Amidst swirling controversy, David Wu attends state dinner at White House

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Less than 24 hours after the Oregonian's Janie Har and Charlie Pope reported on the exodus of key staff and consultants from Congressman David Wu's congressional office and campaign, he was one of just nine members of Congress invited to attend a state dinner at the White House. The state dinner was in honor of the visit of Hu Jintao, the president of China.

According to the New York Times, Wu was likely invited because he is American's first Chinese-American member of Congress - and because he's been an outspoken critic of China's human rights policies:

Some attendees were blithe about [getting a coveted invitation].

“I was born Chinese, I think,” said Representative David Wu, Democrat of Oregon, explaining why he got his invitation.

He said it “came in over the transom,” but he was not entirely surprised, given that he is the first Chinese-American ever elected to the House, and has been an advocate for human rights in China. Mr. Wu traveled to Oslo recently to attend the ceremony at which Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned Chinese dissident, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia.

Mr. Obama has been publicly pressing Mr. Hu over China’s human rights record, and the White House seemed to be using the guest list to reinforce that message. Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, was among the attendees. “I take the reason I was invited as a statement to President Hu,” Mr. Roth said.

The full guest list is at Willamette Week.

Meanwhile, on the jump, a smattering of the blog reaction to the Oregonian story...

Reactions from the left:

Rep. David Wu has always struck people as a little odd (many of you probably remember his Klingons speech), but it seems like something has intensified lately, and it's starting to come out in the open. ... This is a D+8 district with a robust Dem bench, which is good because this may be a difficult story for Wu to shake, especially given general rumblings of discontent with him that have been building over time.

Reactions from the right:

Actually, reading the story it sounds like he’s undergone some sort of personality change. Could that be true? Is he really just a shadow of the man that we once knew?

Clearly, the fiendish mind control experiments by the Klingons in the White House from 2001 to 2008 have finally had their way with Rep. David Wu (D-OR).

So now many of his staffers are leaving him because of his odd behavior and doing it with plenty of time for Democratics to find a new candidate for his Congressional district in 2012. You just know they are going to find a way to do it.

Apolitical reactions:

I have personally met Congressman Wu once. I was in DC on some technology meetings, and I was asked to go with a colleague to visit him to discuss some security technology initiatives with him. Given that he represents one of the most technical districts in the nation, he’s considered a technology expert. I can say I was impressed with his technology staff, and that he tried to understand our position. I can’t say that I left confident that he would actually represent the desires of his district.

I would hope that the Congressman is okay, and that his personal life works out in a way that doesn’t affect his professional job. I also hope that those of us in the 1st district figure out who’s representing us these days.

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    Most of the tweets / retweets are about TSA security. That could be the one that really hurts, because it demonstrates the arrogance of power, a damaging quality in this political climate.

    I can already see the television, radio, and internet ads featuring interviews of the outraged passengers.

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      Just the most recent ones. Early on, it was a lot of "his staff are bailing out - what's going on?"

      The TSA angle appears to be driven by a Fox News online item, which appears aimed more at the TSA - suggesting that the agency itself made a decision to allow his campaign activity, rather than that a local staffer broke regs under pressure from a powerful and pushy individual.

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    It's good that someone is paying attention to Chinese human rights abuses. Now we need someone in Congress paying attention to US human rights abuses.

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    WA Gov Chris Gregoire is also on the dinner invite list, as is Jackie Chan!

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    Henry Kissinger is as well.

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    I can't believe this guy keeps getting re-elected. Jim Fister got it right and if you were to look at Wu's record of accomplishments during the 12 yrs he has warmed a chair in Washington (while his wife was busy writing hot checks all over it) then they would have to scratch their heads and wonder what he was doing with all of his spare time. Of all of his anti-1st district votes it has been his F grade from numbers usa on immigration reform that are the most galling and undefensible. I am hoping that he gets crazy enough that he needs to resign and in as much as he is already bnuttier than squirrel dung that shouldn't take too much

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    "Dead or Alive: Pajamas Media?"

    Really? I could have sworn they were dead. Kaput.

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    I would have invited the 14th Dalai Lama to dinner with Presdient Hu. Why not just put shark fin soup on the menu and get down to brass tacks?

    Tibet still upsets me. I can't help but feel like China is a big bully, on many levels. But maybe that is just the protectionist atmosphere going around. I know so little about Chinese culture. Free Tibet.

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    What odd behavior? Would someone please backtrack and explain.

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