That was the first thought I had after hearing that our Great American President had made a gift of 25 American videos to Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

I’ve waited to write about it because I felt for sure the first accounts I saw were a hoax. But no. While Brown gifted President Obama with a pen holder carved from an important historical ship and a first edition biographical set of Winston Churchill, he received a few movies in return.

Did they at least get the format right for British DVD players? I can’t find it anywhere.

Gift giving requires a little effort. Did NO ONE on his staff think this idea was odd? I find it embarrassing that he’d deliver such a miss. (PS Mr. President, if you’d like you can call me first next time. I’d be glad to help.)

Well that’s what I get for posting a couple of times a week right now. This topic was started at 3:00 p.m. Monday, about 45 minutes before someone else brought it up. Oh, well. Old news is still something to talk about. 🙂

March 19 – here’s an update.


  1. Can’t say I am familiar with the initials, but what is the old saying about gifts–it is the thought that counts?

    He may be very young and inexperienced for the job, but there are staffers at the White House who stay on from administration to administration. They know the drill. Was it his arrogance that kept him from asking, or did he not even realize a head of state visit was an important event?

    His faux pas is embarrassing, but his reluctance to ask for help, when he obviously doesn’t know something, is frightening!

  2. Ehh. I don’t think the President should be in charge of protocol; why should he have to ask? Somebody goofed, it looks shabby, we’ll all get over it.

  3. Maybe it’s because Obama has surrounded himself with such a young team? I guess we’re lucky it wasn’t a gift card to Starbucks!

  4. There are 2 major formats, NTSC (U.S. Standard) and PAL (European Standard). My cousin has lived and worked in Europe for 25 years and has had a NTSC/PAL VCR or DVD since 1982.

    The NTSC / PAL DVD players which will work with either format and play on any TV in the world are about $120.

    In Europe, the dual format equipment is common. In the U.S., we expect everything to be in our format.

    GW gives him a fuzzy bomber jacket. That isn’t the greatest gift either.

  5. Well when I was hanging with the kids in Sweden in 1993or 94 there was no dual format equipment there yet. I guess Britain is just that much better.

    No doubt the PM is sitting feet up with a bowl of popcorn as we speak.

  6. In talking with a colleague from London, the biggest snub was the lack of a joint press conference.

    The was a much bigger concern with the common people in Great Britain.

  7. I’d heard that too. Also, there was a planned St. Patty’s Day party with someone connected to the IRA? But that’s been shut down.