Revealing tale of two Washingtons

Updated: 2012-02-10 08:07

By Chen Weihua (China Daily)

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Revealing tale of two Washingtons

During my two trips to Seattle, Washington, I was often reminded by local government officials and business leaders that this Washington is not "the other Washington".

By saying the other Washington, they meant Washington D.C., home to the White House, Capitol Hill and numerous federal government buildings.

The desire to distance themselves from the Washington that is home to the US political institutions is not surprising if you consider that the public approval rating for the US Congress hit a record low of 9 percent last October according to a New York Times poll. The result of a Gallup poll released on Wednesday looks equally dismal at 10 percent, down from 13 percent in January. The 17 percent average rating for 2011 is also the lowest yearly average rating for the Congress recorded by Gallup.

Americans increasingly use the word "dysfunctional" to describe the deep divide between the Democrats and Republicans in Congress as well as the contention between the Republican-dominated House of Representatives and the White House.

In the tug-of-war between the parties, nothing seems to get done. This will be especially true this year as the two parties are drumming up support for the presidential election.

There will be numerous negative political advertisements in the coming months as Republican presidential candidates attack each other in their bid to secure the nomination. And whoever