Former Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) greets First Lady Michelle Obama in China, while Roll Call notes how Baucus left a lot of cash behind as he readied a move overseas. And, when it comes to Russia, former Ambassador, and Montana native, Michael McFaul says Putin may be just getting started.
Landing on an unusually blue-sky Beijing afternoon, Michelle Obama launched a six-day trip to China Thursday, aimed at smoothing Sino-U.S. relations with a carefully orchestrated exercise in soft diplomacy.
Obama, joined by her mother, Marian Robinson, and two daughters, Malia and Sasha, was greeted on the tarmac at Beijing Capital International Airport by Chinese officials and newly installed Ambassador to China Max Baucus and his wife, Melodee Hanes. Also on hand were three busloads of mostly Chinese media, some of whom were there to scrutinize the Obamas’ fashion choices, having done so during the past week.
In the days to follow, the Obamas will visit part of the Great Wall near Beijng, the Terracotta Warriors in Xian and the Chengdu Panda Base, home to about 50 pandas under study. Mixed in will be education roundtables and school visits with students, which will be blogged and broadcast through a White House collaboration with PBS LearningMedia and Discovery Education.
From Roll Call:
Days before becoming the new U.S. Ambassador to China, a U.S. Senator gave away almost half a million dollars from his political fund.
Former Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., contributed $475,000 on January 31st to the Montana Democratic Party, which reported it today to the Federal Election Commission.
BloombergView.com- Former Ambassador: Putin May Be Just Getting Started
Michael McFaul, who recently stepped down as U.S. ambassador to Russia, says President Vladimir Putin is riding “an ugly nationalistic fervor that’s off the charts,” and is likely to escalate tensions with the U.S. and Europe over Ukraine.
The crisis has ominous implications , the former envoy to Moscow believes. “This is the critical turn at the end of the post-Cold War period; the idea of integrating and engaging Russia is done.”