President Obama's Foreign Policy Foolishness
President Barack Obama won election, promising to mend our "broken" diplomatic relationships. He pledged to be more welcoming of our foreign allies. Earlier this week, President Obama met with Prime Minister Brown, of England. The two government heads exchanged gifts -- a time honored diplomatic tradition. PM Brown gave President Obama some very thoughtful gifts.
The Prime Minister gave Mr Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet.
The unique present delighted Mr Obama because oak from the Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute, was carved to make a desk that has sat in the Oval Office in the White House since 1880.
Mr Brown also handed over a framed commission for HMS Resolute and a first edition of the seven-volume biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.
President Obama gave PM Brown some similarly thoughtful gifts.
Barack Obama, the leader of the world's richest country, gave the Prime Minister a box set of 25 classic American films - a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks.
Mr Brown is not thought to be a film buff, and his reaction to the box set is unknown.
The DVD collection included Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Star Wars: Episode IV, It's a Wonderful Life, ET, The Wizard of Oz, and Vertigo. Those are great movies, but I'm sure that England has a least one video rental store. The article says that the set "was produced by the American Film Institute as a 'special request' for the White House last month." I'm not sure why that was even necessary. Most discount chains would be happy to sell you a box set of those same movies.
Not only that, but PM Brown probably won't get much usage out of the DVDs:
Going back to the topic of is he just that stupid or is he doing it on purpose, consider the fact that Gordon Brown is blind in one eye and has some visual deterioration in the other (how much is unclear). A calculated insult could not have been more on-target.
And what about the children?
In addition, Mr Brown and his wife showered gifts on the Obama children giving Sasha and Malia an outfit each from Topshop and six children's books by British authors which are shortly to be published in America.
In return, the Obamas gave the Browns two models of the presidential helicopter, Marine One, to take home to sons Fraser and John.
I'm pretty sure you can get those same models at the White House gift shop.
How embarrassing. This is the way that America strengthens our diplomatic alliances? By giving cheap and insulting gifts to the head of government of our oldest and most reliable ally?
Let's move on the new State Department. How are they doing with the outreach to Russia?
With a media gaggle looking on, Clinton handed [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov a green box tied with a green bow. He opened it to reveal a "reset button," a reminder of Vice President Joe Biden's recent remark that the Obama administration hopes to reset U.S. relations with Moscow.
Trouble was, the Russian-language label the Americans put on the button had the wrong word. Before she realized the mistake, Clinton assured Lavrov, "We worked hard to get it right."
"You got it wrong," Lavrov responded with a smile. He said the word the Americans chose -- "peregruzka" -- meant "overloaded" or "overcharged" rather than "reset."
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our new foreign policy team. Aren't they great?