Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grab the Smelling Salts: Obama Gives Her Majesty an iPod!

President Obama recently caused a stir when he gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown two dozen cds during a visit to the United States. Today, Obama forced sensitive Brits to reach for their smelling salts once again after he dazzled the Queen with an iPod (at least it is an upgrade over the cds). The precious trinket is reportedly filled with pictures taken during the Queen's visit to the United States in 2007.

I am really not into the royalty and diplomacy game, which is why I remain a Constitutional Law Professor rather than President of the United States. If I were president, however, I am sure that I would not give royalty or heads of state gifts that are readily available on Walmart.Com or eBay.

Unfortunately, it seems that Obama's gift is also readily available at Buckingham Palace. In 2005, upon the suggestion of Prince Andrew, the Queen bought an iPod. Question: What do you buy a woman who probably has everything?

PS: Is this an April Fool's Day story?

12 comments:

Roy Lofquist said...

Very old, very bad joke:

What do you give to the man who has everything? Penicillin.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Roy - awful, awful, awful joke!

skylights said...

Darren, can you buy personalized iPods in Buckingham Palace loaded with footage of Obama and the Queen?

I'd much rather have that than a signed picture of the Queen and her husband.

Richard and Karin said...

Besides, Obama also gave the Queen a rare signed songbook by Richard Rodgers. The Queen loves Rodgers and Hammerstein. This blows away a signed picture.

Anonymous said...

skylights - The frame itself is probably worth a lot more than the IPod that she ALREADY owns. Anyway, I thought he'd be much more thoughtful with his choice of gifts after all of the criticism over Brown's inoperable DVD gift set. Maybe Obama thinks he's "cool" for doing things differently. I agree that a gift to the PM or Queen should be unique and not something that can be bought on Amazon.com

Maggie said...

It was not an April Fool's joke. However, it is a very crass choice for a gift. The songbook was far more suitable. It would have been better to have just presented the one item rather than something as crass as the Ipod.

What it really represents is the fact that something is sadly lacking when it comes to Protocol. Now I really thought that the White House was big on Protocol. I must have been mistaken. So far the exchange of gifts has been really, really crass.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Well, Maggie, the Rogers-signed songbook would certainly qualify as a collectible. Perhaps the Queen does not mind - given she always presents a picture of herself to everyone she visits. As for Protocol - it just strikes me that there are probably some very young people driving that area.

Hershblogger said...

"PS: Is this an April Fool's Day story? "
Well, it's April and somewhere there is a fool involved.

Roy Lofquist said...

I think the real story is the Queen's gift. As I understand the situation, the picture is the standard gift given to all who meet the queen, and that includes tribal leaders from Upper Nowherestan. This is a studied insult to Obama in response to the shabby, classless gifts given to Mr. Brown.

Nell said...

And Michelle puts her arm around the queen! Who the heck does Obama have running the White House protocol office--Jon Favreau's fraternity brothers?

Anonymous said...

To Roy, why should Obama get anything more than the standard gift? Also this was not just any Ipod, it was loaded with show tunes, footage from the queens visit to the US and Obama's speeches! It is said that the queen asked for the Ipod but in my opinion she was being humorous by asking for something similar to the dvd collection.

Personally I hope that Obama is not giving gifts that he feels represent who we are as a country. If he can not see any more of value in the history and culture of the US than show tunes, Hollywood and electronics made in China then he really is a very shallow person.

Anonymous said...

And now Obama bows before the Saudi King. What the H@LL! Does he not understand that he is a head of state! That the President of the United States bows before no one (not even the Queen of England), regardless of his personal feelings. I do not think that he understands his obligations as President. It will be amateur hour for the next 4 years.

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