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Cheap Gifts Given to Prime Minister~

Posted by on Apr. 1, 2009 at 3:20 AM
  • 5 Replies

 Not surprising....Obama is self-seeking along w/ his wife Michelle~

London aghast at President Obama over gifts given to Prime Minister Brown

BY David Saltonstall
Daily News Senior Correspondent

Updated Saturday, March 7th 2009, 2:03 AM

Edmonds/AP

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown walk from the Oval Office of the White House.

You'd think President Obama had booted the Brits out of America - again!

London newspapers are howling over a string of alleged snubs by Obama to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his visit to Washington last week - including a squabble over presidential gift-giving.

"President Obama has been rudeness personified towards Britain," sniffed The Daily Telegraph Friday. "His handling of the visit of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to Washington was appalling."

The list of complaints is longer than the Magna Carta: Obama canceled a planned, podium-to-podium news conference with Brown (actually, none was ever scheduled); he recently removed a bust of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the Oval Office; and he gave gifts to the Brown family that were "about as exciting as a pair of socks," one Fleet Street wag whined.

That last bit might be true. After Brown presented Obama with a pen holder crafted from the timbers of the 19th century British warship HMS President (whose sister ship, HMS Resolute, provided the wood for the Oval Office's desk), Obama offered up ... 25 DVDs of American movie classics.

"Oh, give me strength," wrote one appalled Daily Telegraph staffer. "We do have television and DVD stores on this side of the Atlantic."

Never mind that Brown is blind in one eye and may have a hard time seeing the stars in "2001: A Space Odyssey," or that American DVDs are usually incompatible with British players.

Equally insulting, decided the Times of London, was Michelle Obama's "solipsistic" and "inherently dismissive" gifts to the Browns' two little boys, Fraser and John.

The offending souvenirs? Toy models of Marine One, the President's helicopter - gifts no doubt plucked from the White House gift shop at the last minute, The Times decided.

Brown's wife, Sarah, by contrast arrived with dresses for Sasha and Malia from the UK's trendy Top Shop (with matching necklaces) and a selection of books by British authors.

"A bit of thought had clearly gone into choosing them," crowed The Daily Mail. "Lovely."

The Brits have blown up the alleged snubs into new evidence that the "special relationship" between the two nations is no longer quite so special.

The hand-wringing began last month when Obama removed a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office and replaced it with his hero, Abraham Lincoln.

The Times of London immediately traced Obama's "disdain" for Churchill to Kenya, where Obama's grandfather was caught up in the Churchill-led suppression of the 1950s Mau Mau Rebellion that left thousands of
Kenyans dead.

"It's not surprising that Mr. Obama didn't want Churchill looking over his shoulder," explained one correspondent.

At this point, the two sides seem to be in full repair mode. The White House let it be known that Obama and Brown shared a chummy phone call as the prime minister was headed home.

And Friday, it was revealed that Obama would be granted a private audience with Queen Elizabeth when he is in London next month.

Quipped one reader of The Sun, "I hope Her Majesty likes DVDs."

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2009/03/06/2009-03-06_london_aghast_at_president_obama_over_gi.html

by on Apr. 1, 2009 at 3:20 AM
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Replies (1-5):
hsteele
by on Apr. 1, 2009 at 5:12 AM

This is old news. Why are you posting it?

Heather
Proud Pagan Mama


" No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide- What's right for you -- just listen to the voice that speaks inside." ~Shel Silverstein~
PamR
by Pam on Apr. 1, 2009 at 9:59 AM

If you have ever spent any time in the UK, you know that some of the British press is automatically dismissive of Americans - I'm surprised such a super-patriot would post such a thing! 

But then there's this from The Independent:

HEADLINES:
Gordon Brown and Barack Obama with their wives inside Downing Street
Guided tour: Gordon Brown and Barack Obama with their wives inside Downing Street
Gordon Brown and Barack Obama with their wives inside Downing Street Barack Obama and Michelle Obama with Gordon Brown and Sarah Brown

Brown and Obama stand shoulder to shoulder

Joe Murphy, Political Editor
01.04.09

BARACK OBAMA and Gordon Brown staged a historic show of unity today as world leaders gathered for the G20 summit.

The President and the Prime Minister stood shoulder to shoulder, both as friends and political allies, on the eve of the most significant talks in London for a generation.

Mr Obama, who was clapped into No 10 by staff and officials on his arrival, emerged after two hours of talks with Mr Brown to give strong signals that his relationship with "Gordon" had grown markedly closer.

Outside their cosy talks, parts of London were in security lockdown as protesters staged a series of demonstrations.

Inside, however, the mood could not have been more friendly. President Obama spoke warmly of the "special relationship" between Britain and America - a term that had seemed to fall out of favour at the new White House - and declared his liking for the British people, the "kinship of ideals" the two countries share and his respect for the "decency and civility" of the Queen. During a press conference Mr Obama reacted coolly to suggestions that America was to blame for the credit crunch. "At this point I am less interested in identifying blame than in fixing the problem," he said. There had been mistakes and regulatory failings in the US and in Britain and Europe, he said.

While wife Michelle went with Sarah Brown to visit a cancer centre, Mr Obama revealed that they had met the Brown children John and Fraser and chatted with the boys about dinosaurs.

The President's words went beyond the routine praise for a summit host but, more significantly, the two leaders dramatically emerged as allies against French president Nicolas Sarkozy who was, as usual, making a noise from the sidelines.

It was deftly done, but President Obama clearly slapped down the French leader's threat to walk out of the summit unless there was tough action agreed against bad bankers.

"The notion that somehow there are those pushing for regulation and those resisting regulation is belied by the facts," said Mr Obama, in his understated way.

He suggested that some people might feel a need to create more excitement by inventing rifts that did not exist. "The separation between the various parties has been vastly over-stated," he added.

Mr Brown, who rarely displays enjoyment in public, could not resist a mocking jibe at his Parisian counterpart. "I'm absolutely confident that President Sarkozy will not only be here for the first course at our dinner, but still be sitting as we complete our dinner this evening," he joked. The two leaders also united against critics of their plans to boost spending to beat the recession, such as German leader Angela Merkel,

That was just "arguing at the margins" said Mr Obama who dismissed criticism of massive borrowing plans by quoting the advice he gives to youngsters worrying about student loans. "Don't short-change the future because of fear of the present," said the President. He said the world should not rely on the voracious US consumer market to drive recovery. "It cannot just be the United States that's the engine room - everybody is going to have to pick up the pace."

It was the best possible start to a summit in which Mr Brown has staked his hopes for both a world economic boost and a turning point for his own battered domestic leadership.

Former ambassador to Washington Sir Christopher Meyer said later that an "effusive" Mr Obama had given Mr Brown "everything he wanted".

Mr Brown had talked down the chances of a big summit success in recent weeks. But he sounded more confident, proposing action on the banks and a $100 billion boost for the IMF finances.

"We are within a few hours, I think, of agreeing a global plan for economic recovery and reform," he declared.

I guess different papers have different opinions on things, yes?

At any rate, I doubt this is particularly important, given the gravity of what they are doing at this meeting. 

cookie_spice
by on Apr. 1, 2009 at 11:17 AM

slightly off topic- This cheap gift thing might not be a big deal, but I'm sure it not helping  foreign relations.  This presidency is so far all over the map. OUr country is in complete chaos.  At what point is this guy going to become impeachable?

luckcharm
by Bronze Member on Apr. 1, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Yes, it is a big deal.  Different countries view this type of thing differently so it could greatly offend someone.   

England is one of our greatest allies, and have been for a long time,  how hard could it have been to take the time to think out a gift, especially one meant to convey respect and appreciation?  And if your really to busy to do so, which may very well be the case,  then delegate it to someone who will do the job correctly instead of half ass doing it.

Quoting cookie_spice:

slightly off topic- This cheap gift thing might not be a big deal, but I'm sure it not helping  foreign relations. 


                   

1bluediamond
by Gold Member on Apr. 1, 2009 at 11:50 AM

This!

Quoting hsteele:

This is old news. Why are you posting it?

 & This

 

Quoting PamR:

If you have ever spent any time in the UK, you know that some of the British press is automatically dismissive of Americans - I'm surprised such a super-patriot would post such a thing! 

But then there's this from The Independent:

HEADLINES:
Gordon Brown and Barack Obama with their wives inside Downing Street
Guided tour: Gordon Brown and Barack Obama with their wives inside Downing Street
Gordon Brown and Barack Obama with their wives inside Downing Street Barack Obama and Michelle Obama with Gordon Brown and Sarah Brown

Brown and Obama stand shoulder to shoulder

Joe Murphy, Political Editor
01.04.09

BARACK OBAMA and Gordon Brown staged a historic show of unity today as world leaders gathered for the G20 summit.

The President and the Prime Minister stood shoulder to shoulder, both as friends and political allies, on the eve of the most significant talks in London for a generation.

Mr Obama, who was clapped into No 10 by staff and officials on his arrival, emerged after two hours of talks with Mr Brown to give strong signals that his relationship with "Gordon" had grown markedly closer.

Outside their cosy talks, parts of London were in security lockdown as protesters staged a series of demonstrations.

Inside, however, the mood could not have been more friendly. President Obama spoke warmly of the "special relationship" between Britain and America - a term that had seemed to fall out of favour at the new White House - and declared his liking for the British people, the "kinship of ideals" the two countries share and his respect for the "decency and civility" of the Queen. During a press conference Mr Obama reacted coolly to suggestions that America was to blame for the credit crunch. "At this point I am less interested in identifying blame than in fixing the problem," he said. There had been mistakes and regulatory failings in the US and in Britain and Europe, he said.

While wife Michelle went with Sarah Brown to visit a cancer centre, Mr Obama revealed that they had met the Brown children John and Fraser and chatted with the boys about dinosaurs.

The President's words went beyond the routine praise for a summit host but, more significantly, the two leaders dramatically emerged as allies against French president Nicolas Sarkozy who was, as usual, making a noise from the sidelines.

It was deftly done, but President Obama clearly slapped down the French leader's threat to walk out of the summit unless there was tough action agreed against bad bankers.

"The notion that somehow there are those pushing for regulation and those resisting regulation is belied by the facts," said Mr Obama, in his understated way.

He suggested that some people might feel a need to create more excitement by inventing rifts that did not exist. "The separation between the various parties has been vastly over-stated," he added.

Mr Brown, who rarely displays enjoyment in public, could not resist a mocking jibe at his Parisian counterpart. "I'm absolutely confident that President Sarkozy will not only be here for the first course at our dinner, but still be sitting as we complete our dinner this evening," he joked. The two leaders also united against critics of their plans to boost spending to beat the recession, such as German leader Angela Merkel,

That was just "arguing at the margins" said Mr Obama who dismissed criticism of massive borrowing plans by quoting the advice he gives to youngsters worrying about student loans. "Don't short-change the future because of fear of the present," said the President. He said the world should not rely on the voracious US consumer market to drive recovery. "It cannot just be the United States that's the engine room - everybody is going to have to pick up the pace."

It was the best possible start to a summit in which Mr Brown has staked his hopes for both a world economic boost and a turning point for his own battered domestic leadership.

Former ambassador to Washington Sir Christopher Meyer said later that an "effusive" Mr Obama had given Mr Brown "everything he wanted".

Mr Brown had talked down the chances of a big summit success in recent weeks. But he sounded more confident, proposing action on the banks and a $100 billion boost for the IMF finances.

"We are within a few hours, I think, of agreeing a global plan for economic recovery and reform," he declared.

I guess different papers have different opinions on things, yes?

At any rate, I doubt this is particularly important, given the gravity of what they are doing at this meeting. 

 & Since it seems like they're having a good relationship and Prime Minister Brown hasn't spoke out against his gifts it's just more cheap speculation to speak out against Obama. There are a lot of reasons you can speak out, this one is just petty.

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