Politics

Mar 9, 2009

Rundle: What do you give the fuzzy wuzzy who has everything?

Whatever the manifold talents of the Obama administration, there's now general agreement that gift-giving isn't one of them, writes Guy Rundle.

Whatever the manifold talents of the Obama administration, there's now general agreement that gift-giving isn't one of them.

Hillary's presentation of a red button to the Russian president was a corker. The legend on it was meant to say "reset" (to symbolise a fresh start in US-Russia relations) but in fact said "overload" -- a glitch which only made even more unsettling the vision of a grinning Kremlin heavy pushing a big red button that someone had just pulled out of a suitcase.

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4 comments

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4 thoughts on “Rundle: What do you give the fuzzy wuzzy who has everything?

  1. Marion Diamond

    Giving a gift graciously is difficult – but so is receiving it graciously. Years ago, when Bill Clinton visited Australia, he brought as a gift a first edition by an American writer who had visited Australia in the mid19th century and written a book about it. The book (and I’m sorry, I can’t remember what it was) was rare. Clinton’s office checked that there was no copy in the National Library of Australia. Bill gave it to John Howard. Instead of accepting it graciously, and handing it over to the NLA with a nice little sticker saying ‘Given by President Clinton’, checked that it was worth more than the maximum allowable gift to a politician, and handed it back to Clinton saying ‘thanks but no thanks’, he couldn’t accept.

  2. Mirek

    Grea, incisive article, Guy! One other incident to show up Winston Churcholl as a racist as well as a war criminal, was the gassing of the rebelling Iraqi tribesmen in the early 1920`s. There is nothing new under the sun, as Socrates might have said, on how imperialists act.

  3. Margaret

    A great history lesson, and very funny deconstruction of gift giving among the rulers of the world.

  4. Jimbo

    I suspect that all gifts were intensionally selected.
    I can just imagine some Humphrey Applebury selecting the British gifts fully aware of just what you suggested.
    As for the Americans, well a red button is a classic stop button and a servo special DVD set is a great way of letting Britian know that Obama doesn’t believe there is any “special relationship”.
    I’d hate to think what Obama will give our Kevin!

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