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 [email protected] 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.