Things are not going well for foreign policy wonk Mitt Romney. Head south.
(Updated at bottom of diary)
Today, Chen Guangchen checked out of the US Embassy and into the VIP Clinic of Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, leaving, as Xinhua reports, "of his own volition", where he reunited with his two children and wife Yuan Weijing after they traveled by high speed rail, escorted by Central Government Officials.
Oh no! That crazy dissident Chen kept his word on his desire to remain in China and continue work on fighting corruption and promoting reform in local government, prodding Uncle Wen to speed things up and help him seek justice.
It could not be immediately confirmed if Presumed Republican Candidate and Expert on Everything Newt Gingrich will send his personal envoy of Asian Affairs, Chuck Norris, to apologize for the Obama Administration's mishandling of Mr Chen's confinement.
Coda: Chen has been promised to move to a safe house and then attend the university of his choice to continue his work. Dude, you rock! Really.
Updated 2012-05-03 08:25 China Central Time:
As Dartagnan and singlemom2012 note, Chen has now stated the reason he left the US Embassy is he feared for the safety of is family as they would have been sent home had he remained. Furthermore, this morning Chen has released a statement appealing to Mr. Obama to help him leave China with his family, complicating matters.
As the BBC Reports:Unfortunately, that may now be not so simple. So what do you think? How should this be handled, and what do you think is a reasonable expectation for US involvement in this case?
Earlier Mr Chen's lawyer said the activist was "happy" after receiving "clear assurances" from Beijing.
But Associated Press quoted Mr Chen, 40, as saying he had been told by US officials of the threat from the Chinese authorities and "got the feeling that the US government and the embassy was quite supportive of me leaving as well".
US officials had accompanied Mr Chen to a Beijing hospital, where he was reunited with his wife and two children.
US state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland later said: "At no time did any US officials speak to Chen about physical or legal threats to his wife and children. Nor did Chinese officials make any such threats to us."
But she added: "Chinese officials had indicated to us that his family would be returned to Shandong, and they would lose their opportunity to negotiate for reunification."
CNN said it had spoken to Mr Chen and he said he felt let down by the US and wanted to leave China with his family as soon as possible.
"I would like to say to President Obama - please do everything you can to get our family out," CNN quoted him as saying.
I'm running late for work, will check back tonight. Thanks for your comments.