Barack Obama: Giver of iPods, Star Wars, and ET DVDs [by Will]
Let’s be honest. We’ve all been there. It’s Christmas day and you’re watching someone open a gift you bought for them with your fingers crossed, hoping you don’t get the fake smile and the, “Oh, neat… Chinese checkers” head-tilt. And on the other hand, we’ve also had to pretend we’re excited about the motivational book about soccer from a single aunt who’s into new-age. I can’t help but imagine that that is the same reaction British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had to put on when Obama gave him his gift while Brown visited the White House back in March.
I would love to have seen Barack’s face when the Prime Minister handed him “a pen holder fashioned from the oak timber of HMS Ganner, a Navy vessel that served on anti-slavery missions off Africa,” and then, “a framed commissioning paper for the HMS Resolute, a Royal navy ship that came to symbolize British-American goodwill when it was rescued by the U.S. from icebergs and given to Queen Victoria.” Obama probably gulped, took his hands out of his pockets, and nervously took a step back before pulling out his gift for Gordon Brown, a box set of 25 American DVDs.
Now don’t get me wrong- any gift is better than no gift. If I were President Obama, I don’t think I would have even thought to get a gift for the Prime Minister because I don’t know the rules on international gift giving among world leaders. But then again, that’s what his advisers are for. I really have to scratch my head and wonder why they OKed the DVDs. Again, had it been me and I knew I had to get a present, I think I’d have done a little research and looked at past gifts and made sure mine was up to par. And if nothing else, at least made sure the DVDs were in the correct format and would actually play in a DVD player in Britain. Oops!
I’d sympathize with the president more if he didn’t strike out a second time only a month later. When Obama found out he had to get a gift for the Queen Elizabeth II he apparently thought she was 16 years old. Which is why when he met with her last week, he gave her an iPod. The most hilarious part? She already had one. At least this time he wasn’t getting much in return when she handed him a signed photograph of herself in a silver frame. Talk about arrogance. But I think everybody already knew the British were arrogant just by listening to their accents. Still, just because the Queen also gives bad gifts, that shouldn’t excuse two terrible half-assed gifts by the president- back to back.
Barack, didn’t you say you were going to improve our standing with other nations?