Another Gift Debacle

What Obama campaign contributor is running the White House protocol office, how much did he or she raise, and to what extent does Obama place that loyalty over competence?

Barack Obama’s gift for the Queen: an iPod, your Majesty :: Toby Harnden
Barack Obama met the Queen at Buckingham Palace today and gave her a gift of an iPod loaded with video footage and photographs of her 2007 United States visit to Richmond, Jamestown and Williamsburg in Virginia. In return, the Queen gave the President a silver framed signed photograph of herself and the Duke of Edinburgh – apparently a standard present for visiting dignitaries.

It is believed the Queen already has an iPod, a 6GB silver Mini version she is said to have bought in 2005 at the suggestion of Prince Andrew.

Obama previously gave the British Prime Minister a gift box of DVDs that don’t play great in Great Britain.

7 thoughts on “Another Gift Debacle”

  1. Two outstanding questions come to mind… if the iPod came with a wall charger… were they sure to make sure to replace the US version with a UK/European one?

    If they put any music on the device… did they do so legally (ie also give her the CDs from which the audio came from)? Or did they just load it full of stuff purchased off the US music store… and if so are they giving her the account so she can manage them (in case they get deleted).

  2. As Obama has “spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion” on bailouts alone, it’s not surprising that he has bigger issues on his plate.

    Bush was in the same situation, when he essentially ignored Katrina, because the GWOT was his priority.

    History is repeating itself.

  3. “Perhaps stung by suggestions that his gift of a box DVD set to Gordon Brown in Washington did not convey the requisite degree of warmth, the First Visitors brought a gift for the Queen that managed to combine thoughtfulness, modernity and a dash of history: an iPod loaded with video footage of her 2007 visit to Virginia. The Queen repayed the compliment with a very personal present of her own – a signed portrait of herself and Prince Philip.”

    That’s from the Guardian account. Honestly, it seems much better than the Brown debacle (which I will admit I was wrong about), and it seems genuinely thoughtful (I bought my wife her iPod and loaded it with pictures I knew she would like before I gave her, sadly I had no video to put on there). The Queen had a wonderful visit to the US in 2007 and perhaps retains a fondness for the adoring and curious crowds.

    Perhaps Obama would be better off doing like the Queen does… give a standard gift to everyone.

    Or as you note, he’s too busy bailing out Wall Street and soon the Euros, so what does this matter.

  4. Obama’s gift may have broken international law [1,2]

    A legal professor steps into the mix, saying that the question is mute, because of sovereign immunity. [3]

    But I doubt if Obama will apologize to the queen for putting her into this disgraceful position, or stand up and say that he is committing civil disobedience against a wrong law, or say anything more on the matter.

    In Obama’s America, there is a rule for him and his friends, and a rule for everyone else.

    [1] http://www.bermanpost.com/2009/04/was-obamas-ipod-gift-to-queen-illegal.html
    [2] http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/04/eff-wonders-did.html
    [3] http://www.discourse.net/archives/2009/04/why_the_queen_can_enjoy_her_new_ipod.html

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