2011 9:40 AM

Comments supporting Boehner's refusal to attend a state dinner sound exactly like highschool adolescents talking and think about subjects beyond their ken. Boehner is a child (of sorts) who has risen in a shallow pool to a level above his competence.

Posted by: paulco | January 20, 2011 9:39 AM

Mitch McConnell has laid it out very clearly... The Repubs top priority is to make Obama a one-termer... AWOL served them last November and they believe another 2 years of sandbagging and obstruction is their formula to achieve that end...

Hope they stick with this strategy 'cause all polls suggest that the voters won't be as kind to them next in 2012 if that is all they have in mind...

Bob

Posted by: bobnpvine | January 20, 2011 9:33 AM

Mr. Boner needs to learn what's expected of a 'leader' at his level.

Posted by: jonblackman57 | January 20, 2011 9:31 AM

The Republicans notoriously lack leadership....example Denny Hastert? Who just sat their and paved the way for the Bush/ Cheney regime. Boehner is just thinner and tanner than Hastert. These very limited people, once out of their element, don't really know how to play ball in the big leagues. So they attend the endless cocktail/dinner parties supplied by various big name lobbies and grease their palms.

Posted by: chelist1 | January 20, 2011 9:23 AM

Here's my question: would he engage in spousal abuse if he thought there was a vote in it?

Posted by: 44fx2901 | January 20, 2011 9:14 AM

Cincinattirick -- in full disclosure, are you Boehner's press secretary? Posted by: UpstateNY1
--------------
We here in southwest Ohio know John well. He is a modest man without pretense...the antithesis of your Messiah.

He knows his limitations and his role...in contrast with pompous buffoon Gingrich, porky pig Hastert and ideologue harpy Pelosi. He will stick to his business and make the best Speaker since Sam Rayburn.

And I am retired...not in the employ of Boehner or anyone else.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | January 20, 2011 9:10 AM

Whatever the reason, Boehner as Speaker of the House should have attended. These are not just White House "glitzy" evenings. Important future decisions by leaders in attendance may be influenced by the social interaction.
Attendance is a job requirement and should not be open to personal choice.
Posted by: TomMiller1
-------------------
Job requirement? I think not. Please cite the provision in Law or Constitution for your assertion. There is none.

Boehner stands in opposition to this administration...he is not a part of it. Why should he endorse the kow-towing to the Chinese oligarchy?

Politics did not stop at the water's edge for Democrats under the Bush administration. What goes around comes around so stuff your sanctimony where the sun doesn't shine.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | January 20, 2011 8:55 AM

"The day will come when adults again run the executive branch"

Are you referring to "deer in the headlights" George W.? Or that sneering Cheney?

Boehner is bought and paid for. Look at the big lobbies that support him. And the cocktail parties show on his alcoholic face.

Posted by: denver13 | January 20, 2011 8:53 AM

This guy is obviously being dictated to in terms of what to do, when to do it and where to go. The bigger question is, who's doing the dictation??? It just shows how much of a compete idiot he really is. And this guy is "suppose" to be better than Pelosi, pleaseee.... Talk about No Class!

Posted by: WhitneyDavid | January 20, 2011 8:45 AM

The comment about being a chain smoker sounds like a real possibility. But I also understand that he is a really heavy drinker. His emotional reactions in public and his often blood shot eyes make him look like a serious alcoholic.

Posted by: denver13 | January 20, 2011 8:41 AM

Don't forget this is the same man who turned down the President's invitation to go to the memorial service in Tucson on Air Force One last week to stay in the District for some other "function". Why is anyone surprised he didn't attend the State Dinner? There is something wrong with this man and he is definitely not representing the American people.

Posted by: aambard | January 20, 2011 8:39 AM

The Senate Majority Leader set the stage for all this. I would say he (Mr. Reid), by calling out the Red Chinese leader as a dictator (and all the human rights issues that comes with) would be the hypocrite if he went to the dinner and allowed himself to be photographed with Hu.

Posted by: pielusztcontractor | January 20, 2011 8:36 AM

A state dinner for China? What did they do to earn this supreme gesture, essentially a formal bow to a leader of a country who is a major market competitor.

Obama's embarrassing antics on international matters has made a mockery of the office of the president and of this country.

So the Speaker did the right thing. It is extremely clear that this administration is a complete catastrophe and the further away the Speaker stays from it the better for him, for his party, and those who will ensure old '44' is a one-term president.

Posted by: bryanmcoleman | January 20, 2011 8:36 AM

Boehner has become the male equivalent of Sarah Palin in the minds of the left. No matter what he does it will be attacked. But just think, who would seriously want to sit next to those people who spent the day calling you a Nazi who caused the Holocaust which is what the leftist members of Congress did. This is supposed to be a kinder gentler Congress. But it seems only the Republicans got the message.

Posted by: mlbduffy | January 20, 2011 8:28 AM


Read your own comments, hundreds of them of which the vast majority are essentially the answer to:


Why do we have elected leaders who make choices that are opposed to the will of the people and intentionally damaging to the Democratic Republic.

You, the Democrat party and Democrat elected Representatives along with all the RHINOs are the answer; as your comments have so eloquently displayed!


Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | January 20, 2011 8:23 AM

It's designed as a purposeful snub of the President. Republicans don't recognize when Democrats when the White House. While they are extreme sycophants to Republican Presidents, glamorizing the White House as a near monarchy, they view Democratic Presidents as illegitimate.

Boehner wants Obama to fail, and helping with US diplomacy hurts his goals to destroy this administration. Republicans don't care what harm they cause to the US as long as they get back in power ASAP.

Posted by: AxelDC | January 20, 2011 8:21 AM

Speaker Boehner's actions are consistent with chain smokers who become reluctant to dine out because so many establishments and localities have banned smoking. Conversation in my van pool yesterday: "My dad eventually refused to go out to eat because he couldn't stand to be away from his three-pack a day habit."

Posted by: davemarks | January 20, 2011 8:14 AM

If Pelosi were still Speaker, we wouldn't have seen her either.

Because she would have been with Hu, but under the table.

What's the point of meeting with a mongoloid gangster anyway?

Posted by: NoDonkey | January 20, 2011 8:05 AM

CincinattiRick wrote: "I'll give you a good reason for not showing: Boehner is not part of this government..."
_________
Since when is an elected representative not part of this government? Once an individual is elected by the majority of his constituency, he represents his entire constituency and has the responsibility to work with other members of government -- in his own party and opposing party -- on behalf of ALL his constituents. Boehner's decision not to attend was stupid -- like it or not, he has a responsibility to this country as speaker to represent the American people on the national stage, and the international stage when the situation requires (like a state dinner with the world's most populous and economically powerful country).

If Boehner's staff advised him to skip the dinner, then he is grossly ill-served by his staff and should make some changes. If he made this decision on his own, then that says a tremendous amount about his leadership qualities, or lack thereof.

Cincinattirick -- in full disclosure, are you Boehner's press secretary?

Posted by: UpstateNY1 | January 20, 2011 7:34 AM

This guy is not qualified to be whatever he pretends to be.
Don't cry for me, Mr. Speaker.

Posted by: jocaf | January 20, 2011 7:18 AM

He's going to hold his breath untl he turns blue!

Posted by: Capn0ok1 | January 20, 2011 7:15 AM

Boehner is implying that he doesn't believe Obama's presidency is legitimate.

Posted by: ephemerella | January 20, 2011 7:10 AM

Did you notice that the Democrats presented a bill asking that Congress repeal their own health care that mimick the repeal that the Republican want with the Health care bill. Suprise all the Republicans turned it down. In other words they accepted benefits they don't want the average working class american to have. What an elist group. As long as you are stupid the Republicans will jack you. get informed people. Boehner will be exposed very soon.

Posted by: slivin500 | January 20, 2011 6:56 AM

Whatever the reason, Boehner as Speaker of the House should have attended. These are not just White House "glitzy" evenings. Important future decisions by leaders in attendance may be influenced by the social interaction.

Attendance is a job requirement and should not be open to personal choice.

Posted by: TomMiller1 | January 20, 2011 6:52 AM

Boener was afraid he'd burst into tears in front of the Chinese.

Posted by: gasmonkey | January 20, 2011 6:50 AM

I thought that Adrian Fenty lacked class when, a few years ago, he made a point of publicly refusing an invitation to a State Dinner by President Bush. But he was merely the Myor of DC. Boehner is the Speaker of the House! This kind of snub only makes our festering fissures even worse. Jerk.

Posted by: jemoorman | January 20, 2011 6:26 AM

During a formal,sit down, several course state dinner, Boehner does not know which fork, knife and spoon to use, when to use it or what to do with his napkin. Nor could he comfortably contribute to the table conversation.

His social skills are limited to the cocktail party circuit, locker room, bar at the golf club and screaming at the podium.
It's as simple as that.

It's a good thing he stays away, he's not a class act and would embarrass America!



Posted by: bizlearn | January 20, 2011 5:13 AM

Boehner wanted to be Speaker so bad he would have sold out the whole country for it. And now that he has the job he doesn't want the responsibilities that come with it. He should have been at the State Dinner, Hell he should have been at the Memorial Service in Tuscon. But the "Whinner of the House" felt that attending Cocktail Parties is more important. Mr. Boehner needs to ask himself, Does he want this job or not? Or does he want to continue embarrassing himself and our Country by choosing drinking over offical duties. If he can't stay away from the cocktail parties, then he needs to resign now.

Posted by: sumo1 | January 20, 2011 4:24 AM

Maybe it didn't matter to him because he's going to do what he wants regardless. There is never a need to negotiate or be civil w/ that mentality.

Posted by: lidiworks1 | January 20, 2011 4:16 AM

THIS IDIOT IS THE BEST POSTER BOY THE TEABAGGERS COULD HAVE. HE WILL SPEND UNTOLD AMOUNTS OF TIME AND MONEY TRYING TO SHAKE OBAMA DOWN. THE REPUBLICANS UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP WILL LOOSE TO OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS IN 2012 BY THE BIGGEST LANDSLIDE EVER.

Posted by: twowrigs | January 20, 2011 3:56 AM

1fasthoo wrote: Less Diva?...if I were high in politics, I wouldn't miss that opportunity. Read the last two paragraphs again.
-----------------
I did and I repeat the further away Speaker Boehner stays from Obama the more credibility he has with Republican voters. We are NOT a unified country and the last place Boehner needs to be seen is socializing with Obama at black tie affairs. Boehner is acountible to Republican voters on DOMESTIC issues not foreign policy.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | January 20, 2011 3:15 AM

The Speaker likes to wine dine and golf with lobbyists. Hu can't give Boehner money so the dinner is just a waste of time.

Posted by: bmr5 | January 20, 2011 2:44 AM

Less DIVA and more focus on the article....it's not about whether or not he owes us a better explanation. It's about him doing what he needs to do. I'm not fond of Chinese leadership but if I were high in politics, I wouldn't miss that opportunity. Read the last two paragraphs again.

Posted by: 1fasthoo | January 20, 2011 2:38 AM

Speaker Boehner has issued his official reason and that's the end of the story. He doesn't owe anyone a further explanation. I like the guy and the fact that he doesn't play by Washington's rule makes him even more appealing to the "bitter little people" as Obama likes to call us. Boehner has better credibility with Republican voters the farther away he stays from Obama.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | January 20, 2011 2:17 AM

He was afraid he'd start crying.
Senator John Boohooer.

Posted by: vincent7061 | January 20, 2011 1:44 AM

Speaker John Boehner the tan man is a closeted gay man who probably felt bad he cannot attend with his boyfriend to the state dinner so he went home and had a good cry about his terrible fate. This guy is the biggest hypocrite in the House. Missing the state dinner with China is a faux pas but missing the memorial service for the Tucson victims so he could instead attend a fundraising cocktail in D.C. is abhorrent behavior by someone who has proven he has no principals except doing the corporations that grease his skids doing. Speaker Boehner may have spent to much time in the tanning beds and it is affecting his mind in a very negative way. Shame on you Mr. or is it Mrs. Speaker.

Posted by: jbento | January 20, 2011 12:18 AM

Boehner is a know-nothing, do-nothing dullard who would embarrass the Republican Party if only Republicans retained the capacity for embarrassment.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 20, 2011 12:17 AM

A real leader shows respect and manners to their guest. Weeper Speaker Boehner has shown the Chinese President he has no respect for manners and is no leader. Boehner is said to be meeting with the Chinese President tomorrow let's hope Boehner doesn't start crying and blowing his nose as Boehner is their in line to the White House. As I read the support comments to Boehner it must be nice that he showed the same disrespect to the Arizona victims as he turned down the visit for a campaign fund raiser. Speaker in waiting Rep. Cantor is also dumb as he quickly asked for Boehner's invitation as he didn't know it the position Boehner holds a Speaker and it can't be passed around like a ball. At lease Boehner is showing those American Christian Values so many of his followers have.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | January 19, 2011 11:58 PM

He got the invitation over the phone and thought it was for a "steak" dinner, which he'd had to decline being that he's on a liquid diet after 5. Hell no I can't!

Posted by: bdunn1 | January 19, 2011 11:58 PM

State dinners require the ability to conduct oneself in a civil, non-partisan manner. It's nice to see that Boehner recognizes his own limitations.

Posted by: labman57 | January 19, 2011 11:53 PM

Good for John. If I was him, I wouldn't want Hu Jintao associating me with Obama either.

Under Hu Jintao China has had an amazing run of prosperity.

Conversely, under Obama, the US has been down in the dirt and getting lower.

The day will come when adults again run the executive branch. Until then, Hu Jintao and John Boehner just have to put up with the crap.

I expect this visit was really nothing more than a bill collection call. Obama put on a show, as he wants to keep borrowing as long as possible. Hu Jintao came over the see the asset China owns.

Posted by: grcac | January 19, 2011 11:44 PM

After reading some of these comments. Rahm Emanuel was right when he said.

Liberals are f///ing retards.

Posted by: Defund_NPR | January 19, 2011 10:43 PM

Republicans continue to embarrass the nation with their grade-school tantrums you wouldn't let your own children get away with.

Maybe if the Republicans are turned out of office with a super-super majority of Democrats - then the nation could proceed with legislation for all Americans and NO more stupid Palinisms or ridiculous GOP sound-bites !!!

The U.S. could once again return to greatness with the Republicans out of the way and public view, and no longer subsidize the wealthy class with corporate welfare...

Posted by: danglingwrangler | January 19, 2011 10:26 PM

Harry Reid sent regrets also. Funny you overlooked the Senate in your righteous indignation against Boehner.

Posted by: SavingGrace | January 19, 2011 10:04 PM

Why does this flipp'in complaint sound like Charlie Brown's teacher. And I imagine this lady was among the cabal that complained about the lack of state dinners under the Bush Administration, compared with the party like its 1993 crowd before him.

Who really gives a rat's hind end if Boehner went or not? Only self-absorbed DC folk.

Posted by: dastewart | January 19, 2011 9:51 PM

I am astounded by your comment, "It's not entirely clear why the Speaker is skipping the event, which marks the third time the Republican leader has skipped a state dinner during Obama's administration."

It's as clear as glass. Especially if you've ever watch a male dog enter your yard and proceed to "mark its territory". That is what Boehner is doing and it's as obvious as the nose on your face. The only other possibility is that Boehner really is as much of a drinker as the rumors allege and he doesn't want to have to deal with all that temptation.

Posted by: mehrenst1 | January 19, 2011 9:49 PM

I bet if it were back in the day of Richard Nixson (who also courted the Chinese) Mr. B should have gone. It's political and polite. Has he no shame? He can cry in public (and I don't have a problem with men crying) but he can't go to a State funcion. Shame on him. He's the Speaker of the House and should know better. It seems he puts his politics before his country. That really says a lot about him.

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | January 19, 2011 9:47 PM

wise move. can't get drunk in front of others. better to do it at the tanning salon.

Posted by: brantdavis07 | January 19, 2011 9:38 PM

Cincinnattirick,

You're right. None of the Speaker's duties are enumerated in the US Constitution. In fact, the only mention is that the House body gets to pick it's own Speaker. Maybe he doesn't actually have any official duties, except fondling that giant croquet mallet and bellowing/weeping for no discernible reason. I suppose the job is what you make of it.

Posted by: alarson1 | January 19, 2011 9:06 PM

the speaker is staying away from events that include booze so i guess that is a good thing.

Posted by: peanut47 | January 19, 2011 8:55 PM

It is really easy to spot the Chinese nationals who post on boards like this - even if their English is correct. "It ain't what you say; it's the way how you say it."

Posted by: Jihm | January 19, 2011 8:46 PM

In a bipartisan show of pettiness Senate Leader Harry Dweeb refused to attend.

Posted by: whocares666 | January 19, 2011 8:35 PM

A little research would have revealed that President Hu does not like people who "wallow in luxuries" and big expensive dinners.

Obama loves to party and entertain on our dime. President Hu deplores such activities.

Obama should have taken the President to a mall for Panda Express.

He also likes ballroom dancing and instead of Jazz music, perhaps a performance by the best ballroom dancers in America and China would have been more entertaining.

Starting in 2009, Forbes Magazine compiles an annual list of the world's most powerful people. The list has one slot for every 100 million people on Earth, meaning in 2009 there were 67 people on the list and in 2010 there were 68. Slots are allocated based on the financial resources and individual controls as well as their influence on world events.
2010 list

# Individual Office / Position
1 Hu Jintao President of the People's Republic of China
2 Barack Obama 44th President of the United States

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | January 19, 2011 8:20 PM

Speaker's Office Release -

"The speaker has trouble digesting Chinese food and is even more sensitive to chitlins and collards with rice!"

Posted by: StJuste | January 19, 2011 8:15 PM

Mr. Boehner is skipping the state dinner for the President of China because he is the same old stiff neck ideologist John Boehner. What I do not understand it is this: It was Mr. Boehner's wealthy corporate friends who made jobs for the Chinese and no jobs for Americans at home, so why isn't Mr. Boehner toasting his Chinese communist friends who know how to play at the free market game better than the likes of John Boehner. Maybe Mr. Boehner does not know how to use chop sticks.

Posted by: Rlupodimare | January 19, 2011 8:10 PM

THE COST OF THIS STATE DINNER IS PROBABLY ASTRONOMICAL AND WITH THE COUNTRY ALMOST BANKRUPT THE SPEAKER DESERVES A LOT OF KUDOES FOR SAYING NO.

Posted by: jackwbarnes1 | January 19, 2011 8:03 PM

The Speaker should remember that he was invited as Speaker of the House, the third in line to the Presidency. It is not about you like it or not it is part of your duty as Speaker to represent the people. He doesn't like peagantry in Washington, when the nation is mourning he was also absent. Please take a cue from Gullian what he said about attending funerals.

Posted by: Crown2 | January 19, 2011 7:52 PM

The Speaker should remember that he was invited as Speaker of the House, the third in line to the Presidency. It is not about you like it or not it is part of your duty as Speaker to represent the people. He doesn't peagantry in Washington, when the nation is mourning he was also absent. Please take a cue from Gullian what he said about attending funerals.

Posted by: Crown2 | January 19, 2011 7:48 PM

It's just as well that he doesn't go, as drunkards are very much looked down upon in traditional Chinese culture.

Posted by: rnorton47 | January 19, 2011 7:28 PM

If you've ever been stuck behind an Asian foursome, you'll understand Boner's reluctance to mingle. They are the WORST! They all chainsmoke! They take a dozen practice swings on each shot ! They line up putts like they're playing at the Masters.
Boner might have to tolerate them every day on the course, but nightime is BONER TIME!!!

Posted by: DrungoHazewood1 | January 19, 2011 7:28 PM

Not a big puzzle. Remember the Southern Strategy. Bush and the Queen are OK, Obama and anyone else... are not OK to eat with.

Posted by: martyurra | January 19, 2011 7:24 PM

Didn't Boehner spend the last two years crying that Obama didn't invite him to anything?

Posted by: wstickney1 | January 19, 2011 7:23 PM

The man is an alcoholic and a national disgrace as a Congressional representative.

The male Palin.

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | January 19, 2011 7:22 PM

The entire game plan for the neo cons is based on demonstrating that President Obama is insignificant and allude to the fact they find him an embarrassment. This plays well with their supporters and works in conjunction with the attacks by pundits on the Right. They will stop at NOTHING to let the world know that they consider Obama to be Benson (from the old TV series) and not the LEADER of the world's most powerful country.

They don't care what the majority of Americans think nor what the world thinks. Their America consists of the Top 1% who hold 80% of the wealth, the Christian Conservatives and the Tea Party movement. Anyone else,including card carrying Republicans, doesn't count anymore.

Posted by: Wordpower | January 19, 2011 7:19 PM

Didn't Boehner spend the last two years crying that Obama didn't invite him to anything?

Posted by: wstickney1 | January 19, 2011 7:15 PM

Shows an incredible ignorance of how to get things done and a snub not to our president, though that's what he probably meant, but also to the Chinese. He has an office which is of national importance - he needs to start act that way.

Posted by: MarineDolphin | January 19, 2011 7:11 PM

If Boehner does not want to play on the world stage, so be it. Imagine if Newt had the opportunity, or any number of R's who understand the value of engagement and communication, if only to assist their constituents and home business interests with the personal touch that global trade demands.
Seems a bit dim to not show up, but maybe Mr. Boehner has another cocktail party he'd rather attend.

Posted by: roboturkey | January 19, 2011 7:00 PM

If he went, how would he know which fork to use?

Posted by: nellie3ster | January 19, 2011 6:57 PM

Boehner is jealous because the spotlight will NOT be on him and he may be an even bigger imbarrassment to us than he is on a daily basis in our House of Representatives. Boehner is the biggest hypocrit we have and his tears are that of a CLOWN with emotional problems. How dare he NOT attend this too. Remember he did NOT go to the Tucson memorial for one of his own Representatives that in his causus because he had a DRINKING PARTY he had to attend. Boehner needs to ask Pelosi to take back the gavel that she well deserves because she knows how to SERVE THE PEOPLE. Folks you may need to consider emailing and/or calling (202-225-6205) Boehner as I did. I respectfully left a voice message for him, asking him to stop wasting our time and our tax dollars trying to repeal the healthcare reform which benefits more families now than ever. No more lifetime maximums on health or mental illness, kids stay on parents policy until 26 years and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has explained in a memo to Boehner how this healthcare reform will DECREASE our deficit and add jobs. But of course Boehner and his Republican posse do NOT want to hear that good news. Their number one goal is to stop president Obama at all cost and they certainly do NOT want president Obama to have credit (which he has earned) for helping the middle class and low income families. Republicans and Tea Baggers are for themselves and the corporations. Americans we must notify the Republicans that we need them to stop holding up further progress for their number one goal. Additionally, Republicans need to understand that God has favor for president Obama who is such a humble and compassionate individual. We need to let the Republicans know that they must NOT continue disrespecting our president and middle class and low income families. You now have the number to let your voice be heard. God bless the USA.

Posted by: netstoy | January 19, 2011 6:35 PM

Boehner should go back to bartending he has NO CLASS period---on second thought a state dinner isn't any place for a crying drunk,.

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | January 19, 2011 6:33 PM

Having worked and lived in north Asia for a few years, I can tell you that Boehner just ruined his ability to ever have decent relations with the Chinese and Koreans, two of the most dynamic economies in the world. Those Confucian tradition based societies (despite later layers of Chinese and North Korean Communism, and democracy in South Korea) put very strong emphasis on tradition, hierarchy and respect for VIPs and family and other elders.

Boehner's rude and ignorant decline of the invitation will follow him for decades, if he doesn't die of lung cancer or melanoma first. Going forward, no Asian leader would care to even be in the same room with a person who had publicly committed political flatulence in the society of accomplished superpower leaders.

Boehner probably doesn't even know what "saving face" means in Asia, which is a short path to insignificance and ostracism. If B were by some unlucky stroke of fate to become President, then he would find all doors closed to him and the US because of his extremely vulgar behavior and trashing of diplomatic protocols that preceded the GOP by more than two millennia. It's not about party, but about ignorance and vile emotional immaturity.

Posted by: enough3 | January 19, 2011 6:31 PM

I'm fine with the Speaker's absence at such an important social event. It speaks volumes about his competence in international affairs. We need to know these important details about people aspiring to higher offices.

Posted by: thw2006 | January 19, 2011 6:23 PM

Slipping out every hour for a smoke could be a problem for him. Too much security.

Posted by: Natmeister | January 19, 2011 6:22 PM

Just further evidence that Boehner and the Republicans aren't ready to lead. They are good at throwing bombs from the backbench and passing meaningless legislation, but they just aren't ready for prime time.

Posted by: ElectricBill | January 19, 2011 6:15 PM

My recommendation is the majority of posters this article just need to chill out. Most comments are rude. We, as a nation, can be glad that the majority of you do not have any official capacity as to being representives of our goverment to a foreign goverment. This is childish playground talk stuff. I guess we have to wait until all the kiddies are put to bed before we hear from the adults. Poor taste - you people. Just rude!

Posted by: jhnpeppers | January 19, 2011 6:01 PM

Tip O'Neill didn't refuse to do his duty to attend state dinners when Ronald Reagan was president. Some people understand that it's not always about them. And some don't.

Posted by: BuddyK | January 19, 2011 6:00 PM

The guy is an alcoholic and a national disgrace. A male Palin.

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | January 19, 2011 5:59 PM

A unfortunate person who clearly has no concept of his role as a political leader in the leading nation in the international community. This certainly can be seen as insulting, rude and completely inconsiderate behavior by a boorish peasant too stupid to understand his responsibilities at the national level.

Posted by: mcelroyp | January 19, 2011 5:54 PM

The man is a fool and a national disgrace. He should be turned out of office for refusing to discharge his official duty as Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Among those duties are representing the citizens of the United States to foreign heads of state. Posted by: alarson1
--------------
Why I just checked the Constitution and couldn't find that. Could you tell us where that duty of the Speaker is enumerated?

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | January 19, 2011 5:52 PM

He's too busy trying to figure out a way to screw 30 million people out of much needed health care.

Posted by: changeisconstant | January 19, 2011 5:52 PM

The Boner would be there if Obama offered him a case of bronzer and a golf game!

Posted by: jb31 | January 19, 2011 5:51 PM

CincinnattiRick, where in the world did you get the peculiar idea that our president has eschewed the serious work of governance?! Even those who disagree most strongly with his policies acknowledge that he has accomplished a great deal in just two years.
Your churlish comments makes abundantly clear that it's not Pres. Obama but you who deserves to be described as "small and insignificant."
--------------
Ah...but the difference is that I never claimed that I could walk on water. So, when I, like you, are appropriately classified as "small and insignificant", it is neither shocking nor in any way presents a danger to this great Republic.

Obama has accomplished little of significance and that little is about to be undone. A modest man from Ohio (not a buffoon like Gingrich, a corrupt hog like Hastert nor an elitist ideologue like Pelosi), one lacking in grandiose visions and humbled by his role, will play an important part in that. John Boehner will surprise you. Shed a few tears...John would.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | January 19, 2011 5:48 PM

The man is an alcoholic and a national disgrace. Perfect rep for the Republicans.

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | January 19, 2011 5:47 PM

The man is a fool and a national disgrace. He should be turned out of office for refusing to discharge his official duty as Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Among those duties are representing the citizens of the United States to foreign heads of state. This is a state dinner with the leaders of the two most powerful nations on earth, not something he can blow off like a Rotary luncheon at a dry county Ramada Inn. This is what passes for leadership in the GOP these days. What would Dick Nixon say?

Posted by: alarson1 | January 19, 2011 5:41 PM

Boehner is breaking the cardinal rule of American politics, "Our differences stop by water's edge." He is disrespecting the Chinese President and the Chinese are super-sensitive to insults and therefore sabotaging our President's efforts to solve critical problems with them. That smacks of un-American. I have never seen anyone at his level behave that badly before.

Posted by: withersb | January 19, 2011 5:40 PM

Sorry, I meant to type that CincinnatiRick's comments MAKE abundantly clear that it's not Pres. Obama but he who deserves to be described as "small and insignificant."

Posted by: DCSteve1 | January 19, 2011 5:38 PM

CincinnattiRick, where in the world did you get the peculiar idea that our president has eschewed the serious work of governance?! Even those who disagree most strongly with his policies acknowledge that he has accomplished a great deal in just two years.

Your churlish comments makes abundantly clear that it's not Pres. Obama but you who deserves to be described as "small and insignificant."

Posted by: DCSteve1 | January 19, 2011 5:36 PM

It goes to confirm my belief as demonstrated by their leadership, that Republicans are childish, immature, whiny, sore losers whose place shouldn't even be at the children's table (or the back of the plane).

And some of their moronic followers in these comments section have discovered some reason in Obama to justify their behavior.

I wonder what they'll do when Obama gets re-elected ?

Posted by: thinkagain | January 19, 2011 5:35 PM

It could not be plainer if it was painted on the front steps of the Capitol, Boehner despises Obama and all that he stands for on any topic. The man snubbed the victims of the Tucson massacre by going to a fund raiser. If he is not at another fund raiser on the night of the state dinner, he will probably be at a tanning salon baking his, whatever. If he did show up at the dinner, the scenario would go something like this; he would not know the right protocols, he would be as nervous as a gas bottle in a fire, and he would weep at the grandeur of it all and his own humble beginnings just like he always does. It is better that he stays home or goes to bake his whatevers.

Posted by: ronjeske | January 19, 2011 5:30 PM

Jena, I agree with the thrust of your commentary, but you should refer to the Chinese leader as President Hu, NOT President Jintao. In Chinese nomenclature, the last (family) name comes first, then the first name.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | January 19, 2011 5:27 PM

Considering he smoke 3 packs a day he would be right at home with the Chinese.

Posted by: edgr | January 19, 2011 5:24 PM

One interesting thing about American displeasure with China -- it is part of the American belief in free lunches. Just how much of our *apparent* material wealth can be attributed to low priced goods from China.

Or, does no one here EVER go to Walmart to purchase things....

For that matter, how can folks post here without using Chinese made goods...

Posted by: Barry8 | January 19, 2011 5:24 PM

Boehner just didn't want to break bread with a socialist and a communist.

Posted by: Realist201 | January 19, 2011 5:23 PM

Boehner is socially insecure, as well as he should be. Of course, he'll make a virtue of it.

Posted by: nepenthe | January 19, 2011 5:23 PM

Boehner's conduct is part of string of personal snubs of the President. He refused an invitation to watch the Super Bowl at the White House in 2009, told the President he was too busy to meet after the mid-term elections ("I'll get back to you with my available date") and has now rejected a third invitation to a state dinner. His conduct is personal, purely political and part of his failing plan to make the president look small and insignificant. Posted by: Rayr
-----------------
There is nothing "personal" about it. The message is that he is not part of Obama's team or government. And there is no need for any plot or plan to make Obama look "small and insignificant." Obama has accomplished that objective with no help needed from anyone else.

But we need to cut him some slack about him being found out. It is manifestly clear that we have an immature and unprepared President who is in office solely because we wanted to get rid of anything reminding us of his predecessor and expiate our guilt over past racial injustice...a glorious feel-good twofer. And now we are subjected to a never-ending political campaign as this one-trick pony eschews the serious business of governance. All the jokes and innuendos about Palin's unpreparedness apply equally to Obama...the bottom line, however, is that she would only have been a Vice President.

Only children and the childish assume that change will be for the better. The American electorate have gotten what they deserve: Jimmy Carter in blackface. Fortunately our founding fathers designed a system that checks rather than enables power and we will now be rescued from our current folly...albeit with a vicious hangover and backbreaking debt to repay...ever the price of binging. But my, it was fun while it lasted, wasn't it?

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | January 19, 2011 5:23 PM

OK, while I'm as willing as anyone to take shots at Republicans (both leaders and followers), the comment regarding whether Reid is attending is a fair one. Especially when he called Hu a "dictator" in an interview with a Las Vegas news station.

It isn't as if Republicans have a patent on demonstrating their displeasure with China and its leaders.

Posted by: Barry8 | January 19, 2011 5:21 PM

Of course it is rude not to attend a dinner in honor of our biggest banker and maker of everything we use. Boehner needs to remember where all the jobs unlimited foreign trade stole went. Besides, Boehner is the most orange politician we have and as such would be great entertainment to Hu as a perfect example of strange foreign devils.

Posted by: FoundingMother | January 19, 2011 5:21 PM

He has a little secret.

Posted by: whocares666 | January 19, 2011 5:19 PM

It would be unfortunate for Speaker Boehner to absent himself on an occasion of this magnitude. Some of the issues President Obama must press on the Chinese leadership need to be justified as unavoidable, because of Congressional pressure. The Speaker of the House is the most prominent representative of Congress.

I don't think cooperating with the President in managing the Chinese would compromise Boehner's leadership of his party in the House. His press secretary's invention -- that Boehner simply dislikes pomp and ceremony -- is unworthy of comment.

Posted by: jbritt3 | January 19, 2011 5:16 PM

Sure, all the fru-fru can be seen(to one degree or another) as just a ritual, but it's one that powerful leaders have been engaging in for centuries...and once in a while, something truly good or useful comes from the liaisons made at these soirees. But far be it from a freakpublican to play nice-nice with anyone but one of his clones.

Besides, The B-Man already has an appointment at his tanning salon.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | January 19, 2011 5:15 PM

I am sure that the president is relived knowing that this "jug head" wont be around to embarrass him self by starting to cry when the booze takes hold.

Posted by: GEB914 | January 19, 2011 5:14 PM

This is the same guy who went to a cocktail party for a gun-rights group right after the shooting in Arizona. Safe to say that it's all political. He's making sure everyone knows he doesn't like Obama (as if there were any question).

If they were meeting on the golf course, though, he'd be out there for sure.

Posted by: whodeykm | January 19, 2011 5:13 PM

Come on people. He is doing his job. He is staying at home to watch "American" Idol as opposed to being a part of "So You Think You Are Smarter Than the Chinese". No, just kidding. Actually he has an allergy to MSG.

Posted by: biteoh | January 19, 2011 5:09 PM

Perhaps Speaker Boehner simply does not feel he is capable of sitting there while his country is trashed, Posted by: IQ168
---------
Well, he might be moved to shed a tear ot two.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | January 19, 2011 5:07 PM

Come on people. He is doing his job. He is staying at home to watch "American" Idol as opposed to being a part of "So You Think You Are Smarter Than the Chinese". No, just kidding. Actually he has an allergy to MSG.

Posted by: biteoh | January 19, 2011 5:07 PM

Here's the thing...Boehner wasn't invited so he had to act like he was and publically turn down the invitation to save face. I guess the Pres. didn't want the Chinese to see what kind of person was elected to such an important position in our Gov.

Posted by: changeisconstant | January 19, 2011 5:04 PM

Come on people. He is doing his job. He is staying at home to watch "American" Idol as opposed to being a part of "So You Think You Are Smarter Than the Chinese". No, just kidding. Actually he has an allergy to MSG.

Posted by: biteoh | January 19, 2011 5:03 PM

This is deeply unfortunate. Boehner shows himself to be disrespectful, incompetent, and very, very small. No wonder he needs a big gavel. This is not merely an attack on President Obama, it's an attack on all Americans. I don't like being attacked from within. I'm sure President Hu will enjoy this little display - it's one more very public demonstration that America has lost its way. What a disgrace. Posted by: Lee1865
----------
It is not only appropriate but beneficial to disassociate himself from the Obama China policy. President Hu and his fellow oligarchs should be aware that there is an opposition in this country that will hold the administration's feet to the fire in protecting American interests.

All of you commentators who are so eager to attribute disrespect to Boehner, seem to be willing to ignore the open, vocal vituperation of Chuck Schumer and his friends as they introduce anti-China legislation. At least Boehner is subtle about it.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | January 19, 2011 5:03 PM

I'm sure the President of China will be devestated. If Boehner has a point to make, at leaast have the courage to say it. Would he recommend that any GOP President not ever deal with leaders they don't like? Heck, Ronald Reagan sold guns to Islamic Iran. I've never heard the Speaker criticize that action. Obama's just having dinner with the Chinese leader.

Posted by: Sutter | January 19, 2011 5:02 PM

But it's a lot easier to say No!

Posted by: samiismoni14 | January 19, 2011 4:59 PM

The new Speaker of the House does not want to be seen shaking hands with the leader of China nor to be thanked by him for all the jobs his party has sent there over the years....smart Mr Speaker....a real smart move.

Posted by: tdales | January 19, 2011 4:57 PM

It involves Obama and may, in some small way shape or form, make Obama look good.

As a result, Mr. B will not be there.

It is ALL about politics, 24-7. Nothing else, not even the good of the nation, takes precedence.

Posted by: summicron1 | January 19, 2011 4:57 PM

Hey CINCINNATIRICK
You could easily get a job with Faux News as you can spin with the best of them. How many formal state dinners have you been to?

I would not want Boehner to be representing me, no class at all.

Posted by: irenehanlon | January 19, 2011 4:57 PM

Perhaps Speaker Boehner simply does not feel he is capable of sitting there while his country is trashed,

Posted by: IQ168 | January 19, 2011 4:54 PM

Political arrogance and plain stupidity on Boehner's part. I would think attending a State Dinner falls under the duties and responsibilites of the Speaker of America's house. A monumental insult to our Chinese guest and disdain for all Americans

Posted by: dogone4 | January 19, 2011 4:54 PM

These dinners are a waste of taxpayer money. Only Washington DC elites think otherwise. Obama and Hu should just get together and talk about issues, during the day, in an office, where real business can be conducted. To think they can do that, or even get to know each other better, at a dinner like this is ridiculous and the view of only those who have never been to such an event.

Posted by: dstanard | January 19, 2011 4:53 PM

This is a courteous gesture on Boehner's part. The sump pump required to suck up his tears would most certainly disrupt a State Dinner. If it wasn't for low class he'd have no class at all.

Posted by: safe2 | January 19, 2011 4:52 PM

Boehner's conduct is part of string of personal snubs of the President. He refused an invitation to watch the Super Bowl at the White House in 2009, told the President he was too busy to meet after the mid-term elections ("I'll get back to you with my available date") and has now rejected a third invitation to a state dinner. His conduct is personal, purely political and part of his failing plan to make the president look small and insignificant.

Posted by: Rayr | January 19, 2011 4:52 PM

Speaker Boehner is 60. He seems to enjoy his position so he may want to hang in the House for at least 20 more years. He may want to be a Senator. China will be here 20 years from now, and so will the rest of the world. We simple citizens may have short memories, but in the world of diplomacy our leaders must alert of demeanor and slights. Speaker Boehner must be aware that he represents all of us, not just those who elected him.

Posted by: ntmcdowell | January 19, 2011 4:49 PM

This is deeply unfortunate. Boehner shows himself to be disrespectful, incompetent, and very, very small. No wonder he needs a big gavel. This is not merely an attack on President Obama, it's an attack on all Americans. I don't like being attacked from within. I'm sure President Hu will enjoy this little display - it's one more very public demonstration that America has lost its way. What a disgrace.

Posted by: Lee1865 | January 19, 2011 4:47 PM

Boehner is a small minded man in a big world...In his position, he should be going out of his way to, one learn about other people and countries and second, meet world leaders so that should he be called upon, god forbid, to act as President he would at least have some relationship with people of the world.

Posted by: changeisconstant | January 19, 2011 4:46 PM

PS....also being third in line for the Presidency Boehner has a duty to interact with heads of state when the opportunity arises. I assume he would never be up to the task to be Commander In Chief. Posted by: logcabin1836
-------------
He's NOT up to the task. And unlike the last few lightweights we've had in the White House, he knows it. He knows his place and has the potential to be the best Speaker since Sam Rayburn.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | January 19, 2011 4:44 PM

I would venture a guess that Mr. Boehner lacks the confidence in his own abilities to participate intellegently with President Hu. That, plus the fear of crying.

Posted by: questioner2 | January 19, 2011 4:41 PM

I think the Boner is uncomfortable outside his environment (a bar) and might have a crying jag over dinner.

Posted by: inewsmaster | January 19, 2011 4:40 PM

not only did i feel that the speaker showed extremly bad form by going to a "cocktail party/fund raiser" rather then go to the service in arizona then turn down the state dinner as one staffer reportedly said that the speaker dos'ent like "glitz & wash. parties". being second in line to be president also shows an extreme lack of leadership.

Posted by: rwnbeachdrivesw | January 19, 2011 4:40 PM

Letitia Baldrige's name is spelled without the second "d."

Posted by: haveaheart | January 19, 2011 4:39 PM

How John Boehner got to be elected majority leader is beyond me. Everything I read of him is that he is a bit of a lush, doesn't work real hard, golfs a lot, tans a lot and hangs out with the K Street crowd. Since none of his predispositions would be satisfied by attending a US-China State Dinner (he doesn't really care what's happening in China) he RSVP'ed. My assumption is that he'll be out drinking with the insurance, pharmaceutical and HMO lobbyists tonight, instead.

Posted by: ingeandjoe | January 19, 2011 4:39 PM

"...ditching a critical opportunity to better get to know the leader of one of the world's most powerful countries."
-------------
Anyone who thinks that a formal state dinner is an opportunity to "get to know" anyone at all is a certifiable nitwit or a partisan hack desperate for a story line. In this case, probably both.

I'll give you a good reason for not showing: Boehner is not part of this government and does not wish to associate himself with the supine kow-towing it is undertaking. Chances are, he'd also skip all that bowing, scraping and apologizing that Obama seems to favor when dealing with the Moslem world.

So I guess Boehner ain't never going to get a Nobel Peace Prize. Something else he can cry over? ROFL

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | January 19, 2011 4:34 PM

GOP's are about division in our own country so why would anyone think different about how they would project a US image to other countries in the world. GOP's ancient standards..."My way or the highway".

Posted by: dorklord | January 19, 2011 4:34 PM

PS....also being third in line for the Presidency Boehner has a duty to interact with heads of state when the opportunity arises. I assume he would never be up to the task to be Commander In Chief.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | January 19, 2011 4:24 PM

Jena,
Why don't you stop gossiping and spreading rumors when you don't know what you are talking about? Sometimes it's best to be quiet and just observe.

Posted by: chrismdsb | January 19, 2011 4:24 PM

Boehner and others in the GOP often show far more political ideologue than class and good manners. The congressman from SC who yelled "You Lie"...just another example of a lack of good manners.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | January 19, 2011 4:21 PM


It is important to understand one's own limitations. I am sure the reasons for Speaker Boehner's absence are more personal in nature and not political at all.

Posted by: NewThoughts | January 19, 2011 4:20 PM

Every time I see Boehner and hear him speak on television, an image gathers in my mind: a thick block of wood.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 19, 2011 4:18 PM

He's putting politics first.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | January 19, 2011 4:15 PM

The Republican Tea Party wants war with China. It is their world--we are just passing through.

Posted by: WmLaney | January 19, 2011 4:14 PM

He's a lazy politician. Tell him it's an open bar.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 19, 2011 4:11 PM

Senator Reid clearly disclosed the Dem playbook of intending to run on an anti-China platform when Senator Reid went out of his way to insult the Chinese leader.

Why then should Republicans allow the White House to take photos of Speaker Boehner partying with the Chinese?

The Speaker played this moderately. No partying with the Chinese, but not calling them names like Harry Reid did.

Speaker Boehner is also wise not to devote much time to foreign policy matters. Republicans were elected in November on domestic issues - the economy, budget, healthcare, immigration and overregulation.

Speaker Boehner is smart to leave foreign policy to the President and focus on what Republicans were elected to do.

Posted by: jfv123 | January 19, 2011 4:11 PM

Senator Reid clearly disclosed the Dem playbook of intending to run on an anti-China platform when Senator Reid went out of his way to insult the Chinese leader.

Why then should Republicans allow the White House to take photos of Speaker Boehner partying with the Chinese?

The Speaker played this moderately. No partying with the Chinese, but not calling them names like Harry Reid did.

Speaker Boehner is also wise not to devote much time to foreign policy matters. Republicans were elected in November on domestic issues - the economy, budget, healthcare, immigration and overregulation.

Speaker Boehner is smart to leave foreign policy to the President and focus on what Republicans were elected to do.

Posted by: jfv123 | January 19, 2011 4:10 PM


Boehner doing his civility thing? Seems more like incivility.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 19, 2011 4:08 PM

This is the man who is now second in line to be President, and his actions represent a significant snub. Let's assume he has more important things to do than dealing with the second most important country in the world -- like spending more time in his tanning salon.

Posted by: taxpayer2 | January 19, 2011 4:07 PM

Speaker Boehner is displaying a quality that the Chinese are not fond of - lack of respect for their leader. They will remember the people that attended the gala.

Posted by: epalomares | January 19, 2011 4:04 PM

Boehner shows that he is uncomfortable operating in a social atmosphere where good will and genuine understanding is the goal. This choice confirms what seemed apparent during President Obama's first two years: the Republicans have no positive, civic-minded principles - only bad-faith Party-Before-Country selfishness. Horrible.

Posted by: firethief | January 19, 2011 4:04 PM

Boehner seems to be conspicuously failing to step up to the expectations of his office. If he didn't want the role, why did he accept it? This is rude, not just to Obama, but to our guests.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 19, 2011 4:00 PM

It's my understanding that Sen. Reid has also declined to attend. Is that correct? If so, I certainly hope all of this vitriol being heaped on the Speaker goes BOTH ways. ??

Posted by: VaBroker
_____________________
Boehner is third in line for the presidency.

You are comparing apples and oranges.

Posted by: polysciprof | January 19, 2011 3:56 PM

He is the leader of the opposition party = the leader in control of the House.

It's deeply insulting to the Chinese for him not to attend.

Asians cultures take this sort of thing very seriously.

Boehner not going is simply inexcusable, especially in an era when we rely on China for so many American jobs.

Let Boehner explain to the unemployed in the US why he couldn't be bothered to spend a couple of hours at a state dinner on their behalf.

Posted by: TheHillman | January 19, 2011 3:55 PM

I'd be interested to hear the Speaker's real reason but I imagine I'll be waiting a long time. It's President Hu, by the way. Calling him President Jintao is equivalent to calling our president President Barack.

Posted by: lhaller | January 19, 2011 3:44 PM

It's my understanding that Sen. Reid has also declined to attend. Is that correct? If so, I certainly hope all of this vitriol being heaped on the Speaker goes BOTH ways. ??

Posted by: VaBroker | January 19, 2011 3:39 PM

JB should use his government provided/subsidized health insurance to check out that crying problem -- it might be something wrong with a tear duct.

Or, perhaps a mental health issue?

Posted by: okiedeadhead | January 19, 2011 3:29 PM

Boehner does not want to attend because it will interrupt his daily routine of getting to his favorite bar by 4pm. Alcoholics don't like to disrupt their daily drinking schedule. Besides he will look pretty goofy when he starts crying in front of the Chinese leader…

Posted by: Hawkestreet1 | January 19, 2011 3:27 PM

John B. does not seem to have any trouble living it up at the country club, hobnobbing with the rich and powerful there.

I truly wish there were some moderate, rational leadership in the GOP. The country needs competent leaders in both parties.

Instead, we have the likes of Boehner.

Remember when he apologized for handing out checks from the tobacco companies to GOP House members minutes before a vote on regulation of the tobacco industry?

Check out the "Hell No, You Can't Video" on You Tube. Boehner at his best, by which I mean his worst.

Posted by: okiedeadhead | January 19, 2011 3:26 PM

This man is so full of hatred for his president, and Obama is his president. No wonder the world think so little of us, we think so little of one another.

Posted by: echurley | January 19, 2011 3:22 PM

This proves that the Republicans- as evidenced by their so-called leader- are into showy moves, that turn out to be ill-conceived and counter-productive enterprises. The Republicans promised jobs- that's not gonna happen by Boehner not exploring more trading opportunities or the leveling of currency, or even perhaps the enhancement of China to US tourism... No, he just doesn't want to be part of the pomp and circumstance- not an excuse for passing up opportunities for the country and its citizens- the ones he has vowed to find silutions for quickly. if that's the case don't you look at every opportunity for what it might offer??? Bad- unsmooth-move.

Posted by: poppysue85 | January 19, 2011 3:17 PM

The Republican Party of No under the "leadership" of John 'Hell No' Boehner.

Now we know why he cried after the Republicans won the House in the elections:
he's scared.

Posted by: apspa1 | January 19, 2011 3:16 PM

...and in the meantime pursues legislation to somehow retract health care, when it's a forgone conclusion that the Senate will stop that effort.

So what's he doing in this...in this Congress that tells me he's doing ANYTHING?

Same 'ol Bluster, sitting back and taking it in while he does next to nothing.

Taxpayers should fire this absentee employee.

I'd write "public servant", but I see no proof of that.

Posted by: pgibson1 | January 19, 2011 3:06 PM

Boner is a dummy. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | January 19, 2011 3:04 PM

Speaker Boehner should think of this like getting a big promotion at work and in early days needing to show he understands the level he's reached. Fail.

Posted by: GreybirdK1 | January 19, 2011 2:57 PM

Boehner is not the sharpest tack in the stack. It is not intelligent to refuse such invitations; in fact, it is the responsibility of his position to attend such functions. I suspect he sees this as a 'political gesture' towards harmony with the tea-baggers. I can assure him and all moderate Republicans they shall not prevail. Tea-baggers will either 'split' or stay home in 2012. You can take that to the bank.

Posted by: yamamah | January 19, 2011 2:51 PM

What do you expect from a boozy fathead like Boehner? There is not a leadership bone in his body. He makes himself look cheap and stupid and if he is appealing to those tea party elements, he also manages to look weak.

Posted by: LABC | January 19, 2011 2:50 PM

Failure of leadership indeed. He was presumably elected to work for his country's interests, and that includes developing any and all insights possible into a major trade partner.

Posted by: xSamplex | January 19, 2011 2:41 PM

Let Bone"head"er stay home and watch re-runs of Ozzie and Harriet. That's what he relates to . . you know, the "good ole days when ....". How stupid can a political "leader" be? If the tables were different (Nancy P. turn down a Bush state dinner) we'd not hear the end of it for weeks. Or until the next "big thing" shows up in the news. Nuff said!

Posted by: SumHaveSaid | January 19, 2011 2:40 PM

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