The funniest gag of the day (although I wasn’t fooled) was Jonah Goldberg’s description of President Obama’s visit with the Queen of England.
From the Corner:
Diplomatic jaws dropped across the continent yesterday when it was revealed that U.S. President Barack Obama had, once again, fumbled a routine protocal of international statecraft: finding the right gift for a foreign leader or head of state. In a private ceremony with Queen Elizabeth, Her Royal Highness bequeathed to the Obamas one of the earliest known copies of William Shakespeare’s Henry V. She also presented him with the framed orginal sheet music of John Newton’s “Amazing Grace.” To the Obama daughters, the Queen gave a dollhouse-sized replica of Windsor Castle with a functioning train station in the year of the compound. They also received a prize Shetland pony. Mrs. Obama was given a ruby ring commissioned and worn by Queen Victoria.
The Obamas, unfortunately, did not seem prepared for the occasion despite the row set off by the exchange of gifts between Prime Minister Brown and the U.S. President barely a month ago. Mr. Obama rather unceremoniously handed the Queen a shopping bag from the Duty Free shop at Heathrow airport. It contained a signed paperback copy of Dreams of My Father, purchased at the WH Smith shop at the airport, a bottle of Johnny Walker Scotch (black label), a CD of the Swedish band ABBA’s greatest hits (still in shrink wrap with a 2-for-1 sticker on it) and ten bags of M&Ms with the presidential seal on them.
The Queen responded in a rather flat: “How delightful.”
I really don’t understand why people actually believed this was true. After all, the Obamas are much more thoughtful gift givers than that. I’m sure they would have at least wrapped all those lovely gifts. Apparently, the Queen received at least one really cool gift — a rare Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook. (She digs show tunes…and really..who doesn’t?) Oh yeah — and a personalized iPod full of videos of her US visit. Inquiring minds want to know. What kind of iPod was it? If you really want to impress with Apple-related swag, everybody knows that you buy the MacBook. Or a 24 inch iMac. That’s fancy technology right there. After all, we are talking about the Queen of England, not some run-of-the-mill peasant.