President Barak H. Obaaaama is under fire for failing to follow British protocol in his selection of gifts for British dignitaries.
In early March 2009 (just two months into his presidency) he presented visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown with a selection of DVDs which: 1.cannot be played on British DVD players, and 2. Brown can’t fully enjoy because he is almost blind.
Then, it was reported on April 1, 2009 (April Fools Day in America) that he presented the Queen with an I pod filled with video footage and pictures of her recent visit to America. That he would make such a blunder, especially given the fact she already had an I pod purchased at the recommendation of her son in 2005, has made him and his wife appear, once again, internationally out of step with stodgy old European types (both at home and far away in places where old Europeans belong, like in Europe). It doesn’t matter that this I pod will be light years better than anything she could have purchased in 2005, she already had one and the Obaaaamas were quite gauche for giving it to her.
What did the Brits give Obaaaama in return? Well, actually, Brown gave him a very thoughtful and dignified dignitary-type gift, an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet. The Queen gave him an autographed picture in a silver frame – just like the ones she gives every other visiting official.
I have to admit, the hoopla over the gifting and giving has sparked a bit of support for the Rookie President. It is one thing for fellow citizens (assuming he really was born in Hawaii and not Kenya) to pick on him as a part of the regular give and take of the political process, and it is quite another for one of our economic and social colonies to do the same.
Given the fact that Brown outclassed the deified one during his first visit to America, and that all other allies will continue to be all talk and no backbone, Obaaama should take some steps to set things right with the former rugy-playing Eddie Haskell. He should scour the US for a truly dignified gift, something like a glass hen on a nest candy bowl, or a case of microwave fried pork rinds – you know, the kind of things set aside for special occasions – then he should present it to Mr. Brown along with a note that goes something like, “You caught me early on in the presidency. I wasn’t up and running yet. Hope this makes up for any oversight.”
As to the gift from the Queen – I’d say a new I pod with pictures of her on it is just fine. After all, that’s pretty much the same thing she gave him, isn’t it?