An ornamental desk pen holder constructed from the wood of the 19th century anti-slaving ship the HMS Gannet. A framed commission of the HMS Resolute, the same ship from which President Obama's desk was created. A first edition set of the Churchill biography penned by Sir Martin Gilbert. For the girls, two outfits from the high-end British clothing store Topshop and six unreleased children's stories found only in Britain. These are the gifts presented to President Obama on their first official meeting as heads of state by our most important ally, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom.
How did President Obama reciprocate such a meaningful and symbolic gesture? By presenting him with a box set of 25 classic American films on DVD and two replica Marine One helicopters found easily in the White House gift shop. That's right, he matches Prime Minister Brown's gift of such tremendous symbolic significance with two HotWheels and a handful of movies you can find in the $5 bin at Wal-mart. Can we assume that when the Prime Minister of Australia comes for a visit, he can expect oven mitts and a Jell-o mold?
Calling Obama's gift a diplomatic blunder is like calling the sinking of the Titanic a nautical oopsie. It's not like our relationship with the United Kingdom is an important one; they have only participated along aside us in every major global confrontation since World War I.
While President Obama is said to be displaying his new pen holder with pride, Prime Minister Brown is clearly less keen on his thoughtless stocking stuffers; he refuses to even comment on the gift he was given by President Obama. The story itself had to confirmed with sources inside the Whitehouse.
Oh well, this is nothing a $25 gift certificate to Chili's can't fix, right Mr. President?