Gifts to President Obama

• Large, black Hermes golf accessory bag including set of lock and key, and extra strap in bottom compartment, presented in cream colored drawstring bag. Est. Value – $7,750.00
From: His Excellency Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic, and Mrs. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, First Lady of the French Republic

• Bronze 48″ statue of Abraham Lincoln by the artist Yuan Xikun, includes a red leather booklet describing the gift. Est. Value – $9,800.00
From: His Excellency Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China

• Basketball, signed by 2010-2011 Toronto Raptors NBA basketball team, in a 10″ x 10″ hard-plastic display case, presented in a 14.5″ x 22.5″ green leather-bound box that has the Prime Minister seal on the top. 23.25″ x 18.25″ golden-framed 19th Century antique map of North America, surrounded by drawings of North American Indians, beavers, and other images, and drawn by Tallis & Co. Est. Value – $1,880.00
From: The Right Honorable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada

This list of gifts given to President Barack Obama from foreign dignitaries in 2011 is fascinating—especially because each gift has a value assigned to it, including the reason the gift was accepted (usually because it’d be embarrassing to turn down the gift). The gifts are usually placed in the National Archives, though I’d like to imagine the president having a special room for everything. [via]

Photo: The White House

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20 Comments / Post A Comment

ellabella (#1,480)

No Pottery Barn wedding registry for me, I’ll just use this list as a jumping-off point!

That’s going straight to the pool room!

(For anyone who doesn’t get that, The Castle is a must watch…)

Megoon (#328)

@Hayley Judd@twitter WAY too few people have seen that movie. You’re a real ideas man.

ellabella (#1,480)

But 6 iPads seems a bit redundant. And not very commemorative. And if I were the president I’d be like “WHAT you think I can’t afford my own iPad, what are you going to be giving me next, paper clips and gift certificates to Staples, HMMM Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates??”

Which I guess is (mainly) why I’m not president.

I never understood why dignitaries still give expensive gifts since they know he can’t legally actually enjoy them.

“14” x 14” Bauhaus chess set, with a lightly-colored wood board and pieces carved into the shape of their allowed movements on the board, contained in a carrying box with sliding top, designed by Josef Hartwig” sounds awesome, though.

Also who gives the President of the United States an artwork based on “Death of Marat”?

sunflowernut (#1,638)

The Prime Minister of Poland gave him a bunch of “Witcher 2″ DVDs, games and memorabilia. Most appropriate gifts ever?

@sunflowernut Haha I just saw that! Awesome. (And Zubrowka which was “handled pursuant to US Secret Service policy” == “we drank it in the back of Air Force One on the way home”)

Megano! (#124)

@sunflowernut Oh god, is that true? I really hope Obama played some Witcher 2, and just banged all of the witches (no joke, that is what a Witcher is).

@Megano! Wait did I get the censored version? I thought a Witcher was someone who killed monsters, and had the OPTION of banging lots of witches in his free time?

Megano! (#124)

@stuffisthings I think it might be more explicit in the books?

mangosara (#1,211)

I’d like to imagine that “Handled pursuant to US Secret Service policy” means someone said, I want that.

And that “Perishable goods handled pursuant to US Secret Service policy” means all the Secret Service guys were like, WHO WANTS CHOCOLATES??

Kate (#1,408)

A signed Toronto Raptors basketball? REALLY, CANADA?

amirite (#2,677)

@Kate My first thought too. Why would anyone give that to anyone?

Megano! (#124)

I dunno if I should be happy or annoyed that Stephen Harper cheaped out. Although he did give the most stuff.

Anyone know off the top of their head when the current gifting rules came into effect? I wonder if GSA has some dungeon full of awesome gold-plated 80s swag from Reagan’s many dictator buddies… or is that stuff all in the At Least He Wasn’t a Communist wing of the Presidential Library now?

LeroyJenkins (#3,727)

@stuffisthings I’m pretty sure it goes back at least to JFK. You know, all his mob buddies and the drugs and women they fooled around with. Or is that stuff in the “Hey, at least JFK was handsome so who cares what he did,” wing of his Presidential Library?

@LeroyJenkins Too soon.

LeroyJenkins (#3,727)

@stuffisthings Um, no.

ghechr (#596)

So, is there just a giant room somewhere in the National Archives filled with gifts, just mouldering away? The only thing that appears to have been personally retained is a book from Mongolia.

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