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Posted at 3:20 PM ET, 01/18/2011

Guess who's not coming to dinner: Boehner once again declines state dinner invite

By The Reliable Source

Judy Chu (T.J. Kirkpatrick/PictureGroup)/John Boehner (AP/Tom Uhlman)/ Gary Locke (AP/Tom Uhlman)

Who's on the guest list for tomorrow's state dinner for Chinese president Hu Jintao? The White House is keeping a tight lid on all details of the black-tie party, but a few names have leaked out. The biggest surprise? Speaker John Boehner has declined -- once again -- to attend a state dinner. Boehner said no thanks to the president's invitation for his previous two state dinners, too. Why? Unclear, although these events are clearly not his thing: The last one he attended was in 2007, when George W. Bush hosted Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor won't get a chance to sub for Boehner -- an aide told Politico he didn't receive an invite.

Confirmed guests are pretty much who you would expect: Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke (his father was born in China), and Rep. Judy Chu, the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress. Oakland mayor Jean Quan confirmed she was invited and told reporters she's bringing Edwin Lee, interim mayor of San Francisco, as her date. Of course, U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman will attend, as well as John Chen, chairman of of the Committee of 100, a group of Chinese-American business leaders.

Chinese-American celebs who made the cut? Yo-Yo Ma -- who was named a recipient of the Medal of Freedom by the White House in November -- will be there. Ma attended the last state dinner honoring China in 1997, along with designer Vera Wang. Jason Wu, who made the first lady's inaugural gown, seems like no-brainer. . . but maybe not. Wu was raised in Taiwan, which is still a touchy political subject.

Updated Tuesday 6 p.m.

Read more about the China state visit and China state dinner

By The Reliable Source  | January 18, 2011; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington, Parties, Politics, White House State Dinner  
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Comments

It would appear that Speaker Boehner is not eager to be a public figure. What that means, I will leave to others to determine.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | January 18, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The dinner would cut into Boehner's golf game. Apparently meeting the leader of an economic rival doesn't interest the Speaker of the House. You know, the guys and gals who will be making economic decisions.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 18, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

It's better this way. By dinner time Boehner is usually very very drunk. Then he'd start crying and everyone would be uncomfortable.

Posted by: echoparkla | January 18, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

It's better this way. By dinner time Boehner is usually very very drunk. Then he'd start crying and everyone would be uncomfortable.

Posted by: echoparkla | January 18, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Has it occurred to any of you that perhaps the Speaker of the House does not want to lend credibility to this farce of a meeting and waste of taxpayers' dollars? I respect his staying away from the embarrassing performance that obama will make bowing and cowtowing to the chinese. John Boehner has more class in his little finger than the persons who make personal attacks on him have in their entire being. How could you possibly have an inkling of why he might stay away from a "show" if that's all you know how to do?

Posted by: arcticrose1 | January 18, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Has it occurred to any of you that perhaps the Speaker of the House does not want to lend credibility to this farce of a meeting and waste of taxpayers' dollars? I respect his staying away from the embarrassing performance that obama will make bowing and cowtowing to the chinese. John Boehner has more class in his little finger than the persons who make personal attacks on him have in their entire being. How could you possibly have an inkling of why he might stay away from a "show" if that's all you know how to do?

Posted by: arcticrose1 | January 18, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I doubt Jason Wu since he's from Taiwan.

And, BTW, articrose1 (so profund had to say it twice), FWIW, it's spelled "kowtowing."

Posted by: dadada | January 18, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, arcticrose1, this "show" is called diplomacy. Like it or not, it is how the world operates. Oh, that's right, we don't like the rest of the world. USA! USA!

Posted by: Waffle365 | January 18, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The antichrist1 wrote:

"Has it occurred to any of you that perhaps the Speaker of the House does not want to lend credibility to this farce of a meeting and waste of taxpayers' dollars?"

Nope, frankly. Mr. Boner is a chain smoker who enjoys using recreational chemicals that cause his skin to turn orange. For fun he also likes to round up homeless people, get them registered as card carrying Republicans and get them all to agree to vote against anything and everything said by a Democrat, no matter how reasonable or intelligent. He also tends to break out into crying spells for no apparent reason. He's really not able to be seen publicly without embarrassing pretty much everyone around him. So your suggested explanation for his refusal to appear at dinner did not really occur to anyone with a brain.

Posted by: law1 | January 18, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I was very surprised and sadden to see that The Speaker of the House, John Boehner declined the invitation to go to the State dinner in honor of the Chinese president. Doesn't he want to expand his interactions with world leaders? What about trying to understanding the complex dynamics at play between the United States and China?

I am sure that these social events prove a foundation where opposing ideas can be bridged for further discussions.

Unfortunately, John Boehner decided against
cultivating an opportunity for international understanding and a potential step forward and instead took two steps backward.

Posted by: joann8 | January 18, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I know his true motives.

He's trying to stick with the Cheez Whiz and white bread constituency and shun the current organic-garden, sustainable White House fare.

Posted by: AsperGirl | January 18, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Why do I think that John Yoo was not on The List?

Posted by: bmschumacher | January 18, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Never mind, Yoo is Korean.

My bad.

Posted by: bmschumacher | January 18, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

This guy is a national embarassment. He probably is at another fundraiser again. Just shows how little he actually cares about doing his job.

Posted by: libertyanne | January 18, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

He's a heavy smoker and couldn't go that long without a few puffs. Great excuse, huh?

Posted by: DanB7 | January 18, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

He may be afraid he will put a lampshade on his head and dance on the tables.

Posted by: Jihm | January 18, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he's going to spend the time making care packages for the thousands of political prisoners, religious leaders and human rights activists jailed in China? Maybe he's preparing food aid for the 700 million Chinese who live in poverty as slave laborers? Maybe he's writing a press release for the censors in China to kill from publication? I could go on all night. When will you wake up and see that China is not a "normal" country - it's an evil oppressive deceptive thugocracy!

Posted by: Drew95 | January 18, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I dont know his reason for not atteding the State Dinner for a 3rd yr str8 but its clear that if Boehner had any true intrested in helping the country and economy recover he would at least attend the dinner, no one is asking boehner to rub elbows with Obama just be a good publice figure as the country expect

Posted by: JeroRobson1 | January 19, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Boehner is a lazy rep.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 19, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Hu's not coming to dinner?

(I just had to.)

Posted by: trossc | January 19, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Read the article about Boehner in the current Rolling Stone. You'll understand why he's not attending.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 19, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Boner - er, Boehner - is eager to demonstrate which side he's on in our national political civil war.

Posted by: lilhornie | January 19, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Not very classy of him to continuously decline. Meetings and dinners like this grease the wheels for the future, be it good or bad. As fro those thinking this is his "statement" against the evils of China, puh-lease. I doubt he's working on Samaritan's Purse-style care packages tonight.

Posted by: HappyArmyWife | January 19, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Boehner has a previous engagement, he will be at Chik-fil-a that night.

Posted by: fluxgirl | January 19, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

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