The Gifts

coin

That.

It was all going so well. The dresses, the brains, the Vogue cover shoot – everything so far about Michelle Obama has left us wide-mouthed in admiration. It seemed there was no end to her fabulousness. Then Mr and Mrs Brown came to stay.

Like all good guests, Sarah Brown arrived bearing gifts for the children, Malia and Sasha. And they were really nice presents. A bit of thought had clearly gone into choosing them: Top Shop dresses (with matching necklaces) and a selection of books by British authors. Lovely.

Mrs Brown may have two boys but she certainly knows the way to a little girl’s heart. These were gifts chosen in the true spirit of present-giving: to please the recipient, not the giver.

In return Mrs Obama gave the Brown children, Fraser and John, two toy models of Marine One, the Presidential helicopter. Fair enough on the helicopter part, always a popular choice with small boys; but Marine One? It’s not as though anyone needs reminding that Barack Obama is President or that he has his own helicopter. Short of giving the boys Action Man models of her own husband smiting the evil forces of neoconservatism, Mrs Obama’s gesture could not have been more solipsistic or more inherently dismissive of Mrs Brown.

Not only did she demonstrate that she spent approximately three seconds contemplating the needs of the Brown boys (having an aide pop to the White House gift shop for a piece of merchandising does not imply a great deal of thought), she appeared to show a most uncharacteristic lapse of judgment.

It’s my understanding the toy helicopters go for $15 a piece in the White House gift-shop. I wonder if Michelle got an employee’s spouse’s discount?

Keep.

Well, what would you buy Gordon Brown? He’s not a man known for pleasure – rather as the sort to take an afternoon’s summer holiday before heading straight back to work, so it must be hard. But Barack Obama can’t have predicted the scornful response of the Daily Mail when he decided to pick Gordon up a few DVDs.

In return for a pen holder carved from the timbers of the sister ship of the one the White House desk is made from and a first edition of a seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill, the Mail is appalled that “Barack Obama, the leader of the world’s richest country” gave Brown a box set of 25 DVDs selected by the American Film Institute. These include Raging Bull, Casablanca, Psycho and The Graduate. It is, the Mail says, “a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks”.

The pen holder, by the way, was made from the wood of the HMS Gannet, which was an anti-slave ship and the sister ship HMS Resolute, whose timbers were used to make the so-called Resolute Desk, presented as a gift by Queen Victoria and still used in the Oval Office today.

Get that? The first black president trades 25 DVDs for a gift made from the wood of an historic anti-slave ship of our oldest and arguably most faithful ally.

WTFJimmy as June would say.

On giving.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opened her first extended talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by giving him a present meant to symbolize the Obama administration’s vow to “press the reset button” on U.S.-Russia relations. She handed a palm-sized box wrapped with a bow. Lavrov opened it and pulled out the gift: a red button on a black base with a Russian word peregruzka printed on top. “We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton asked. “You got it wrong,” Lavrov said. Instead of “reset,” Lavrov said the word on the box meant “overcharge.”

Frankly I’m surprised they weren’t passing out Obama coins.

Do these people have any idea what they are doing? Seriously, I knew that Barry would be like Carter and that his administration would be both corrupt and incompetent but, damn, I never expected this level of Three Stooges behavior.

It’s downright embarrassing. Wasn’t Barry supposed to make the world respect and love us? Instead he is making them laugh at us, something they never did when Bush was in charge. Yeah, they didn’t like us. Hell, some of them hated us (and still do even now that Barry is in charge), but I don’t think any of them were laughing at us. And my guess is that they respected Bush either as an enemy or as a loyal friend. Not so much, Barry.

Barry Obama . . . the Rodney Dangerfield of world leaders.

He get’s no respect. (Again, a lot like Carter.)

Advertisements

4 Comments

  1. I just read about this myself today. Don’t these people have advisors for God’s sake?? Ugh. The whole thing makes me cringe. Where’s dubya when you need him.

  2. You really have to wonder how it happened. Clearly, no one meant to offend anyone, I sure hope some staffers are getting axed for this. I blogged about it at http://www.thehegemonist.com/2009/03/diplomatic-gifting.html

  3. “overcharge”

    That made me laugh out loud.

  4. I believe it was incompetence with Hillary’s people, but I am not so sure that Michelle and Barry didn’t mean to somehow send a message that Great Britain is not that important to them. The incompetence of this new administration is matched by its arrogance that is for sure.


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s