Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on December 17, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Anchoress captured today’s Obamateurism from the Oprah Winfrey interview, in which Barack Obama once again shows us the very essence of humility — by declaring that no one gives him better gifts than those he gives others:

“I have given some good gifts — you get some nice stuff — here’s the general rule: I give nicer stuff than I get.”

Let’s test that thesis, shall we?  When Gordon Brown paid a state visit to the Obamas, he brought these gifts for his new partner in the “special relationship”:

Mr Brown’s gifts included an ornamental desk pen holder made from the oak timbers of Victorian anti-slaver HMS Gannet, once named HMS President.

Mr Obama was so delighted he has already put it in pride of place in the Oval Office on the Resolute desk which was carved from timbers of Gannet’s sister ship, HMS Resolute.

Another treasure given to the U.S. President was the framed commission for HMS Resolute, a vessel that came to symbolise Anglo-US peace when it was saved from ice packs by Americans and given to Queen Victoria.

Finally, Mr Brown gave a first edition set of the seven-volume classic biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.

And what did Obama give Brown?

Gordon Brown has been given a collection of 25 classic American films on DVD as his official gift from Barack Obama.

The Prime Minister flew home from his successful trip to Washington this morning with the ’special collector’s box’ of films hidden in his luggage.

Why, how thoughtful!  Did I mention that the DVDs were the wrong region code?  And that Gordon Brown is visually handicapped?

Obama gave the Queen of the UK an iPod … with his speeches on it.  The Obamas gave the Browns’ young children two plastic replicas of Marine One, the presidential helicopter, while the Browns gifted the Obamas’ daughters with Topshop outfits and six soon-to-be published childrens’ books from British authors.

If Obama has any gifts, gift-giving is certainly not one of them.  Hubris, on the other hand, may well be.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.


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Got Narcissism?

jukin on December 17, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Hubris, on the other hand, may well be.

It’s the magie he’s talked himself into surrounding him, eternally. Such worldly mirage there has never been, should never be, and must be punished.

Schadenfreude on December 17, 2009 at 12:08 PM

I have an idea. Lets all list what gift we would like to give BO and his wife this christmas. Anyone?

A 3-years trip to Siberia

Schadenfreude on December 17, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Obama must be French.

“French history: They turn on their friends and surrender to their enemies!”

csdeven on December 17, 2009 at 12:41 PM

I hadn’t heard that Gordon Brown was visually impaired. What a nice cherry on top of that story of Obama’s arrogant cluelessness.

Mallard T. Drake on December 17, 2009 at 12:43 PM

I’m guessing that all of his life, Obama’s been told by his parents, grandparents, friends, relatives, everyone…that he’s just the greatest thing to ever be born of this earth, and he bought every damn word of that, that was said.

The man could pick his toe nails with his teeth, spit them across the room, and he alone with others, would go on, and on, about how great an accomplishment that was.

capejasmine on December 17, 2009 at 12:47 PM

When I heard excerpts his comment on gifts jumped out at me and struck me just as it did The Anchoress; very odd, boastful (over an issue, that, as pointed out, would appear baseless), resentful, taunting, not gracious.

KittyLowrey on December 17, 2009 at 1:21 PM

I enjoyed the HGTV White House Christmas Tour specials that were shown while Bush was Pres.
She always was so gracious and enjoyed sharing their personal traditions as well as sharing historical WH traditions.
I saw an add for this years WH Christmas special and the only thing I could think was ‘Oh Lord, no’.
It most certainly will not be the same.

ZeeMI on December 17, 2009 at 9:30 AM

I agree. I’ve been around since Eisenhower was President and there was so much I always enjoyed about the presidency – WH tours, State of the Union speeches, Oval Office addresses, etc., and these two Marxists have taken it all away. I can’t stand to watch and won’t anymore.

PatMac on December 17, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Barry is so $#%& CHEAP on his “gifts”, who would even want one from him?

I sent him a lump of coal for CHRISTMAS.

GarandFan on December 17, 2009 at 2:31 PM

wow, what a catch. All sorts of deliciousness.

joeindc44 on December 17, 2009 at 2:52 PM

But… you don’t understand. Odamna’s gifts are given from the very hands of “the won.” Though they be meaningless baubles or valueless trinkets, they are blessed by his having touched them. Therefore, they are beyond worth. /sarc

Excuse me. I think I threw-up a little in my mouth.

Crusader Rabbit on December 17, 2009 at 3:03 PM

Obama gave the Queen of the UK an iPod … with his speeches on it. The Obamas gave the Browns’ young children two plastic replicas of Marine One

Wasn’t the iPod an accompaniment to a rare book of Rodgers & Hart songs, including those songs? Adding his own speeches to the iPod was tacky, IMO, but it’s not as bad as the above sounds. :)

As far as the toys… I honestly suspect FLOTUS didn’t have a clue that exchanging gifts was expected, and so she just sent some poor staffer down to the White House gift shop to grab something.

malclave on December 17, 2009 at 3:06 PM

simoon picks his nose and eats it.

Blake on December 18, 2009 at 11:26 AM

I think he meant he gives gifts without regard to the gift he gets in return. It is just such a foreign concept to him he was unable to express it coherently.

kmarie on December 20, 2009 at 9:34 AM

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