Bring in the CEOs
President Obama is calling in some new faces for a meeting today with Chinese executives. CEOs from a host of U.S. companies—Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein, GE’s Jeffrey Immelt and more—will head to the White House to talk about the “important commercial relationships that our CEOs have and want to expand in China,” according to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. One Chinese executive, Lu Guanqui of the Wanxiang Group, said that the executives are welcomed by people in the United States because they are “solving [Americans'] employment problems.” Meetings between U.S. officials and Chinese President Hu Jintao, who was met at the airport yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden, are of course also scheduled.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on CBS’s Early Show yesterday talking about her future plans and her “very happy past.” About whispers that she might be the next secretary of defense, Clinton said, “As far as I know, these are just rumors. I'm happy to stay where I am.” And she commented that she has no plans to seek office in the future.
Clinton meanwhile is having trouble finding a replacement for the late special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. Nicholas Burns, who served in the State Department under Condoleezza Rice and is currently at Harvard, reportedly already turned the job down. Former Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and former Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson are also unlikely to jump at the prospect according to some reports.
The idea of giving General David Petraeus a fifth star has been making its way around various news outlets recently. It’s only been given out ten times—ever. A veterans group is hoping to submit a petition to the Hill to place Petraeus in the ranks of Eisenhower, Marshall, MacArthur and Nimitz, but that promotion could be a long time coming. The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said yesterday, “That’s not even something we’re thinking about.”