I'm not going to bitch abt the President's policies right now. No, I don't approve of them, but that's not what this post is about. I'll deal with the politics later, right now, I'm dealing with the etiquette. At this moment, I'm heartily ashamed and embarrassed for our country.
Gordon Brown gave our president incredibly thoughtful and personal gifts, demonstrating thought and taste. His wife brought presents for the president's daughters that show class and forethought. A good gift takes into account the preferences of the recipient, and the closeness of the relationship between giver and receiver. What does it say about our president, then, that the first family gave the prime minister and his family tacky giftshop crap?
The toys they gave the boys sell for 15.00 apiece in the White House giftshop. I googled the most expensive boxsets of classic movies, and it looks like they sell for about 50.00 apiece. Let us assume the set consists of maybe 5 of such boxsets- they'd still be a bargain at 250.00. Here's hoping that the movies are in the right region-code, at least. Supposedly, it was a specially commissioned boxset-so at least some thought was expended in advance of the visit- but not much research, since apparently Gordon Brown is not big into movies.
Honestly, it looks as if about five minutes before Brown's arrival, someone went, "oh, crap, we're supposed to exchange gifts? Quick, somebody jaunt down to the giftshop and see what we can scratch up."
Mr. President, didn't your grandma bring you up better than this? Mrs. Obama, what kind of raising did YOU have? One does not put so little effort or thought into a gift for a treasured friend, and Britain is the best friend the US has in this world. You might say, we're more than friends, we're family, the UK is the mother country. Imagine that your mom comes for a visit. You know she's coming, it's not like it's a drop-in afternoon. Would YOU pick her up some junk at the giftshop five minutes before she walks through the door?
Obama can afford Wagyu beef for his cronies, but our allies get plastic crap. Lovely. This bodes Sooo well for our relationship with the UK.