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Old 03-09-2009, 03:54 AM   #1
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Obama repairs foriegn relations

London aghast at President Obama over gifts given to Prime Minister Brown
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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."
Meanwhile her Hilleryness has been running around stuffing her foot in her mouth insulting the EU, pissing off Israel and kissing up to Moscow after Russia told Obama to go pound sound over Iranian nuke plans,




Yeah, lets give our nuclear adversary a big red button



This is going to be a long 4 years

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Old 03-09-2009, 09:27 AM   #2
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If the economy recovers within the next few years, it's gonna be a long 8 years for you...

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Old 03-09-2009, 09:45 AM   #3
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Instead of being on auto-pilot, why not speak to the ridiculousness of either the Brits over gifts (since gifts are freaking GIFTS) or the tacky nature of the gifts (they're the first couple for crying out loud, have someone pick up something more appropriate). Never mind, continue your blind faith campaign.


Skeet, I think the Britts should grow up. Obama doesn't have to have the Churchhill bust in the office if he doesn't want it. It's not like he stuck it on a stake outside or smashed it to bits. He doesn't want to look at it, he shouldn't have to. The gifts are just petty, on both sides I think.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:49 AM   #4
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If the economy recovers within the next few years, it's gonna be a long 8 years for you...
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:09 AM   #5
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Skeet, I think the Britts should grow up. Obama doesn't have to have the Churchhill bust in the office if he doesn't want it. It's not like he stuck it on a stake outside or smashed it to bits. He doesn't want to look at it, he shouldn't have to. The gifts are just petty, on both sides I think.
If it weren't for the fact this makes our Nation look bad to our most loyal ally the British reaction would be funny, they were thrilled with obama winning.

As for the gifts being petty on both sides, I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying a pen holder made from the HMS President, later renamed HMS Gannet, one of the ships used to blockade slavery and sister ship to HMS Resolute is not a well thought out and and fitting gift to the first black president? or the commission to HMS Resolute herself, the ship whose timbers were used for the president's desk?
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While on an expedition to the Arctic searching for the lost Franklin Expedition, the British ship HMS Resolute itself got stuck in the ice. Her captain was finally ordered to abandon ship in 1854 and return to England.

Over a year later, an American whaling ship came across a ship in Davis Strait. It was the Resolute. It had freed itself and had travelled almost 1,200 miles / 2,000 km on its own.

The Americans rescued and repaired the ship, and returned it to England as a goodwill gift. When the Resolute was finally retired in 1880, Queen Victoria had a desk made from its timbers and presented it to the American President. The richly carved desk has been used by almost every president since then.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:41 AM   #6
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i gotta agree thats one special gift, and it sure sounds like obama's gifts did come out of the white house gift shop. its just as ceremonial as anything else. that does make us look pretty lame to a country that has been a great ally
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:48 AM   #7
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thats funny!
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:09 AM   #8
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If it weren't for the fact this makes our Nation look bad to our most loyal ally the British reaction would be funny, they were thrilled with obama winning.

As for the gifts being petty on both sides, I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying a pen holder made from the HMS President, later renamed HMS Gannet, one of the ships used to blockade slavery and sister ship to HMS Resolute is not a well thought out and and fitting gift to the first black president? or the commission to HMS Resolute herself, the ship whose timbers were used for the president's desk?
Gifts are not to be matched. If you choose to give a gift, it is a gift not a trade. The Brits showed class in the gift they gave, but they'd have shown more class in not being whiners about the gift they received.

And, the White House should have been a little more choosy about the gifts given. I say that not even factoring in the gift given by the Brits, because again, it's not a match this game. The gifts given to Prime Minster Brown were not appropriate, and White House should be chastised for that. But they should be chastised by the American public, not the Brits.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:39 PM   #10
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What a bunch of stupidity. Maybe it's just me, but I kind of think there are some REAL issues that need to be addressed. How about our government gets back to work.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:51 PM   #11
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And what pray tell could be more important than preserving a sense of propriety and tradition in the face of adversity? Tea anyone? Huff fuff fuff fuff fuff

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Old 03-09-2009, 09:03 PM   #12
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Wow. If he gave such good stuff to Brown, I wonder what François Fillon's gonna get when he visits!!!

Tiny, better guard your legos!!!
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:17 PM   #13
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The "Red Button" Hillery gave as a gift was to say RESET on it and was labeled OVERCHARGE. The button is an EMERG-STOP button in real life. They even fail at humor.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:44 PM   #14
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Wow. If he gave such good stuff to Brown, I wonder what François Fillon's gonna get when he visits!!!

Tiny, better guard your legos!!!

He better not even look at my legos!
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:50 AM   #15
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I love my country, but I have always been enthralled by the brits classiness (sp) and there sense of pride.
I really do love some things about the british government/parliament, we could learn some things from them, you would think the dems, being the party of diplomacy and all, would have had a little better showing in Britian.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:01 PM   #16
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He better not even look at my legs!
Fixed.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:22 PM   #17
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Gifts are not to be matched. If you choose to give a gift, it is a gift not a trade. The Brits showed class in the gift they gave, but they'd have shown more class in not being whiners about the gift they received.

And, the White House should have been a little more choosy about the gifts given. I say that not even factoring in the gift given by the Brits, because again, it's not a match this game. The gifts given to Prime Minster Brown were not appropriate, and White House should be chastised for that. But they should be chastised by the American public, not the Brits.
I agree that outrage over gifts would be a petty issue but it wasn't just gifts.
The head of their nation was shown no respect during the entire visit which by extension means their nation was shown no respect. They have a right to feel insulted, not just by the gifts but by the lack of a press conference. lack of an official greeting and most especially by this comment from a member of the obama state department.

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The real views of many in the Obama administration were laid bare by a State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit, who reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.

The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment." The apparent lack of attention to detail by the Obama administration is indicative of what many believe to be Mr Obama's determination to do too much too quickly.
I'm sorry but there is something special about Britain. They are our strongest and most loyal ally. We won't get through the coming troubles by ourselves and alienating our staunchest supporters would be incredibly foolish.
The White house should have a staff well versed in protocol that shouldn't let something like this occur.
This was either an intentional snub, or it's a prime example of what many of us kept saying all through the election. Obama is incredibly inexperienced in any type of administrative role.
BTW, I've heard very little about this on our main stream media so how are Americans to know about the situation when our media is still too in love with obama to criticize him?

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