The Corner

Obama Votes “Present”

It’s better to give than to receive — especially with this Messiah. But the administration is correcting its missteps:

Mr Obama has now told his staff to learn from the errors made during Mr Brown’s visit and to ensure that the protocol is observed when he meets the Queen later this month… A source close to Mr Obama’s top team telephoned this newspaper last week to say that White House officials now regard it as “a mistake” to have returned the bust of Winston Churchill that the British government loaned George W. Bush – a story first reported by The Sunday Telegraph – and then to have sent the prime minister home with a gift of 25 DVDs after his visit to Washington.

“Clearly it was a mistake, and they want people to know that they know that,” the source said. “There is a collective desire to learn from the experience. They pride themselves on attention to detail. They didn’t have their eye on the ball… they all know they’ve got to do better.”

Mr Obama is due to call at Buckingham Palace shortly before the G20 meeting.

The source said: “The point was made that the protocol people need to be absolutely sure they are on top of everything to do with meeting the Queen and make sure that everyone knows what is expected. The Queen won’t be getting any DVDs.”

Terrific. Why not appoint Chris Dodd as Gift Czar?

I was at Hillsdale College last week, and one of the young ladies said this would have been a totally cheesy present if you’d been given it by your boyfriend. Yet the government of the world’s superpower thinks you need better “attention to detail” and an “eye on the ball” to ensure you don’t give discount DVDs of E.T. and Lawrence Of Arabia to the head of government of your closest ally (and principal military partner in Afghanistan), especially when he has deteriorating eyesight and doesn’t watch movies. That’s not a “detail” — unless you’re as narcissistically self-absorbed as the British now think the Obama crowd are.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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