Little Trouble in Big China

From Holden:

Outgoing Commerce Secretary and long-time Bush sphincter buddy Don Evans got an ear full in China yesterday.

“Judging from the view of friends and judging from the achievements of your work, I should say that 70 percent of what you have done has been pretty good,” said Commerce Minister Bo Xilai.

A visibly uncomfortable Evans responded with surprise.

“Oh, hey, that’s almost flunking,” he said. “That’s almost failure.”

Later, Evans told The Associated Press that Bo meant the comment as praise.

“You know, his answer to me was that Deng Xiaoping only gave himself a grade of 70 percent, so he said he was complimenting me on a job well done,” Evans said. Deng was considered China’s paramount leader until his death in 1997.