Rich Galen

"Witnesses at the hearing testified that the U.S. embassy had escorted Chen to the hospital where he is now being treated for injuries sustained in the escape, but left when visiting hours ended at 9 p.m."

The Associated Press reported Chen told the Committee that he wanted to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "I hope I can get more help from her," he said.

The problem for President Barack Obama is, he now finds himself on the razor's edge balancing between wanting to concluded extremely high-level discussions with the Chinese while one activist has successfully put himself squarely in a limelight he cannot see.

Chen would like to come to the U.S. with his family - specifically he would like to leave when Secretary Clinton does. He further wants to be able to return to China "in safety" which might be a bit of an overreach.

The issue for Mrs. Clinton is this: Is she now in a position where Chen Guangcheng will, in effect, be left on the runway with his family as her plane leaves for the U.S.?

Americans and Chinese, after frenzied talks, reached a deal that would send Chen to a local hospital and out of the safety of the U.S. embassy. The AP posed the issue this way: "Whether the Chinese would be willing to renegotiate a deal that both sides thought had been settled a day earlier."

Will Obama issue orders to get Chen and his family out of China? Or will he decide the Clinton/Geithner talks take precedence.

People around the world are watching to see what Obama does in the next few days.

Tough being President.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.