Insult, or Just Plain Incompetence?

on Thursday, March 5, 2009

Often times when high-level international government officials meet for the first time, they exchange gifts. For example, when Britain Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently visited Washington, he gave President Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet - once called HMS President. The gift holds significant meaning as the timbers come from the sister ship of the HMS Resolute - the same HMS Resolute whose remnants became the Resolute desk which serves as the president's personal desk in the oval office - yet another gift from the Brits.

So what thoughtful gift did President Obama give to Gordon Brown on his trip to Britain? A 25 pack of DVDs. And not even Blu-Ray for that matter:

For despite being leader of the world's most bountiful nation, President Obama handed over nothing more thought-provoking than 25 classic American films on DVD.

It was the equivalent of receiving a pair of socks from an unfamiliar aunt at Christmas - and a less-than-glowing affirmation of the UK-US bond

Despite being a 'special collector's box set', any film buff could have picked up the movies from their local video store for just £250.

It is not clear what the Prime Minister - not believed to a great fan of cinema - thought about receiving the films.
What a slap in the face to our strongest world ally. And to top it all off, I bet Obama doesn't even know that they probably weren't even for the right DVD region, meaning PM Brown wouldn't even be able to watch them in the UK.

Well, maybe Michelle Obama did better with her gifts to the Brown's children

Mr Brown and his wife also showered gifts on the Obama children giving Sasha and Malia an outfit each from Topshop and six children's books by British authors which are shortly to be published in America.

In return, the Obamas gave the Browns two models of the presidential helicopter, Marine One, to take home to sons Fraser and John.
A couple of plastic replicas of the presidential helicopter? I'm a poor college student and even I get my kids better gifts than that! Way to go family Obama.