Presidential Gift-Giving An Elaborate Process
MELISSA BLOCK, host:
When President and Ms. Obama met the Queen of England yesterday, they gave her an iPod filled with Broadway show tunes.
MICHELE NORRIS, host:
This follows a much talked-about gift of 25 classic American movies on DVD that the President gave to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown last month.
BLOCK: In each case, Mr. Obama followed the long tradition of giving something quintessentially American, show tunes, films - but with a high-tech twist.
NORRIS: As opposed to say Teddy Roosevelt, who liked to present heads of state with things like buffalo horns.
BLOCK: In more recent times, presidents have sometimes presented guests with gifts almost as unusual. President Nixon knew Soviet Leader Leonard Brezhnev loved cars and so he gave him a Cadillac Eldorado.
NORRIS: And a Lincoln Continental.
BLOCK: And a Chevy Monte Carlo.
NORRIS: In 2006, President Bush took Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi, an Elvis fanatic, to Graceland and he presented him with a jukebox filled with the King's hits.
Prime Minister JUNICHIRO KOIZUMI (Japan): Thank you very much for treating me nice. Thank you.
President GEORGE W. BUSH: Now we can go have some barbecue. Thank you.
BLOCK: The whole business of gift giving takes up a lot of time and effort. Some presidents have asked governors to obtain items of Americana, suitable for gift-giving.
NORRIS: But when we contacted the State Department today about who's currently in charge of selecting gifts, they said they're not commenting on the process or protocol of presidential gift-giving.
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