Thursday, March 12, 2009

Because Wal-Mart Gift Certificates Would've Seemed Tacky

I haven't been keeping up with She Whose Name Is Not Spoken. Turns out that she's been in Russia.
David Cloud, writing for Politico.

After promising to “push the reset button” on relations with Moscow, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to present Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a light-hearted gift at their talks here Friday night to symbolize the Obama administration’s desire for a new beginning in the relationship.

It didn’t quite work out as she planned.

She handed him a palm-sized box wrapped with a bow. Lavrov opened it and pulled out the gift—a red plastic button on a black base with a Russian word “peregruzka” printed on top.

“We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton said as reporters, allowed in to observe the first few minutes of the meeting, watched.

“You got it wrong,” Lavrov said, to Clinton’s clear surprise.

Instead of "reset," he said the word on the box meant “overcharge.”

Oh well, it's only the freakin' State Department. They shouldn't be expected to have any staff members who speak Russian.

There was another exchange of gifts going down....
This gift swap was between President Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Brown.... gave the president and his children several uniquely historical gifts.
The first of which is a pen holder fashioned from the oak timber of HMS Gannet, a Navy vessel that served on anti-slavery missions off Africa.
Another treasure given to Obama is a framed commissioning paper for the HMS Resolute, a Royal Navy ship that came to symbolize British-American goodwill when it was rescued by the U.S. from icebergs and given to Queen Victoria. It is the sister ship of the HMS Gannet.
Finally, Brown gave Obama a first edition of Martin Gilbert's seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill, whose World War II partnership with President Franklin Roosevelt symbolized the U.S.-Anglo alliance.
For Sasha and Malia, Sarah Brown, the Prime Minister's wife, gave each an outfit from Topshop, a British chain of clothing stores, and selected six children's books by British authors which have yet to be published in the U.S.

Lordy, that's impressive. The Martin Gilbert 1st editions are to kill for, BTW. And what did we give the British Prime Minister?

President Obama on Thursday gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a set of 25 classic American movies to mark his historic visit to the White House.
Brown, the first European leader to visit Obama since his Jan. 20 inauguration, was presented with a "special collector's box" of DVDs during his two-day visit to Washington.
Downing Street, which reportedly tried to keep the present a secret, declined to say what movies were included in the set.
One reason for the secrecy might be that the gift seems markedly less generous and thoughtful than the presents taken to Washington by the Prime Minister," London's Evening Standard newspaper reported.

Well, yeah. Imagine giving someone a desk set whittled out of a legendary ship, and getting a copy of E.T. in return.

The Daily Mail, however, reported the movie set included ET, Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz and was produced by the American Film Institute on "special request" from the White House.

Produced by "special request" ? Horsecrap. I bet they sent an intern to pick them up at a Sam's Club.

Anyway, these are the people who want to take over medicine, the banks, more of education, Wall Street, GM, and the weather.

I'm sure they'll get it right.

1 comment:

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

It's better than the Chinese New Year's Card to their ambassador with the Cantonese symbols for Peace and Prosperity, which actually said "No. 8, spicy with hot and sour soup."

And that was nothing compared to the Maple Glazed Spiral Cut Ham sent to Israeli PM Tzipi Livni. (Hey, she's kinda cute and the State Department had her ID'ed as an Italian.) C'mon! These things happen!!