The reaction to the Obama Administration's decision to send Vice Talker Joe Biden to China on a supremely delicate diplomatic mission was pretty universal: Fuck! Please please please tell us that he didn't terrify them with awkward jokes about their large holdings of U.S. Treasuries?
On Thursday, China's vice president and likely leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, met Biden at the Great Hall of the People.
"Good to see you again," Xi said. "I know you are very busy with national affairs at home."
"You ARE national affairs," Biden told his counterpart from the United States' largest creditor.
Things sort of snowballed from there:
After on a stroll up the red carpet, Biden found a familiar face during introductions to the Chinese delegation.
"Remember what I told you last time: if I had hair like yours I'd be president," the 68-year-old VP with a well-groomed but receding silver hairline said. [...]
"I used to have an important job when I was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee," Biden told Wu. "I had a big office, large staff. Then I became vice president."
Members of the press pool speculated that joke, at least, may have been lost in translation.
We're guessing that he stopped short of a desperate flapping dickie routine, since the dollar hasn't completely plummeted.