Worst Week in Washington in

The Washington Post Sunday - - OUTLOOK - By Chris Cillizza Have a can­di­date for the Worst Week in­Wash­ing­ton? E-mail chris.cillizza@wpost.com with your nom­i­nees.

When Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao came to Washington for an of­fi­cial state visit this past week, he was greeted with that great­est of Amer­i­can at­tributes: skep­ti­cism.

While Hu was feted at a state din­ner (the Fix’s in­vite must have been lost in the mail) and re­ceived all the trap­pings a world leader would ex­pect, there were also some awk­ward mo­ments.

At a joint news con­fer­ence with Pres­i­dent Obama on Wed­nes­day, Hu was chal­lenged on China’s hu­man rights record by Bloomberg’s Hans Ni­chols: “First off, my col­league asked you a ques­tion about hu­man rights, which you did not an­swer,” said Ni­chols, re­fer­ring to a prior ques­tion by Ben Feller of the As­so­ci­ated Press. “I was won­der­ing if we could get an an­swer to that ques­tion.”

Ouch. Hu even­tu­ally fessed up that “a lot still needs to be done in China, in terms of hu­man rights.”

It didn’t get much bet­ter for Hu when he went to Capi­tol Hill to hud­dle with Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can lead­ers. Hu and Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) were all smiles on Thurs­day, but just a few days ear­lier, Reid told a Ne­vada TV sta­tion that Hu was a “dic­ta­tor.” (He back­tracked soon af­ter.)

Reid was not the only Hu-basher on the Hill. Rep. Ileana Ros-Le­hti­nen (R-Fla.) de­clined an in­vite to the state din­ner, call­ing Hu the “leader of a re­pres­sive regime,” while Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) com­pared China to a “gang­ster regime that mur­ders their own peo­ple.”

The Chi­nese, for their part, seemed un­ruf­fled by the crit­i­cism. “The two pres­i­dents had ex­ten­sive and friendly ex­changes,” said the coun­try’s vice for­eign min­is­ter, adding that the visit “proved to be a great suc­cess.”

Pres­i­dent Hu, for get­ting the Bronx cheer on your of­fi­cial visit to the nation’s cap­i­tal, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Con­grats, or some­thing.


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