Tacky Obama Gifts Imperil U.S./British Special Relationship
Whatever decisions come out of the G-20 Summit in London, one conclusion seems unanimous: No one in the international diplomatic community wants President Obama as their Secret Santa.
Any thought that Obama’s gift to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown of 25 American DVDs (“Mr. Prime Minister, let me present to you the first season of ‘The King of Queens,’ the ‘Harold and Kumar’ and ‘American Pie’ collections and season two of ‘Quincy, M.E.,’ which includes the episode where Quincy and Sam discover the clam dip was poisoned — an American classic!”) was a fluke was shattered with the news that President Obama presented Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with … an iPod.
First President Obama gives the British Prime Minister DVDs that don’t work, now he gives the Royal Sovereign an iPod. It’s hard to see how this is appropriate on any level. Unless Obama has some special “Presidential Edition” iPod, the one he gave Queen Elizabeth II, like mine, says “Assembled in China,” so it’s not exactly made in America — not to mention (a) the queen already owns one and (b) you don’t give the queen an iPod.
One would think the State Department, our embassy or even Laetitia Baldridge would be able to advise on proper gifts for heads of state. In the meantime, perhaps the president should pick up Nicholas Wapshott’s Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher: A Political Marriage, to learn how a positive relationship between American and British heads of state can benefit both nations, and close the West Wing branch of Spencer’s Gifts before we offend the British any further.
Our nations’ special relationship has endured two world wars, but any more Obama gifts might just be the breaking point.
Next stops on the trip — Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany. Here’s hoping the Merkels and Sarkozys don’t end up with a pair of brand-new ShamWows.