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March 05, 2009

Beware Obama's Bearing Gifts (Part 2)

I fear this may become a continuing series. Which would suck, because I really don't like thinking about the Obamas.

However, the President has now given British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a gift to commemorate his visit to America. You will recall that lat night I wrote about the craptacular response of Michelle "The Klingon with Klass" Obama to the gifts her children received from the Browns.

But before I reveal the President's gift, let's review what he received from PM Brown so that a little perspective can be had:

Mr Brown's gifts included an ornamental desk pen holder made from the oak timbers of Victorian anti-slaver HMS Gannet, once named HMS President.

Mr Obama was so delighted he has already put it in pride of place in the Oval Office on the Resolute desk which was carved from timbers of Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute.

Another treasure given to the U.S. President was the framed commission for HMS Resolute, a vessel that came to symbolise Anglo-US peace when it was saved from ice packs by Americans and given to Queen Victoria.

Finally, Mr Brown gave a first edition set of the seven-volume classic biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.

Those are classy gifts, and fully uphold the spirit of the US/UK special relationship. They are tasteful and, in the particular case of the pen made from the anti-slaver ship HMS Gannet, imbued with additional symbolic meaning that elevates them to a status in which one would not be surprised to find it on prominent display in the National Archives or in the Obama Presidential Library (opening, January 2013 with any luck).

So how did "Smart Diplomat in Chief" reciprocate? Did he, perhaps, have a pen forged out of the remnants of a M4-Sherman to commemorate the Patton-Montgomery deliverance of North Africa from Nazi control?

No, no, no. You see, that would take thought, and it isn't something you can just pick up on the spur of the moment at the White House Gift Shop. So what did our Boy President Barry give the Brits? What vestige of Americana will Gordon Brown receive on behalf of the British people to commemorate Brown's historic meeting with the American President?

Gordon Brown has been given a collection of 25 classic American films on DVD as his official gift from Barack Obama.

I think I'd ask for the pen back. But that's just me. The Brits, stiff upper lip and all, are much more guarded in their response.

No 10 had tried to keep the present a secret, refusing to answer reporters who asked what President Obama had given to mark the reaffirmation of the special relationship.

However, the Evening Standard discovered the truth through White House insiders.

One reason for the secrecy might be that the gift seems markedly less generous and thoughtful than the presents taken to Washington by the Prime Minister.

You don't say.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to take a guess at some of the movies that might be included in the DVD set, so I could figure out just how benevolent the Obama's were.

Let's see. How about the Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind and Casablanca?

You can buy a Wizard of Oz DVD for $2-$8 dollars online.

You can snag a copy of Gone With the Wind for $3.99 online.

And Casablanca (which you know is in there because it translates to "White House" and Obama can get in a plug for himself) will set you back $3.99 as well.

On the other hand, maybe it's just 25 Blaxpoitation films starring Jim Brown and Pam Grier. Who the hell knows?

(1974's "Foxy Brown" sells for $10.98 by the way. It might actually be less embarrassing if the Obamas did give the British PM 25 Blaxploitation films!)

In any event, I suppose that, as opposed to some lousy pen carved from the timbers of an anti-slaver ship, DVD's are fun for the whole family! Brown could always give them to the BBC to supplement their late night lineup perhaps. Think outside the box, people!

I'm gonna miss England when the Muslims take it over. My only solace is that I bet the British are saying the same thing about the United States.



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posted by Jack M. at 12:14 PM

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