Thursday, October 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Hu's on First

That state dinner at the White House was confusing.

Hu's on First

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Did you see Hu was at the White House last night?

BE: Who?

JB: Right.

BE: Wright? David Wright, the baseball player?

JB: No, Hu.

BE: That's what I asked!

JB: I'm talking about Chinese President Hu Jintao! He was the honored guest at a state dinner last night.

BE: Those always include a lot of famous people. What else?

JB: Chao.

BE: And I'll bet it was good chow. It was a state dinner.

JB: No, no. Elaine Chao, former Labor Secretary.

BE: Ah. But, seriously, how was the chow?

JB: Are you asking about Energy Secretary Steven Chao? He was there too.

BE: OK, forget the food, tell me more about the guests. Who else?

JB: Axe.

BE: I am asking!

JB: Axe was there! Presidential advisor David Axelrod. Axe.

BE: I feel like I'm on a Tilt-a-Whirl. Just tell me the name of a famous guest.

JB: Yo Ma.

BE: Look, I'm getting tired of your smartass responses.

JB: The cellist! Yo Yo Ma!

BE: Let me take a deep breath and start over. Who dined with Hu?

JB: Lots of stars: Olympic skater Michelle Kwan; architect Maya Lin; designer Vera Wang. Oh, and Gov. Christie and Barbra Streisand.

BE: As a couple?

JB: Nah. Christie was probably there to see how to cut costs at state dinners. And Streisand, who knows?

BE: Hu knows her?

JB: I've had it. This is too painful. Yeow.

BE: NBA star Yao Ming was there?

JB: Stop it! Go edit something.


John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
Also on
Stay Connected